The Woodlands Hiking Club is one of the oldest social organizations in The Woodlands, established in 1983 by employees of the Mitchell Energy Corp. Today, the group is comprised of about 60 hikers who participate in local hikes as well as monthly weekend camping trips.
Sherry Trimble is the longest standing member of The Woodlands Hiking Club. She remembers being asked to join 28 years ago.
"I worked at Mitchell Energy in The Woodlands, and in 1981 [club organizers] had posted a notice in the main building that there would be a hiking club," Trimble said.
Trimble worked with Cliff Rowe, who was the president of WHC at the time she joined. Rowe's hobby was photography, and he was also a photographer for Mitchell Energy.
"We took a lot of pictures in the beginning," Trimble said. "We still do."
The club has traveled to Yellowstone National Park, the Smoky Mountains, Inks Lake State Park, Galveston Island State Park and Lost Maples State Natural Area. The club's next trip is scheduled for June to South Fork, Colorado. In addition, the group also travels to Huntsville State Park, Jessie H. Jones Park and Cypress Creek Park.
The group's members range in age from 50 to 70.
"We are a little bit older," Trimble said. "Some are younger, and a few are in their 40s."
Trimble said a club member hosts each weekend trip. The host plans the trip, makes reservations and plans the meals. The group has dinner at a restaurant on Friday nights, and on Saturdays they have community meals.
Nancy Olson has been in The Woodlands Hiking Club for five years. She now serves as club president. Olson said the group sees about two to three new faces at each meeting, and they average about eight to 10 new members a year.
The club encourages new members to accompany the group on a day hike or a weekend trip before deciding whether or not to join. The group collects an annual contribution of $20 per person and $35 per couple. The club meets monthly on the first Wednesday of the month, but does not meet in July, August or December.
"We are very welcoming, and we are a friendly group," Olson said.
Out of area hikes
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Glacier National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
Big Bend National Park
Guadalupe National Park
Copper Canyon, Mexico
Yellowstone National Park
Smoky Mountains National Park
Inks Lake State Park
Galveston Island State Park
Lost Maples State Natural Area
Huntsville State Park
Jessie Jones Park
Cypress Creek Park
Dennis Johnston Park (Spring Creek Greenway)
Urban walk in downtown Houston
Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center
1300 Riley Fuzzell Road Spring