Hardcore Hikers of New York, Unite! is a community of serious, fit, and friendly hikers and backpackers in the New York City area. We strive for the highs that come from two sources: Reaching glorious peaks all over the Northeast (and elsewhere) and connecting with our fellow adventurers. We're all about achieving new feats individually as well as building close ties with one another.
In order to be a member, you should have both the fitness and passion to hike 2500'-7500' of elevation gain at a steady pace over 10-20+ miles in our 3-season day hikes (and 20-50+ miles in our 3-season weekend backpacking trips, with 5000'-10000'+ of elevation gain) and the openness of spirit to enter into a community of like-minded trail lovers. So, sorry, stroll-in-the-park naturalists and leave-me-alone hermits, this group is not for you.
If you're raring for lots of tough hikes and chill company, though, welcome! You've found your home.
HOW WE WORK
Communities work best ...
* If they're small (we'll the cap the group membership once it reaches a certain level of comfort and will limit group sizes to 8-12 members in most trips),
* If members are responsible (frequent flakes, habitual cancelers, and those who don't answer trip questionnaires or reply to emails from organizers planning a trip's logistics will be given the door, as will those who are abusive to others or demonstrate poor trail judgment habitually),
* If members share a similar level of competence (our moderately brisk pace -- an average of 1.5-2.5 mph in 3-seasons over fairly steep terrain -- will be too fast for beginning/out-of-shape hikers and too slow for trail runners).
* If members see each other regularly (as a rule, we'll remove inactive members who haven't gone on any trips in 6 months OR, at the end of a rolling 12 month-period, do not have any upcoming trips they've RSVPed to attend),
* If all members contribute (everyone is encouraged to provide ideas for trips and even organize outings themselves -- ideally, the line between "leader" and "member" will be nearly invisible.)
* If a spirit of self-criticism is alive and well (all members are free to comment on how to make the trips and the group even better).
In short, we're a happily small group of fit, social, adventurous hikers who show up when they say they will and, instead of disappearing after they sign up, go on a number of meetups. As a committed member, you'll see many of the same faces month after month. Members who don't just show up but suggest ideas and plan events -- and thereby give as much as they take -- are especially welcome.
ABOUT OUR TRIPS
Day outings -- We'll venture mostly in Harriman, the Hudson Highlands, and the Catskills. On occasion, we'll head to the Taconics (NY/CT/MA border), the Kittatinnies (the Delaware Water Gap area), Minnewaska, and sections of the Appalachian Trail all along the Northeast. Suggestions for new trips are welcome!
Overnighters -- We'll backpack everywhere from the Shenandoahs (VA) ... to the Catskills and the Adirondacks (NY)... to the Berkshires (MA) ... to the Green (VT) and White (NH) Mountains ... and to Baxter State Park (ME). We'll do trips out west and abroad if there's interest. Once again, your input is appreciated.
This group is not geared toward inexperienced AND unconditioned/slow hikers. Everyone is assumed to be a fit, fully geared-up, self-sufficient hiker/backpacker. All members should bring a map, carry their share of any group gear, and be prepared to hike alone for long stretches of trail (until the group assembles at junctions and overlooks). Everyone should know the essentials of trail reading and setting up camp. If you're in the habit of asking trip leaders, "how many miles do we have left?" this group is not for you.
On most trips (except during winter, when safety in numbers is crucial), everyone will hike at his or her own pace, and the faster members will wait at trail junctions until the rest of the group catches up.
When carpooling, riders should be generous with money for gas / tolls / caffeine (a cup of coffee for the driver is always cool!).
Members will get off waiting lists on a "1st signed up basis, 1st to get off" basis (the only exceptions are for members who have cars, when an additional vehicle is needed).
Members may bring guests as long as they can vouch for their friend's or family member's experience and conditioning.