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Nashville Hiking Meetup Pages

Nashville Hiking Meetup plans hikes throughout the year ranging from easy to strenuous, local to regional. The aim of the group is to explore the natural beauty of Tennessee and beyond and to develop a social network for people with like interests.

New and pending members, please read this section all the way to the bottom before you join the group. Also read our Code of Conduct.

Thank you for your interest in Nashville Hiking Meetup. Our organizers are all volunteers and we are really pleased that you are interested in joining our group!

How to Join Our Group
To join Nashville Hiking Meetup, you'll need to join Meetup. Here are a few tips for filling out your profile:

  • Do not include any personal information (i.e. phone number or e-mail addresses) in your profile or in your RSVP comments. Our pages are not private so your profile information will be visible to everyone, including programs designed to capture e-mail addresses for spammers. You can always receive e-mail via the Meetup message system if you choose to activate it.
  • You do not need to list your last name. It is helpful if you use a last initial so we can tell the difference between Dave S and Dave T. If you wish to change your name, click on the "Account" link up at the right hand top of the page and edit your name at any time.
  • Pictures help other members know who you are, but are not required.
  • While they are a snappy idea, using aliases (anything but your real name) is not such a good idea because it makes it really difficult to find you at an event.

Does this cost money?
There are no fees or dues to be a member of Nashville Hiking Meetup. We work really hard to look for no-cost activities, but occasionally some events have fees that are passed on at cost. See each meeting detail for information on any fees.

We pay the fees to to license this software, and we really couldn't manage this group without Meetup! Members have offered to make donations to the group to cover costs and time; if you'd like to chip in click

How to Choose an Event
Our events are posted on the calendar and announced by email. Please read each hike description to see if it's a good fit for you. This keeps you safe and keeps your fellow hikers happy. If you are a beloved newbie, please start out with one of our easy hikes to see where you are. Please do not come out on a hike that's too difficult for your condition on hike day. This includes anyone who has had a really late night.

Before You RSVP
Although we love to have fun, we are first and foremost a hiking group. While we care a great deal about the safety of everyone (not just you), it is your responsibility to be safe while you are out on the trails with us.

This means that if you would like to join us on a hike, it is your responsibility to read the hike description and come prepared. This keeps all of us safe and happy.

The hike organizer is fully empowered to turn folks away at the trailhead or to ask folks to turn back part-way through the hike for any reason.

Hike organizers are also fully empowered to bump anyone who regularly shows up unprepared or RSVPs "Yes" for a hike that's outside their ability. Hike organizers get to edit the RSVP list.

Oh, and while we work hard to make sure things go smoothly at each event, please keep in mind that all the hike leaders and organizers are volunteers. Don't be dumb and irritate us.

How to RSVP
If you want to attend, RSVP "Yes." If you are unable to attend or do not wish to attend, simply do nothing. You do not need to RSVP "No" unless you want to leave a comment for the event organizer or other hikers.

How to Carpool to a Hike
We often meet at a designated spot then carpool to a hike. Always offer your driver gas money. If you don't feel comfortable carpooling, then simply meet us at the trailhead and/or let the organizer know you'll be driving yourself only.

DO NOT volunteer to drive if you can't read a map or follow directions.

How to Get on a Wait List if an Event is Full
Our events fill up fast so if you RSVP "Yes" and your plans change, please change your RSVP to "No" ASAP. Most limited slot events offer a wait list feature, so if you want be wait-listed for a full event, just RSVP "yes" and you'll see the wait list feature kick in. Note that getting on a wait list is your commitment to a "yes." You should be prepared to join us at the last minute, as that's when the most people drop.

Don't be turned away by a long wait list. Most events cycle all the way through and almost always the entire wait list gets to go

Why Some Event RSVPs are Limited
Usually, but not always, the hikes local to Nashville will allow more RSVPs because we all drive ourselves so we feel like the more the merrier. Regional hikes, such as those where we meet and carpool for one to two hours will almost definitely have a limit simply because it's more difficult to organize and keep a ton of people straight. Sometimes the hikes may be limited simply because of the impact on the trails or our agreement with partners we team with. Just remember to update your RSVP if your plans change and don't show up for a hike if you don't have a confirmed slot.

How to Be a Popular Hiker
Since so many hikes have active wait lists with people who really, really, really want to come out and hike with us, please RSVP "Yes" only if you know you will attend a hike. Keep in mind that your "Yes" RSVP prevents other people from joining our hikes. If it's unlikely that you will be able to attend the hike, you will keep many of your hiking friends as friends if you avoid taking a space that someone else really wants and will use. Don't be a tool and hold a spot if you're unsure.

How to Be Popular, Part 2...or, what are those dots next to hiker names?

If you are a no-show for an event (and particularly if there were people on the wait list that could have taken your spot), the hike leader has the option to add a period or "dot" to the end of your name on the site. This is our semi-public way of indicating how often you're a no-show. Get too many dots and you'll be kicked out of the group at the organizer's discretion. In the least you'll be a lower priority in wait list situations, even with one dot.

You can actually earn back or remove dots by doing one of our volunteer projects. If you complete one of the service events and would like a dot removed, let Kelly know.

How to Keep Nashville Hiking Meetup Out of Ranger Jail
Not all events will have an RSVP limit, but please understand that it is not okay to come to a limited event unless you have a Yes RSVP. Event limits are done to ensure that everyone has a good outdoor experience (not just us, but other hikers and visitors too). If you just show up for an event without a Yes RSVP, then the organizer can bump you and even kick you out of the meetup.

No matter how many people sign up for a particular event, we typically split up into smaller groups with different speeds. More than anything, it allows us to have a smaller footprint at the park. This makes a big difference to other hikers on the trail. It also makes an enormous difference to the parks.

What If I Don't Know Anyone at the Hike?
We are a very friendly group. If it is your first time out with us, you may THINK that everyone at the hike knows each other (except for you). While easy to believe, this is actually not exactly accurate. Just start talking. It works every time.

What Should I Wear/Pack/Bring on Hike Day?
There's a lot of information in each hike description so please read full descriptions and do what it says.

On longer hikes we almost always stop for lunch/snacks but we do not necessarily stop at a half-way point in the hike. While it's not a part of the official hike, we have a bit of a tradition that includes stopping for lunch or dinner after the hike. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD NOT PACK SNACKS. Bring food for longer hikes and plan on eating it.

Water or sports drinks are critical on longer hikes especially in hotter months. It's always better to bring too much water than to bring too little. Bottled water is perfectly fine but as you get more serious you might invest in one of the water reservoirs (CamelBak is a popular brand) that you wear on your back or are built into backpacks.

Speaking of backpacks, if you're a beginner, don't think you have to go out and spend a ton of money on a fancy designer backpack. The one you used in college or got for free at that last trade show should be fine. Like the water reservoirs, as you get more serious, look at investing in a good backpack designed for day hikes.

However, footwear is something you should not skimp on. Good walking/running shoes are okay for shorter hikes on dirt and mulch trails but for longer hikes and especially for rocky or wet terrain, please invest in a good pair of hiking boots or shoes. Cumberland Transit on West End has a good selection and staff to help you find a pair.

Finally, dress for the weather. If we've had a lot of rain, the trails will be muddy. If it's colder than dammit, dress in warm layers that can be removed if you warm up. Many hikes will still go on during rain/snow/ice but check the event description one more time before you head out the door to make sure it hasn't been canceled. If you're not comfortable with what you're seeing or feeling outside, then please alert the organizer that you won't be attending.

Please also see our informative "Pack Ten List" for essential items to carry on longer hikes.

What to Expect on Hike Day
Folks will gather at the carpool location or trailhead around the start time. There's no sign, no welcome board, no name tags. Look for the group gathering/hanging around at the trailhead/outside their cars

While we enjoy having a good time, and hope that you will enjoy coming out on hikes with us, what we care most about is safety. If you come to our events, you WILL listen to a description of the planned hike.

We tend to take a bunch of photos at our events, so if you'd like to opt out of the group photo, please let the trip leader or individual photographer(s) know you would prefer to not be immortalized in pictures.

What if I'm Late?
We generally wait a bit for folks, however we do not wait for everyone who has signed up. Usually, but not always, the organizer will share his/her mobile number. Call or text the organizer if you're running late.

Is All of This Safe?
Our hike leaders are volunteers and not paid professionals, but one of the group's goals is to make sure everyone has a fun and safe time on the trails (and at other events). However, your personal safety is your responsibility. Sometimes you'll be asked to sign a release waiver saying you won't sue if you get hurt. Even without a release form, be aware that's terms of service agreement specifically says that members join any and all meetups at their own risk and cannot hold or its organizers and other members liable for damages.

Furthermore, while we make every effort possible to publish accurate hike distances, elevations, and trail conditions to the best of our knowledge, the actual numbers cannot be guaranteed due to outdated maps or inaccurate published information.

How to Bring Your Friends
If you'd like to bring guests, family members, spouses and friends to our events, please make sure the RSVP options for each event allows this. If you have any questions, contact the event leader and ask if guests are okay.

Usually, but not always, very popular hikes do not allow guests so that as many real members can get on board as possible. However, when it comes down to the day of, there are almost always a couple of spots free for guests. If your guest can deal with a last minute add, keep in contact with the trip leader and ask up through the day before if guests will be allowed. You can almost count on your guest getting in the way things go.

The absolute ideal thing would be for you to have your friend sign up for the meetup themselves and add themselves to the wait list.

Can My Dog Come Along?
Most of our hikes have listed whether dogs are appropriate or not near the top of the event posting. If it's not clear and you have a question, click through to the profile of that hike's leader ("Event Host") and send the leader an email.

Even at parks where dogs are allowed, we sometimes post not to bring your dog. This could have to do with the trail itself or the weather conditions.

No matter what, please keep your dog on a leash at all times. This is a rule at many parks, and you also don't want dogs who are strangers to each other to get into fights. Furthermore, unleashed dogs running between and around a bunch of hikers could cause an accident, hurting the dog or the hikers.

After an Event
Please return to this site and rate the event and if you feel like it type in some comments. This helps us plan future events, but realize that your comments are available for public viewing. If you have a problem during an event and don't feel comfortable talking about it then, please email an organizer to pass on the information.

Please feel free to upload photos to each event page but the organizers can remove photos that are inappropriate. Check out our Guidelines for Uploading Photos here.

While hiking is the most important aspect of this group, let's not forget the social benefits! If you feel comfortable, do contact that new friend you met on the trail through the site but remember this isn't a dating group so don't be creepy.

How to Suggest a Future Event
Any member with an idea for a hike can suggest plans with an organizer by clicking any one of the organizers' names in the left hand column of the page. Please include preferred dates, times and directions to the hike. We would be happy to organize the event for the group. You can also post on the Message Board by clicking the link at the top to see how much interest peeps have in your idea.

What are your Tips for Beginner Day Hikers?
This is a great article:

What's Most Important?
Read and follow the instructions in the event descriptions. Have we said this enough? Check back on the event pages before you leave for a hike because information is often updated only on this site. Because we don't ask members to share email addresses and phone numbers, don't expect a personal call from an organizer if something changes.

We are really looking forward to seeing you out on the trail!

Nashville Hiking Meetup

Thanks for the inspiration from the fine folks of Triangle Hiking and Outdoors Group and the Let's hike and maybe take a break if we get tired group from the SF Bay area.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Hike posting template September 11, 2012, 7:51 AM Kelly S.
Gear Checklist - Nashville Hiking Meetup May 3, 2010, 3:05 PM Kelly S.
Hike Rating System August 19, 2013, 1:43 PM Kelly S.
Code of Conduct - Nashville Hiking Meetup October 8, 2013, 8:38 PM Kelly S.
Volunteer Weekend at Cumberland Trail - Stony Fork May 28, 2008, 1:57 PM Kelly S.
First Aid Kit January 1, 2008, 3:21 PM Kelly S.
10 Hiking Essentials April 13, 2013, 7:14 AM Kelly S.
About Nashville Hiking Meetup June 25, 2018, 6:08 AM Kelly S.

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