Leading a hike

The TEHCC depends on volunteers for all of it’s activities including leading hikes. Anybody in the club can be a hike leader. There are only a few simple guidelines to follow.

1. Pick a Date

Some people are weekend warriors and some can hit the trail anytime. Choose a day that is appropriate for the hike you are planning. Overnight hikes are typically better suited for weekends. Day hikes can be done anytime. There are no restrictions on what day or date the hike occurs on.

2. Pick a Destination

There are dozens of hiking destinations in the TEHCC’s region and thousands beyond. Hike types are unlimited. They can be short strolls on well developed paths or extended trips in the backcountry. They can be slow paced to observe waterfalls and wildflowers or fast paced to cover many miles. Whatever you do, pick a destination that best suits your interests. Use the TEHCC’s resources (AT Map, Local Trails Map) to help you find your next hike.

3. Pick a Route

Most hiking destinations have several routes. Obtain maps of your destination to choose an appropriate route. Be sure to take into account elevation change, potential route changes in case of an emergency and shuttling.

4. Schedule It

The TEHCC depends on well planned hike leaders to lead hikes. Part of the preparation is scheduling the hike. Ideally, hikes are scheduled at least 1 month in advance. However, hikes can be scheduled with as little as a week of lead time. To schedule the hike, send the following information to the Events CoordinatorThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it :

  • Hike Date(s)
  • Destination including any applicableĀ themes (e.g. SB6K)
  • Hike Leader
  • Hike Leader contact information (email and phone number)
  • Hike Description (one paragraph with distance, elevation gain/loss, level of difficulty, logistics)

5. Prepare

Preparation is key to leading a successful hike. Several areas should be considered when preparing for a hike.

  • Know your group – Everyone does not have the same physical ability or experience.
  • Know the hike – Scout the hike beforehand. If not, learn as much as possible through the internet or other resources.
  • Arrange shuttling – Make sure rides are planned and the parking areas are safe. Also, drivers should be properly compensated.
  • Have an objective – Have an objective so all participants are on the same page even if it’s only walking from point A to point B.
  • Know the history – Some areas have historical or geological significance. Knowing this can make a hike more interesting.
  • First Aid – See the First Aid page for guidelines on first aid on hikes and in the backcountry.

6. Hike It

7. Follow Up

Hike reports serve many purposes. They are a form of entertainment through the newsletter. They provide a repository of information for future hikes. They also help trail maintainers determine if a trail needs special attention. After a hike, you should:

  • Send a short recap of your hike with pictures (optional) and list of attendees to the newsletter editor and webmaster.
  • Send any Appalachian Trail maintenance needs to the maintenance coordinatorThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
  • Thank all of the attendees and encourage them to lead hikes themselves.

Other Guidelines

  • Group size should be limited to 10 or less if possible.
  • Always adhere to Leave No Trace ethics.
  • Stay on the trail. Minimize impact to fragile ecosystems.
  • Do not feed wildlife. If you stay overnight, make sure you store food and other scented items in a properly secured bear bag at least 50 yards from the sleeping location.