Hike it Baby explains hikes a few different ways: DIFFICULTY, CATEGORIES, WHEELS and PACE.
- Difficulty: how hard or challenging you can expect the hike to be
- Categories: specific type of events you can expect to happen (trail vs. pavement)
- Pace: the speed with which the group will travel
- Wheels: indicates which types of wheels are appropriate for the event
Easy – Easy, carrier, typically stroller-friendly, even ground
Easy events are usually mostly flat with very little elevation change. There are no steep hills or inclines with even footing and very little loose gravel, large rocks or roots that may cause unstable footing. Easy hikes/walks should try to stay under 3 miles to keep them accessible to all fitness/experience levels. By definition, easy events are typically all-access.
Moderate – Moderate difficulty, usually a trail, carrier, check for strollers
Moderate hikes or walks are moderate in distance and difficulty. They may have more inclines, hills or elevation changes, but should be manageable by anyone who is moderately active. Hikes under 3 miles may have several steep hills or inclines, more technical terrain like rocky or root-covered trail, loose gravel on inclines, narrow paths or steep, sudden drop-offs. Hikes 3+ miles should be considered moderate, even if they are flat or otherwise easy. Hiking poles might be recommended, depending on footing conditions.
Hard – Difficult, check for carrier/stroller, very rarely stroller-friendly
Hard hikes are more difficult. When we rate a trail hard, it should be because the trail has many inclines or steep hills; a long, steady climb; many steps or stairs; and roots, slippery rocks or other difficult terrain. Footing is usually very irregular, uneven or otherwise more unpredictable. Sturdy shoes with tread should be considered and hiking poles may be recommended. Hard hikes are usually between 4 and 7 miles (7 miles being the max for a HiB hike). Since these are longer hikes, more supplies may be needed, so that should be considered when deciding if you are ready to try a longer hike. Keep in mind that in labeling a trail “hard,” it should be done with the understanding that a new parent, a child or an elderly family member would be able to join the event. Hike it Baby is about having fun and getting into nature, and while we like a challenge, we want our hikes to be accessible.
While we recognize there are families out there who may want to go above and beyond the above descriptions, Hike it Baby hikes must not knowingly go above 7 miles. Hike it Baby hikes are focused on the shorter hikes that may be less technical and is more accessible to the majority of families. You are more than welcome to do a hike that is beyond our hard level on your own with your new HiB friends. Please set these hikes up separately from HiB (and your branch’s Facebook discussion page). Hikes added to the calendar above the hard level will be deleted; this includes hikes longer than 7 miles or those with a significant elevation gain in 3 miles or more.
All-Access – Supports alter-abled and elderly communities
Altitude – Want to climb? These hikes will have an uphill focus.
Bike – Bike-friendly hikes with a wheel focus
Fast-Paced Walk – Get your quick walk or hike on
Park & Play – Head to the park and hang out with friends
RSVP Hike – When you need to know a head count or want to put a cap on your group size
Special Event – Gathering of Hike it Baby friends at an establishment or a themed hike
Stroller – Hikes that are stroller-focused
Trail Hike – Dirt trails only with a traditional “hiking” feel
Urban Off-Road – Combination of crushed stone, dirt or trail in the city
Urban Stroll – Hiking city streets; pavement-focused
No wheels – Carrier only. Not stroller-friendly.
Any Wheels – Any stroller or wheeled device are welcomed on this trail.
All-Terrain – Make sure you have an all-terrain stroller or a walker/wheelchair with trail-friendly wheels.
Wandering – The group will move at a child’s pace and will be slow. Don’t expect much mileage.
Walking – If the group is a mix of child’s pace and fast-paced the group might decide to split on the trail to accommodate everyone. The group will decide the pace based on who shows up. This will usually be a slow speed but can it can be broken into two (or more) groups.
Adult-Paced – The group will be moving at a steady pace, which may or may not mean the group will be going fast. No little walkers, please; but walking kids who can keep an adult pace for the entire event are welcomed to join.