How To Find A Hiking Group Near Me: 8 Proven Methods

Hiking alone can be fun in some cases, but it’s not always the best solution. If you don’t want to go hiking alone, you might want to find hiking buddies to join you on these adventures. An even better idea would be to find a hiking group!

Hiking groups are great opportunities to exchange ideas, learn more about this activity, and connect with like-minded people. There are many ways to find a hiking group you can join, from social media groups to outdoor clubs. Let’s get into our top 8 methods to find a hiking group near you and see what they are all about.

1. Hiking Groups on Social Media

We all know how popular social media has been over the past few years. You can find anything on social networks, including communities of people you can connect with and ask for help or advice on any topic. You might also find some hiking groups you can contact and try to join.

We would recommend that you turn to Facebook, Reddit, or even Twitter as possible places where you can find many hiking groups. You can also search for such groups depending on where you want to hike next. All you need to do is type ‘hiking group‘ in the search bar and add your preferred location.

You will come across many hikers in these groups that could become a part of your next hiking group. So, it would help if you were friendly and respectful when talking to them. An introductory post may also prove helpful as it will give you a chance to introduce yourself, your hiking goals, and your wish to become a part of the group.

The majority of hiking groups are very friendly and open to accepting new members. So, we don’t doubt that you will be able to find a group that will love to meet you and learn all about your hiking experience thus far.

2. Hiking-Related Websites

Aside from groups on social media, you can also surf the internet and look for hiking-related websites. Many hiking groups, especially those who have been around for a while, have their own websites to share upcoming and planned events with interested parties. If you find such websites, you can check out the planned hikes and see if there is a hike that you might want to join.

Sometimes, you will come across official websites for hiking trails. You will also find scheduled hikes or guided tours on those websites. All these are great options for you to consider. Make sure that you contact the website administrator, ask about the specifics of the hike, and make your reservation.

3. Check out Online Communities

We mentioned groups on social media, but these media are not the only place where you can find hiking groups. There are other communities where hikers talk to one another and plan upcoming hikes. Such communities include Slack and MeetUp, for example.

On Slack, you can look into people’s profiles and user groups. You will find many channels where people share hiking information and where you can feel free to message them and ask them to join their next hike. This is a great way to make new friends and make hiking plans without even having to leave your home.

You can also look into MeetUp, a great place to join groups, create your own group, or browse events. Once you go to the website, you can write ‘hiking’ or ‘backpacking’ or whatever you like, then add your zip code to find exciting events of that nature near you.

4. Ask Friends or Family Members to Join You

If you are not interested in making any new friends at the moment or joining a new hiking group just yet, you can always build your own hiking group with friends and family. Even if they seem hesitant at first, don’t worry – just tell them about the benefits of hiking, and we are sure they will love to try it out.

Hiking is an enriching experience because it gives you mental clarity, relieves you from negative feelings, and helps you physically improve yourself. And let’s be honest, nothing can ever change the feeling of getting to the top of a mountain and looking around. That moment makes everything worth it! (Further reading: How hiking improves your mental health)

So, tell all these things to your friends or your family members and persuade them to give hiking a chance. In the meantime, consider looking into existing hiking groups that you, your friends, and your family can join whenever you want.

5. Join an Outdoor Club

If you live close to a famous hiking trail or a stunning mountain range, you may come across many local outdoor clubs that you can take a look into. But even if you don’t live in such a place, you might still be able to find such clubs. Hikers often like to build such clubs and get together to make plans for future hikes.

Outdoor clubs are a great place to find hiking buddies and possibly your next hiking group. The sole purpose of these clubs is to talk about hiking and hiking-related topics. The members of such clubs might be a goldmine of information and advice that you can benefit from, so you should try to get to know them better.

You can ask around for information on local outdoor clubs and where they usually meet. Then, just go to their meeting and talk to them about becoming a club member. We don’t doubt that many of these clubs will welcome you with open arms.

6. Enroll in a Hiking-Related Course

Many outdoor clubs and communities are known to offer hiking-related courses from time to time. These courses are usually not that extensive or time-consuming. Still, they provide valuable information on skills you need during hiking, equipment to look into, the level of physical and mental preparedness required for specific hikes, etc.

These courses are a great place to meet like-minded people while improving your skills. You can talk to other people on these courses and find out if they are open to accepting a new member into their hiking group. Maybe you will come across someone who doesn’t have a hiking group, so you could link up with them and start hanging out.

Information on such courses can be found in Facebook groups, announcement boards, or bulletin boards in schools, gyms, equipment stores, and local hangouts where hikers go. So, keep an eye out for such boards or groups and be on the lookout for their upcoming hiking-related courses.

7. Create an Event or Flyers to Give to Your Friends

While we mentioned looking out for events and flyers posted by existing outdoor clubs or hiking groups, there is another thing you should keep in mind. That is that you can always create your own event or pin your own flyers on such bulletin boards.

Let’s say that you are a student – consider inviting your colleagues or fellow students to a short hike that you can use to get to know each other. You can do the same if you are a member at a gym, a church, or any other community where you feel you might come across someone interested in hiking.

If you are an employee somewhere, consider hosting a hiking event for your company. It can be a great way to hang out with your colleagues outside of your office. You already know these people and have something in common, so striking up a conversation during the hike should not be that difficult.

8. Start Hiking on Local Trails

If you cannot find any hiking groups on social media or the search for a local outdoor club falls short, there is another thing to do – just start hiking! We know that hiking alone is not always the best solution, but you can meet many hikers on an actual trail.

This is why we encourage you just to start hiking. Even the shortest local trails will do for starters. Once you start hiking and meet some people on the trails, you can ask them to join you on future hikes. Don’t be afraid or hesitant to walk up to them and strike up a conversation, as hikers are usually friendly and open to meeting fellow hikers.

Bonus Tip: Remember to Stay Safe when Making New Hiking Buddies

As a final note, we want to talk to you about being safe when meeting new hiking buddies or setting off on a hike with people you don’t know well. Even though hiking communities are generally safe and many people attend community meetings and hikes, you should always be careful in the beginning.

What we advise doing is the following:

  • When meeting people online, we suggest that you make a plan to meet them in person before going on the actual hike. This will give you a chance to get acquainted with them, see if you vibe with them and if you want to go on a hike with them.
  • Also, when meeting people online, it would be good to take a look at their social media profiles and see if everything seems okay. Check out their friends and see if you have any mutual acquaintances; look at their photos or posts to see if they are real people and if they are really interested in hiking. If the person seems suspicious, you might be better off looking for a different hiking buddy. Better safe than sorry. 
  • When meeting with someone in person for the first time, make sure you set the meeting in a public place. The more people around you, the better if the meeting turns sideways. It would help if you also had at least one friend waiting for you nearby, or you could even consider taking them with you. If none of your friends can come, make sure that you at least tell them where you will be and keep them updated on your whereabouts.

These things might sound scary and turn you off from meeting new hiking buddies, but they are just precautionary actions that you should keep in mind. Maybe things will turn out great, and you will not even have to think about these things at all.

Conclusion: How to Find a Hiking Group near You

When looking for a hiking group near you, we advise you to always approach it with an open heart and with a lot of enthusiasm. These like-minded people can turn your whole life around and make you grateful that you started hiking and looking for hiking buddies in the first place. Your next hiking group can change your life and help you experience hiking like never before!

As we mentioned before: The best way to get to know other hikers is through the internet (especially social media), your own circle of friends, and an open mind.

Last Update: 05. May 2022
About the Author

My name is Thomas, and I love the outdoors. I'm currently living in Germany and I would like to encourage my readers to go outside with this blog. Here you can read more about me.