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Hike Rating System

Hike ratings are much like describing how hot a dish is at a Thai restaurant. "Native Thai" is what I usually order in Tennessee, but I'd likely keel over if I ordered the same in San Francisco! Check out the handy hike level system we've created.

Rate Your Own Hiking Level

Know your capabilities before you sign up for a hike. The ratings system below was developed so you have a good idea what you’re signing up for. Trip Leaders may screen prospective hikers to make sure that each participant can finish the hike. Self-evaluation and screening are important because someone who can’t finish a hike puts himself in danger and ruins the enjoyment for all.

Ask yourself, “What is the most challenging hike I’ve completed in the past year?” Answer this question using the guidelines below, then sign up for hikes that you know you can successfully complete (and enjoy!).

Nashville Hiking Meetup Rating System:

Neighborhood walk, mall walk, or flat nature trail at a park. Examples: Stones River Greenway, Richland Creek Greenway, the flat Lake Trail at Radnor Lake

Trail hike of at least 3 miles, at least 300 feet elevation gain climbing. Examples: full loop at Radnor Lake (both Ganier Ridge and South Trails), Mossy Ridge at Percy Warner

Trail hike of at least 8 miles, at least 700 feet elevation gain climbing. Examples: Stone Door, Collins Gulf, Fiery Gizzard
Trail hike that lasted over 6 hours, plenty of climbing. Examples: Honey Creek Loop, Virgin Falls, Walls of Jericho
I don’t hike, but I’m on the varsity football team or I’ve done a marathon in the last year.

Trail hike of at least 15 miles, at least 1000 feet elevation gain climbing. Examples: full 20 mile Sewanee Loop
All day hike in a rugged wilderness. Who knows how many miles we walked or how much climbing we did. Examples: 14 miles in the South Cumberland, full 12 mile Bearwaller Gap

Note these guidelines are based on our region of the country. Add a half to full level if it’s raining or the trail is very rocky.

--Kelly Stewart

Thanks to the Arizona chapter of the Sierra Club and Ted Tenny for inspiration.

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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