If you have a love for dirt on your shoes, crinkled maps in your pockets, and facing the wild, then we may have found your haven! (This is assuming, of course, that all these attributes are because you are enjoying the outdoors and not, let’s say, a hobo map hoarder). The Charleston Hiking, Travel, and Adventure Club has done everything from swimming with manatees to moonlit walks on the beach.
David Loveland is the current leader of the group, founded in 2009, that focuses on seeking to explore the world and having a group to share the experience with.“The best part is meeting people who share a love of the outdoors, the natural world, and exploring new places,” Loveland said about the club. He shared the club’s philosophy with me and I’m pretty sure I want this engraved on my ceiling so I can stare at it every night and wake up feeling like an Empowered Huntress (did I mention my application with the club is still pending? I have no idea why.).
We are a group of people who like having new adventures and exploring the world around us. Throughout the year, we host a number of events: locally, throughout the state, around the country, and overseas that we hope will inspire you to get out and experience the beauty of the natural environment. Our goal is for everyone to have a good time, form new friendships, learn new things, and maybe knock a few activities or places off your bucket list of things to do and see.
Seriously, I read this twice over and looked down and saw I was holding a compass in one hand and a walking stick in the other. And then my neighbor yelled at me for breaking into his apartment again.
Loveland went on to explain some of the past adventures the club had experienced together. “In the last few years we have taken people to see Venus Flytraps in the wild just outside Myrtle Beach, experience the synchronous Fireflies in the Smokies..., bike halfway to Hell and Back, and celebrate National Ice Cream and National Guacamole Day.”
The club plans multiple events in the Charleston area, but for those who are seeking adventure beyond the Palmetto state’s borders, there are out of the country travels the club plans each year.
“For some of our bucket list adventures out west, we are working our way down the list of best hikes in America: to date we've taken a group to hike the John Muir Trail in CA, the Teton Crest Trail in WY, explored the best of Southern Utah, and took a group on a trip titled ‘History, Hiking, and Art in the American Southwest,” Loveland said. “Our international trips have included the Galapagos, Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, and Tuscany. Next up is New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Kayaking with killer whales in Vancouver, and Fiji.”
I don’t understand. I just looked down again and had a packed duffle bag and a passport. And now my neighbor is yelling something about calling the police.
These exciting adventures sound so amazing, but may seem intimidating to those of us who consider ourselves more novices when it comes to enjoying the outdoors. But no worries, Loveland assures that anyone is capable of participating in the club.
“If someone has enough energy to get off the couch, they will usually find something in our schedule of events that suits their needs and level of athleticism, whether it be one of our monthly socials, or a local walk or bike ride, or something farther afield,” Loveland said.
Membership for the Charleston Hiking, Travel, and Adventure Club is open to anyone. The yearly membership fee is $5 to cover costs.
You can see a list of events on their website and apply at https://www.meetup.com/charlestonhc/
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Great Walks on the South Island of New Zealand
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Bike Halfway to Hell and Back
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Full Moon Night Hike on the Bridge
Friday, December 22, 2017
Everglades Kayak Camping Tour
Saturday, March 30, 2019
In the Footsteps of the Anasazi Indians in Southern Utah
Saturday, June 1, 2019
Bula from Fiji