From The President

Peggy Koesel

Welcome. We hope you are reading this as a member or soon-to-be-member of the Cleveland Hiking Club. This year we celebrate 100 years of hiking in and around Northeast Ohio, the United States and many places around the world. As we start our second century, we plan to continue our focus on enjoying outdoor activity, primarily hiking, for health and recreation.

For 100 years, we have promoted hiking safely and sensibly. We hike no matter the weather, be it sunny or cloudy, hot or humid, freezing cold, pouring rain, or snowing, blowing and drifting. As long as it’s safe to hike, we hike. Whether we are hiking in the woods, crossing a stream, traversing rough terrain, climbing a steep hill, or walking along a city street, our members feel comfortable hiking because they are never alone.

Our monthly Schedule of Activities is available on-line to members and non-members alike. It offers a variety of hikes every day of the year, including holidays. This allows our members to select a location, time and distance that meets their interest and schedule. Many of our hikes are targeted to observe and learn about the various cultural, historic and scenic areas in the Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio areas.

Most of our hikes are between 3 and 6 miles and are described in our monthly Schedule of Activities, a document that leaves first-time readers amazed. Hike terrain, pace and difficulty vary. Many members select and enjoy leisurely-paced hikes that accommodate chatting with friends or quietly capturing the scenery, while others select faster-paced hikes or hikes with more challenging terrain and/or distance.

We believe every member’s active participation matters. Although we encourage our members to hike, we do not pressure members to hike any more than they would like to. Some members commit to achieving goals they set for themselves, such as hiking a specific number of miles during a week, month or year. Some members bitten by the hiking bug take on the challenge of our annual 20, 26 or 40-mile hikes.

Each month, hundreds of members are recognized on our “mile-a-day” list because they have hiked one mile for every day in that month. We also recognize and celebrate a member’s hiking milestones starting with their first 100 miles, their first 500 miles, and for every 1,000 miles hiked thereafter. Many of our members have hiked 10,000 miles or more with the CHC. Some veteran members have hiked many, many more.

Although hiking is our major focus, we are also a social club. Some of our hikes end with socializing activities, like a post-hike stop for coffee, ice cream, pizza, or at a local pub. We also routinely plan potluck dinners, campfires, and cookouts in the months when the weather in Northeast Ohio allows. Our hikes and social activities allow us to meet new friends, catch up with old acquaintances, and just enjoy nature.

For those who like to travel and explore, the CHC has an active excursion program. We describe an excursion as a trip more than 300 miles from Northeast Ohio that is usually between 4 and 10 days. Excursions offer our members the opportunity to travel and explore many national and state parks, wildlife preserves, wilderness areas, historic, cultural and scenic sites and cities all over the world - all while earning mileage credit.

We think that the Cleveland Hiking Club provides real value in exchange for modest membership dues. If there is something we can do to help you enjoy our Club, please see our “Contact Us” page.

We hope to see you on the trails!

Peggy Koesel, President

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