From The President

Frank Skala

Welcome to the Cleveland Hiking Club (CHC) website! We hope you are reading this as a member or soon-to-be-member. Our Club offers many opportunities for hiking in Northeast Ohio and throughout the U.S. and the world.

The Club will be 100 years old in 2019, and we are preparing to boldly go into our second century! Over the years we have developed a focus on hiking which impresses and amazes new members. Our hiking schedule is filled every day of the year, including holidays! We hike regardless of weather. If it’s rain, snow, hot or cold, the hike is ON. We promote hiking safely and sensibly. Members (women and men) feel comfortable, whether it’s hiking in the woods, across rough terrain or along streets, because we are never alone.

Hiking is said to be one of the best activities to promote good health. Our Club’s mission is to offer a variety of hikes each day so members can choose the location, mileage, date, and time of the hike to match their interest and schedule. One thing we have found is we learn a lot about the Cleveland/Northeast Ohio area by hiking. Many of our hikes are specifically targeted to observe and learn about the many cultural and scenic areas just outside our doorstep.

 Although hiking is our major focus, we are a social club as well. Many of our hikes contain socializing activities, usually after the hike. We like to say we “hike so we can eat!” Ice cream, pizza, soup suppers, enjoying a local pub, potlucks, campfire cookouts, and more, are routine with every month of the year and afford plenty of opportunities to meet new friends, catch up with old acquaintances, and just be outside enjoying nature.

One given about CHC membership is there is no pressure. Some members make a commitment to action by setting personal goals, such as a specific number of miles per month, a certain number of hikes per week or making the “mile-a-day” list that recognizes those who hike at least the number of miles as the number of days in that month. The Club encourages hiking by recognizing a member’s hiking milestones from 100 miles to 50,000+ miles.

The majority of our hikes are 3, 4, 5 or 6 miles, all of which are described and listed in our monthly Schedule of Activities, a document which leaves first-time readers just amazed. The difficulty of hikes varies and members learn to pick hikes that meet their level of skill and ability. Many members select and enjoy leisurely-paced hikes that accommodate chatting with friends or quietly capturing the scenery. Some members are bitten by the hiking bug and take on the challenge of our annual 20, 26 or 40-mile hikes.

For those who like to travel and explore other states and countries, the CHC offers a very active excursion program. The excursions are trips of usually about a week to 10 days and offer the opportunity to travel with friends and explore many great parks, preserves, wilderness areas, cities, and cultural and famous sites - all while getting mileage credit! Just in 2016, we will have excursions to Florida; Israel; the Loire Valley and Paris, France; Mohonk Preserve, New York; Maine and New Hampshire peaks; Toronto, Canada; the Appalachian Trail; Canyonlands and Arches Parks, Utah; Colorado peaks; Cape Cod Massachusetts and western North Carolina forests and parks. All of these events are sponsored by a Club member who in most cases does the planning of the hikes, provides help with ideas for hotel and transportation options and can be the on-site guide to local attractions.


All in all, we hope you find the Cleveland Hiking Club a real value for your modest membership dues. If there is anything I can do to help you enjoy our Club, please dont hesitate to contact me. Happy Hiking!!

Frank Skala, President


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