Merrell and Unlikely Hikers set up series of inclusive hikes

Unlikely Hikers x Merrell Are Hosting an Inclusive Hiking Series Across the U.S.

Here's how to join a hike near you.

It's no secret not everyone feels welcome in the outdoors. But one organization is championing more diversity and inclusion on hiking trails and has launched a series of inclusive hikes around the U.S., intended to bring people out onto trails who normally may not feel like they're fit enough, fast enough, or welcome among their typical local hiking community.

Unlikely Hikers is an anti-racist and body-liberating community that's fostered a huge community online via Instagram and via their podcast. They're running a series of inclusive hikes around the U.S., including a handful in the Midwest in partnership with Merrell.

The Unlikely Hikers series is meant to bring people of all identities and abilities out to local trails. These hikes are organized as a group and are slower-paced, averaging three miles with roughly 300 feet of elevation to ensure that no hiker gets left behind.

Hikes labeled as accessible are intended for people with physical and invisible disabilities, including those who experience chronic pain, use mobility devices, or can't move quickly for whatever reason.

All the events aren't about getting to the top as much as getting out there and connecting with fellow hikers; there's plenty of time to eat snacks and snag some photos of the scenic views, too.

This hiking series comes as an extension of Unlikely Hikers' partnership with Merrell to offer an extended range of hiking shoes, gear, and clothing—which are available in hard-to-find sizes, wide widths, and ungendered colorways. The collaboration brought about the Good Things Come to Those Who Hike Midwest Tour, a series of hikes taking place in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Cleveland (registration has been closed for these tours), as well as a special Queer Pride hike in western Massachusetts in June.

"It's more than the sweat, the terrain, and the views-the real magic of hiking is the joy with friends, the adventure, the shared experiences, silly stories along the way, and the moments that turn into memories," Elizabeth Czachorski, Merrell's brand marketing manager, told Wide Open Spaces.

Where Are Hikes Hosted?

Hikes take place nationwide. If you're looking to join a hike, you're in luck because registration is opening up. Here's some upcoming ones:

  • May 20 - Minneapolis, MN - (at capacity! Registration closed.)
  • May 21 - Minneapolis, MN - (at capacity! Registration closed.)
  • May 27 - Chicago, IL - (at capacity! Registration closed.)
  • May 28 - Cleveland, OH - (at capacity! Registration closed.)
  • June 11 - Hudson Valley, NY (registration opens May 19)
  • June 17 - Western Massachusetts (registration opens May 25)
  • June 18 - Boston, MA (registration opens May 25)
  • June 24 - Portland, OR (registration opens June 5)
  • June 25 - Portland, OR (registration opens June 5)

If you don't see a location near you, don't worry: Other hikes in various locations are in the works, including but not limited to Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Colorado, and California.

How to Sign Up

Group hikes fill up faster than you can say hotcakes, so the best way to secure your spot is by saving the registration dates in your calendar and signing up directly at You can also sign up for the monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) newsletter to keep a pulse on upcoming events.

Unlikely Hikers extends beyond a hiking group. It's an uplifting community that's working to break down barriers for historically underrepresented communities in the outdoor space. Whether you have felt welcomed or uncomfortable on previous hikes, Unlikely Hikers is here to spur your sense of adventure.

Now, who's ready to hit the trails?