Louisiana hiking club for ladies explodes with popularity

The terrain of Southwest Louisiana does not exactly set itself apart as a hiker’s paradise, yet a newly-formed hiking club for women is exploding, just one month into its existence.

It is called the “No. 1 Ladies Hiking Society,” and it is free, for any woman with an interest in hiking, and it offers a lot more than a hiking excursion.

“A good hike for me is one where I don’t know what’s next,” founder Clare Coleman said. “I like to be surprised when I turn around the corner, because I feel like it’s a destination rather than just a workout.”

Coleman recently hiked with her husband through the rolling hills of Ireland and came back with a spark to share this interest with other women.

“There are probably other women locally who are interested in this kind of thing,” she said. “Let’s start a hiking club, just thinking it would be something where we could share resources. It’s become bigger than that!”

Coleman and her traveling friend, Mary Richardson, created the No. 1 Ladies Hiking Society and held their first meeting in August. They were shocked at the turn-out.

“I don’t personally know that many women locally who love to hike,” said Coleman. “I was going to be excited if we had 20 and we had 90…90 showed up for the first meeting.” In just one month, the club now has grown to 150 women.

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