Story by Scott Mims
Some might say social media is keeping people from getting out and enjoying real life. Not so for Sheila Hall of Maplesville, who serves on the town’s council.
She found a group of hiking trail companions while scrolling through her Facebook feed recently.
Hall was looking for a group of women that shared her enthusiasm for outdoor walking and running when she discovered Ladies Who Hike. Based in Birmingham, the Facebook group has more than 100 members in Alabama and Georgia from Maplesville, Tuscaloosa, Mobile and Atlanta and other areas.
For Hall, the find has led to one adventure after another.
“From day one of being a group member, I have found such fulfillment within the group,” said Hall. “I have met and made so many new friends from all aspects of life and the workforce whom share the same interest of getting away to explore nature, become energized and just relax.”
The Ladies Who Hike have visited many attractions such as Ruby Falls, Oak Mountain, Red Mountain, Ruffner Mountain, Turkey Creek, Noccalula Falls, Moss Rock Preserve and Stone Mountain, Georgia. They even participated in the 2019 Chilton County Peach Parade with matching T-shirts and a banner identifying the group.
A highlight for the group this summer was visiting the Grand Canyon.
“I’m over the 50s milestone but knew that Alabama had so much to offer us throughout the trails,” Hall said. “Oak Mountain was my hardest struggle, but with the team we all made it to the top!”
Brittney Davis of Mobile founded the group in March 2017. It all started as a hike and a lunch with close friends, but everyone found the outing so fun and peaceful that they decided to make it a monthly activity. Now the membership count has reached 112 and continues to grow. “I enjoy Ladies Who Hike because of the sisterhood,” Elise Early of Mobile said. “There are so many positive women from different backgrounds that come together, and it allows me to be more physically active. The founder, Brittney Davis, is the best; she’s passionate about this group. I love her positive, bubbly, infectious attitude. She makes this group worth being a part of.”
Davis, the group’s leader, said her motivations for hiking include the fresh air, the challenge of the hikes, the sisterhood and being able to enjoy nature and detach from the cares of everyday life.
Of course, with such a large group, there is a little bit of give and take.
“I learned that as a leader you cannot please everyone and you will have people who will not agree with your decisions and ideas, and that’s OK,” Davis explained.
For any ladies who are interested in joining, or seeking more information, please inquire through Facebook at “Ladies Who Hike.” It is a paid membership-based group.