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WOMEN in the Outdoors

June 7, 2011

An interesting conversation came up at the Holly RECREATION 101 Hikes. Women, hiking the trails of our local Parks. Not just alone, but even in small groups. It was told to me how unsafe most women feel when hiking many of the local trails. Many have even felt un-safe while riding their bikes on some of the Pathway systems. I was appalled by these comments.

I guess I have never realized just how deep the safety issue went, with women in the outdoors. As a male, I have always just got in my car, went to where ever I wanted to go, and headed into the woods;. Bushwhacking or trailing. And it never mattered to me whether I was alone or with a partner or not. I guess I have taken this ease of outdoor access, for granted. It is definitely not what most women can do, or will do.

The solice and quiet I have experienced while being alone by a stream or overlooking a pond on a hillside, have been defining moments in my life. The solitude has allowed me to think about personal problems or just relax to a point I cannot achieve in any other way. I realized for the first time on our Hike, that most women have not experienced this. Even when they have headed out either alone or with another female partner, they have felt a security issue. There watching, safety issues and many other things that all take away from the very things I have gone to remote places in our parks to achieve. And f I feel this is unacceptable for women.

On the HM Facebook page and our Bulletin Board, we have been asking for ideas and suggestions on ho we can better these situations for women in the outdoors. There have been some great ideas and suggestions for safety, posted on this on-line portals. But there needs to be even more. Look for an upcoming Hike that will address this very issue of not only safety for women in the outdoors, but something even better then that. A women’s chance to actually feel the calm, beauty and nurturing qualities of Nature, without the fear for her safety. Let us know how you feel about this, or if you have any suggestions.

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2 comments

  1. Rob: This is exactly why I was so excited to find Hiking Michigan. I have had snowshoes for several years but don’t use them very often because I don’t have any female friends that will go. I also love to winter hike and, again, no friends that will go with me. So when I found Hiking Michigan, I was thrilled. Already made some female friends in the group and hope to get out next winter snowshoeing and hiking with them in addition to attending as many Hiking Michigan activities as I can. Love your group! My work schedule hasn’t permitted me to go on any hikes since April, but I’m looking forward to your new schedule to see which hikes I can go on this summer! Keep up the great work–your rock!


  2. Thanks Kathy…..you could not have given the group a bigger compliment. It never ceases to amaze me on what HM has become. The help, friendliness and open attitudes of all the Hikers have made things what they are. I hope we can make a dent in this problem of Women getting outdoors. I was disturbed by what I was told on Saturday’s Hike. There was not a women there that didn’t feel unsafe, out in the forests and trails. That really is unacceptable.



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