These women find empowerment and strength through hiking

Each month over the past year this same group of women from Forsyth County, Georgia has met to hike and build each other up through companionship, friendship and empowerment.

“We’re called Warrior Hikers,” said Aswini Oliver, the group’s founder. “It started off with just my best friends, four of us. We just thought, ‘let’s do 12 hikes this year,’ and that’s it.”

In January 2019, Oliver and a few friends, all novice hikers, set out to do something for themselves, something not related to their careers and families, to prove to themselves that they are strong, brave and self-sufficient. Since then, the Warrior Hikers have done some of the toughest hikes in the state, from Sawnee Mountain in Forsyth County to Blood Mountain, in north Georgia.

“We started out with Sawnee Mountain Indian Seats, then we did sunrise on Stone Mountain, Kennesaw, Sweetwater, we did Blood Mountain, Fort Yargo,” Oliver said as she strolled down the path at Little Mulberry Park. “Blood Mountain was the toughest one; Kennesaw was a tough one too.”

Though Warrior Hikers is open to women of all ages and ethnicities, right now the group is comprised of about 60 Indian women. That wasn’t on purpose, Oliver said, the group just grew organically from friend to friend and co-worker to co-worker.

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