Hike it Baby helps families get back to nature

Dawn J. Sagert
York Dispatch


A national organization started to encourage young families to get outside now has local branches.

"Hike it Baby encourages families to get out in nature," said Hike it Baby Hanover-York ambassador Sara Strayer, of Manchester Township.

For a membership fee of $10 per family per year, families have access to group hikes offered with any of the 330 Hike it Baby branches across the country.

"I found all of my and my son's best friends through Hike it Baby," said Hike it Baby Gettysburg ambassador Missy Ludwig, of New Oxford.

"Growing up, I wasn't too big into nature. I spent a lot of time inside — especially when first having my son," Ludwig said. "Probably for the first year I didn't leave the house without my husband, but this has allowed me to leave the house by myself and find something to do where (my son) loves playing with his friends and enjoying being outside."


With local branches in York-Hanover, Gettysburg, Lancaster and Harrisburg, hikes as well as other group activities are happening regularly, year-round. The nonprofit organization began in 2013 and offers a 90-day free trial for families to check it out. 

"It was nice to have people I could get together with," said member Genesis Shade, of Spring Grove. "It really helps you meet people and you feel safe going out because you're in a group. I'm just glad to be outdoors again."

The hikes are rated by difficulty, categories, whether wheels are approved and the pace that will be set, according to the organization's website. Hikes are no more than 5 miles, with many shorter walks available, and frequent breaks are encouraged, the website said.

For more information, go to www.hikeitbaby.com.