STLRC – Group Hikes

General Information

Read first:    Fall Informational Letter on Hiking

Group hikes are generally scheduled for mornings from November through March, but any member can lead a hike any time of the year. Hikes are generally on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Sundays.  However, anyone can lead hikes on other days.  We generally begin our hikes at 9:30 am or 10:00 am but this is totally up to the hike leader.

Starting points vary all around the St. Louis area. They are in St. Louis County, St. Louis City, St. Charles County, and in the Illinois counties across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

Details of our past hikes and directions to the starting locations can be found in HIKES in our cue sheet library.  Additional hikes that interest you are welcomed.

Hike leaders take temperatures, wind, and trail conditions into consideration when choosing a hike.

With a few exceptions either way, group hikes are between about 3 and 8 miles in length.

Although there can be fewer or more, STLRC group hikes typically have between 3 and 12 hikers.

We make every effort to be safe and to keep everyone on our hikes safe, but we all have to realize there is a possibility of a mishap when hiking.

Since our hikes are covered by club insurance, it is the responsibility of each hiker to make sure their name is marked on the hike sign-in sheet, which the leader has, in case an accident must be reported.

Who Hikes On Our Hikes 

St. Louis Recreational Cyclist members and first-time guests.  (Non-members must join by their second ride by paying dues and completing a membership form.)

Novice or experienced hikers who are in sufficient physical condition to hike the specific hike they are attending. (Contact the hike leader if you have concerns about the difficulty of the hike.)

Hikers who desire to meet other hikers with similar hiking experiences.

Hikers who prefer to hike low or moderate mileage routes at a leisurely or moderate pace. (Examples of easy hikes are Simpson Lake and Creve Coeur Lake.)

Hikers who are more experienced and physically fit and desire to hike routes with more miles, at a faster pace, and sometimes over more hilly terrain. (More challenging hikes include Babler State Park, Shaw’s Nature Reserve and the Salt Lick Trail.)

Your First Hike 

Be conservative. Choose a hike easier and shorter than you think you can ultimately handle.

You will not enjoy struggling to keep up with a hike that is too fast for you nor will the group enjoy waiting for you.

It is a good idea to contact the hike leader ahead of time on your first hike and to introduce yourself when signing in at the start of the hike.

Hiking Difficulty Levels

Hikes are rated Easy, Moderate and Difficult.

Hikes are rated paved and unpaved.

Hikes are rated mostly hilly and mostly flat.

Weather Policy

Check this website shortly before the hike to make sure the start time has not been modified or it has not been canceled because of weather or another reason. A scheduled hike may be canceled at the discretion of the hike leader if the temperature, at the start time, is excessively cold, if the anticipated temperature is excessive, if it is raining or snowing, or if there is a high chance of precipitation at the start of the hike,

Unless otherwise stated in the information regarding the respective specific hike, all group hikes are weather permitting.

Hiker’s Responsibilities and Equipment

  • Hikers should arrive at least 15 minutes before the hike is to begin.
  • Each hiker participating in a group hike is expected to be self-sufficient and bring appropriate equipment for the hike.
  • Poles are recommended for hilly hikes.  Hiking boots or trail shoes are also recommended.  We suggest that hikers bring water and a snack.  Always dress for the weather.
  • Each hiker should carry the following personal emergency identification information either on themselves or on their bicycle:  Photo ID (Driver’s License or State ID) and Health Insurance card along with Emergency contact name & phone number.
  • Carrying a cell phone is recommended in case you become separated from the group.
  • Hikers should strive to help one another on the hike by signaling and announcing any hazards for other others such as slippery conditions, holes, roots, rocks, and loose gravel.
  • While hiking, hikers should not use headphones, ear buds, or talk on their cell phones.
  • And most importantly — hikers should have a great time and enjoy themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are our group hike leaders?

We are totally dependent on our members to help share the load by leading a hike. The more hikes we have to choose from, the more opportunities for everyone. Please contact us at Hikes@stlrc.org to find out how to become a hike leader. Also, refer to the Leader section below for more information.

What do the listed start times on the schedule really mean?

Hikes leave at the scheduled time listed on the ride description. Please arrive early enough to adjust your gear, suit up, visit a restroom, and receive hike information, if any, from the hike leader. End times are approximate.

What happens in the event of inclement weather?

The hike leader may cancel a hike because of rain, lightening or extreme temperatures. Watch the website Calendar. See the Weather Policy for more details. A hike leader is expected to show up for the scheduled ride unless it is canceled and posted as such on this website.

Can I bring a dog on hikes?

Dogs are allowed on most group hikes. Some venues such as Babler State Park do not allow animals. If bringing dogs is not mentioned in the hike description, contact the particular venue for park rules.  Dogs must be kept on a leash out of respect for fellow hikers and other animals.

 

STLRC – Be a Leader and Plan a Hike

Planning a Hike:

Become a Hike Leader!

The first step to planning a hike is to become a member of STLRC. All members are more than welcome to plan a hike for the organization.

If this is your first time planning a hike, please contact hikes@stlrc.org stating that you want to become a Hike Leader. You will be provided information necessary to plan your hike as soon as possible.

Planning a Hike–Hike Ideas

Choose a hike you are familiar with from our “Hike Descriptions”, or make up your own hike. If you create your own hike different than hikes in our library, you may contact hikes@stlrc.org for advice in providing a description and directions. The new hike description and venue will then be added to our library. The following information is found in the CUE SHEET LIBRARY under HIKES.

Consider when Planning:

  • Consider temperatures, trail conditions and weather when selecting your hike.
  • Plan for rest stops for water, snacks and restrooms breaks, and pauses for slower hikers to catch up.
  • Inform yourself of any regulations for the area the hike is planned at. (hours, dogs, restrooms, open or closed at start of hike, construction, etc.).
  • Ensure the starting point has ample parking and is accessible to the public.
  • If thehike begins on private property, ask permission before proceeding with the hike.
  • Accurately classify and promote your hike with the proper skill level and categories. EASY, MODERATE, DIFFICULT;  Hilly, Flat;  Paved, Unpaved;  Length of Hike;  Possible options to shorten or lengthen the hike.
  • Learn how to use WordPress to post your hike. We would be happy to give you any training you need. If you prefer to have someone post your hike, contact hikes@stlrc.org for help.
  • If you ever need to cancel a hike, please type CANCELED next to the posting of your hike title on the calendar. No need to put the reason. Contact the person who posted the hike for if you did not post the hike yourself.

POSTING A HIKE

For insurance purposes, all STLRC Club Hikes must be posted on our Ride/Hike Calendar as proof that the hike took place under our organization. All rides should be posted at least 24 hours before the event begins.  Please contact hikers@stlrc.org to inform the coordinator about your hike and the date so there won’t be any overlaps in hikes.

Items needed for a Hike posting

Starting Location:

Meeting time: add meeting time here

Time of Departure:

Description:

Directions:

  • (List in steps here, using bullet points)

Experience Level: add codes here EASY, MODERATE, or DIFFICULT or a combination

Stops:

  • (List food/rest/restroom stops here, including where they are located)

Hazards: (if none, feel free to delete this line)

Other:

Hike Leader: Name and Cell Phone Number

TO POST (EDIT, AND CANCEL) A HIKE IN WORDPRESS:

  1. Get a username and password from rides@stlrc.org (link) (both are case sensitive).
  2. Login http://stlrc.org/wp-admin. WordPress works best in Google Chrome.
  3. On the far left of your screen is a black sidebar with an Events link. Select it. Then select Events/Add New.   A New Event Window will appear.
  4. ADD THE TITLE for your hike in the top bar?. Ex. Don Robinson Park HIKE, using the word HIKE after the title.  Keep the title as brief as possible.  You can be more detailed in the description area.
  5. Go to the top of the screen Click + and enter stlrc.org. After our website opens go to “Hiking Descriptions  by clicking Plan a Ride, Cue sheet library, Hikes, Hiking Descriptions.
  6. Highlight the information for your hike. Copy (CTRL+C)
  7. Look at the top bar of your screen.  There are now two tabs. “Add New Event STLRC WordPress” on the left and stlrc.org next to it.  Click Add “New Event STLRC WordPress”.  It will take you back to your new event.
  8. Click in the blank box. Paste your hike information. (CTRL+V).  (If you are leading a hike that is not in our library, use one of our hike descriptions as a guide for your hike.  Contact hikes@stlrc.org for any needed assistance.
  9. Add, Edit and Delete any information from this description as needed.  Ex. Add the start time, Omit unneeded topics such as Hazards:  Try to include the approximate mileage of your hike in the Description area.
  10. Scroll down to Time and Date in the Events Calendar. Press and select the Time and Date boxes  and select your date, start time and approximate end time.
  11. Scroll down to Location and select your venue. (Contact hikes@stlrc.org to add any additional venues for new hikes.)
  12. Scroll down to Organizer and select your name. (Add your name if it hasn’t been entered.
  13. Scroll to the top of the screen and click PUBLISH.
  14. TO LOG OUT, look at the top right corner. Find Howdy and put the cursor over your name.   Select Log Out from the options..  DO NOT simply click the X to leave WORDPRESS.

TO EDIT YOUR HIKE:

  1. Open WORDPRESS (see above).
  2. Click EVENTS.
  3. Find your hike and click edit. OR Click mine in blue and you will only see the hikes you have personally posted.
  4. Change whatever needs editing.
  5. Go to the top of the screen and click
  6. Log out as before.

 

Hike Leader Documents to bring with you to each hike

Below are a set of documents that all hike leaders must always bring to your hike. You must print and bring a copy of both the Member Sign-In Sheet, the Waiver for Non-Members, and a few Membership forms to each ride that you are the leader of. It is advised to also download the incident report form as to have that information handy if you ever need it.  Any new members given a form, should send in their own form and fees.  This is not the responsibility of the leader.

SIGN-IN SHEET

NON-MEMBER WAIVER

MEMBER APPLICATION

INCIDENT REPORT FORM

 

Before the Hike

  • Welcome everyone upon arriving at the starting location, introducing new members, and. Take attendance and go over the details of the hike
  • Make sure participants check that their name is checked off on a printed copy of on the STLRC sign in sheet. (Members are those who are covered by STLRC’s insurance, and all member names are listed on the members sign-in sheet.)
  • Have all newcomers write in their name and cell phone on the Guests portion of the sheet and sign the non-member waiver
  • Hikers who are not present at the start of the hike should have their name marked as present if the circumstances are discussed beforehand and are approved by you as the hike leader.
  • State that each hiker bears full responsibility of his or her own safety.
  • State that all hikers should strive to watch out and help one another.

During the Hike

  • Inform hikers that they should announce trail hazards since the leader cannot be everywhere at once.
  • Hikers should strive to help one another on the hike.
  • Hikers should not use headphones or cell phones will hiking.
  • And most importantly, hikers should have a great time and enjoy themselves. On the hike!

After the Hike

Take a picture of the sign in sheet (don’t forget to add your signature) and send it to both the statistician and to the web manager.  If you do not know who they are contact hikes@stlrc.org for that information.

We appreciate you leading a hike for our Club.