#OptOutside with Unlikely Hikers!

Please RSVP on Facebook or comment here to let me know you’re coming!

#OptOutside with Unlikely Hikers Friday, November 24th! We’ll be meeting at lesser known Whitaker Ponds Nature Park in industrial northeast Portland. The park features a pond, a slough and a half mile loop trail.

Meet in the gazebo next to the parking lot at 10am!

This event is less about hiking and more about spending time in nature, identifying plant life, building community, acknowledging the history of the land we recreate on and also acknowledging what an amazing privilege it is to be able to access nature so easily in Portland.

Dress for rain! Bring snacks and water. This event is family friendly. Everyone can move at their own pace and not necessarily as a group. Most of the trail is very clear, wide and flat, but part of it has some roots jutting from the ground. Prepare for mud!


Everyone who wants to participate will receive a handout with various plant life found in the park. Snap a photo of what you find from the handout and upload to Instagram with the hashtags #UnlikelyHikers and #OptOutside. TWO winners will receive a $100 gift card to REI! (Further details and instructions given at meet-up.)

This event is sponsored by REI.


Hamilton Mountain

Location: near Stevenson, Washington. Couldn’t find original land name(s). Ancestral home to the Chinook and Multnomah Tribes

Photo blog! This was an exceptionally gorgeous fall day. Trail stats, info and more photos can be found here.

hamiltonmountain1 Continue reading “Hamilton Mountain”

Great Falls

Location: Great Falls National Park in McLean, Virginia. Ancestral home to the Patawomeck, Tutelo, Saponi, Shawnee, Ohio Valley tribes & likely more.

Level: moderate
Round trip/Gain: 4ish miles/less than 200 feet
Type: loop
Permit: $10 park fee

I just had to see Great Falls before I left town and I went literally hours before I was to fly back to Portland. I’d flown out that way for my first REI sponsored group hike. I’d seen the photos, but this place was STUNNING. So gorgeous, easy to get to and with options for many needs. Two of the best viewpoints of the falls (above) were wheelchair accessible.

I didn’t take a specific route, just sort of planned to hike and jog for a couple of hours. I started at the furthest parking lot past the visitor center, checked out the three viewpoints of the falls and then continued on the Patowmac Canal Trail to the River Trail. Then looped back on the the Matildaville Trail and Old Carriage Road to the visitor Center. I LOVED IT, but I’m so relieved I didn’t pick it for the group hike. While it was mostly flat, it was super rocky.

greatfalls2 Continue reading “Great Falls”

REI Co-Op Blog: Building Community Through Group Hiking

Hey I wrote something for the REI Co-Op Blog about group hiking. I hope you’ll read it. And maybe cast a lil tree-vote and/or comment Share!

Excerpt: Every group hike is a learning experience for me, even when it goes “perfectly.” Especially because I don’t lead your average group. In 2015, I created an Instagram community called Unlikely Hikers, which features those often left out of the common outdoors narrative. This includes people of color, people of size, queer, trans and gender nonbinary folks, those with differing physical abilities and people living with mental health issues. Almost immediately after its creation, people started asking how they could participate in group hikes with the Unlikely Hikers community. The thing was, I’d never actually been on one.


(sidenote: editing error. UH was started in 2016, not 2015)

Unlikely Hikers: Bay Area group hike!

Please RSVP on the Facebook invite. If you aren’t on fb, send me your e-mail address.

Unlikely Hikers creates safer, supportive outdoor community for people underrepresented in outdoors culture. We hike together as a group. No hiker left behind! Absolutely no diet or weight loss talk. Be mindful of group dynamics, microaggressions, cultural appropriation and different physical ability levels.
Bay Area Unlikely Hikers, let’s do this! I can’t wait to meet y’all!
We’ll be doing the Sequoia Bayview Trail at Joaquin Miller Park and possibly adding another arm to it. It will not exceed 5 miles or 600 feet in elevation gain.
TIME: 10am
Free to park, no passes needed.
Group hang-out after hike, 1pm-ish! Feel free to skip the hike and just come hang out afterward! REI will be providing a few snacks & beverages.
Please bring a water bottle and snacks for when on trail. Not sure what the weather will be like! We’ll check in about that closer to then.
This hike is #sponsored by REI!
For more hiking 101 and gear info and nerdery: https://jennybruso.com/gear-list-and-tips/


Queer Adventure Storytelling – November 8!

Queer Adventure Storytelling happens every second Wednesday of the month featuring stories of the outdoors, traveling, and beyond by queer, trans and gender non-conforming speakers. Let’s build a NEW outdoors narrative together!

RSVP on the FB invite or don’t, just come!
Lucky Labrador on N Killingsworth. 7pm. Free! All ages, but we can’t promise stories will be kid-friendly.

Our guests for November 8:

Emily Fisken, Christina Cabrales, Amie Freetly & Miché Lozano (bios below)
& your hosts! Continue reading “Queer Adventure Storytelling – November 8!”

Billy Goat Trail (Sections C & B)

Location: Potomac, Maryland. Originally known as Patawomeck. The ancestral home to the Patawomeck, Tutelo, Saponi, Shawnee, Ohio Valley tribes & likely more.

Level: moderate
Round trip/Gain: 6ish miles/200ish elevation gain
Type: loop
Permit: n/a

So, this was my first big out of town Unlikely Hikers meet-up & group hike. It was ultimately a great experience and I met a lot of incredible people. I didn’t take the best photos, as I’m wont to do on group hikes because I’m too busy paying attention to everyone’s movements, but C&O Canal National Historic Park was lovely. There’s a tow path that runs through the park so that you can make almost any trail into a loop. That’s what we did with Sections C & B. We started in section C, then connected to the tow path, did section B, looped back up to the tow path and connected again with C. There are great maps linked below.

I did A TON of research, crowd-sourced, etc., on this trail before picking it because I didn’t have the time to do it once before we all got together. While this trail was awesome and I would absolutely do it again, it was not right for the group hike.

So Many Rock Scrambles.

Continue reading “Billy Goat Trail (Sections C & B)”