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Central Ohio Group

About Outings

Outings are usually trips to the outdoors organized by the Central Ohio Sierra Club. Most hikes require a certain amount of physical fitness, but they are rated to help you decide (see the Outings Rating System, below). In order to participate in one of the Sierra Club's outings, you will be asked to sign a liability waver.

Q: Do I have to be a Sierra Club member to go on an outing?
A: Not at all. Outings are open to everyone. In fact, if you are interested in joining the Sierra club, we encourage you to go on an outing and get to know some Sierrans. We think you're likely to come back!

Q: How much do outings cost?
A: Outings are free of charge unless otherwise noted. We support energy conservation and carpooling wherever possible and appropriate.  Participants may voluntarily contribute gas money to the driver.

Q: Can I bring my dog?
A: Sorry, no. The general policy of Sierra Club is that dogs not be taken on hikes unless the write-up mentions that they may be included.

Q: What are Friday Night Hikes?
A: Friday Night Hikes are a great way to unwind from a hectic week, a respite from the hurry, and a transition to a more relaxed weekend. There are usually 3 to 4 miles of brisk walking with an optional stop afterward for refreshments and conversation. When days are long, most of our Friday Night Hikes are in area Metro Parks. When days are short, we hike in lovely area neighborhoods. But wherever they are, Friday night Hikes are always wonderful. So, have some fun, make some friends, and meet some new people--come on a Friday Night Hike! Please note, however, that heavy weather generally cancels a Friday Night Hike. If it looks questionable, check with the leader for that particular Friday.


Q: What is the Outings Rating System?

A: To aid you in selecting outings that fit your experience and fitness levels, outings are rated. Each outing is rated twice. Both scales are 1 to 5; the E scale indicates the required experience level and the S scale shows the physical activity level anticipated.

For example, Black Hand Gorge, Ratings: E/S 2/3 rates E at 2 (a little experience is required), and S at 3 (somewhat strenuous).

E Scale:
1. Novice - no experience required.
2. A little experience is required.
3. Moderate experience required.
4. Considerable experience required.
5. For the very experienced only.

S Scale:
1. Not strenuous.
2. Could be strenuous.
3. Somewhat strenuous.
4. Strenuous.
5. Very strenuous.

If you are interested in an outing but unsure if you can manage it, click on email address in the listing to express your concerns and request additional information.

Be advised that many Sunday hikes are 10 miles or longer and require proper equipment.  Here’s a list of what you should bring:

  1. Sturdy hiking boots or shoes.  Make sure your footwear is broken in before you attempt a 10-mile hike.
  2. Clothing appropriate to the season.  Layering works best in cold weather to prevent overheating.  Raingear is essential for comfort as hikes will proceed rain or shine.
  3. A small first aid kit with band aids or moleskin for blisters.
  4. At least one liter of water (two liters in warm weather).  Note that water is usually not available on the trail.
  5. Snacks or lunch if mentioned in the hike description.

Hike leaders reserve the right to deny participation to anyone deemed to be inadequately prepared.


For a current listing of upcoming Outings, see the Calendar.


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