This Sunday, September 14, we were able to host the first Appalachian Trail Hike and Yoga event at the Kellogg Conservation Center. We welcomed the rays of sunshine after a chilly morning and rainy Saturday. This event was held in partnership with the organization She Jumps. She Jumps mission is to encourage women to get outdoors. They have an outdoor education, youth initiatives, and Get the Girls Out programming. Tracy Remelius of Tracy Remelius Yoga, based in Tyringham, MA (a town the A.T. crosses through) is a Regional Coordinator for She Jumps who agreed to help guide the hike with Silvia Cassano, Trail Management Assistant here for ATC in Southern New England.
Through Tracy's network, many hikers and yogis from the North Hampton/Amherst, MA area made it out to hike to Jug End vista on the A.T. and follow the hike with gentle restorative flow yoga on the KCC lawn. The Meetup Group "Berkshire County Hiking Group" also posted the event for us and we had one person attend from that group, and a few more express interest. Silvia posted fliers in the area and did numerous press releases and online calendar postings, but Tracy's following was the biggest supporter of this event. We had great turnout for a total of 12 participants, despite a few last minute cancelations. There was a waiting list of 11!
It'd be wonderful to do more of these in coming years, and keep the considerations of possible bad weather yoga space, different hike options close by, and how much sun hits the lawn/time of day in mind. Had we done this event on a Sunday in the middle of August, we would have had trail crew noise and full sun to contend with. With the ease of the terrain Trail North of the KCC, it could be fun to do some after-work yoga hikes sometime as well.
We will see how we can further develop this type of event and partnership. As we cannot charge fees for events on AT lands, participants were invited to donate if they so chose. It was a wonderful day, and we couldn't have had better weather. Thank you for all that came!