Hiking Club hits the trails

Taylor Harrington, Staff Writer

There’s nothing better than hiking in this season’s beautiful weather to celebrate the last few weeks before winter.

On Sunday, Nov. 3, the Staples Hiking Club immersed themselves into the autumnal beauty of Devil’s Den in Redding.

“The weather was perfect. It was a cool fall day, so you didn’t have to worry about overheating, and the leaves were just changing colors and the skies were clear,” Nick Moro ’15, a member of the club, said.

With their drawstring bags appropriately stuffed with their favorite trail mix, fruit roll-ups, and beef jerky, the 10 members that were bundled up for the chilly November afternoon began the hike.

Clutching a tall wooden stick found in the overflowing dispersion of this year’s fallen leaves, Annie Gao ’16 hoped to appear as an experienced hiker, despite that this was the first club event she was attending. “Hiking sticks don’t really help you, they just look cool,” Gao laughed, abandoning the stick after a few minutes, claiming it was a burden to carry.

Taking pit stops along the trail, which were nearly lost in leaves, to rip off pieces of beef jerky to share, the club members enjoyed the views and documented the event through a series of Instagrams.

Reminiscing of when her family used to visit Devil’s Den when she was a child, Maddie Demeter ’15 said she joined the club because she “really enjoys hiking and it’s a great way to hangout and talk with your friends.”

While determining the route for further exploration, Kyle Baer ’15, the president of the club, mentioned how pleased he is with the success of the club’s first three hikes. With 120 members in the Facebook group and between 10 to 25 members attending the hikes, Baer notes there are more members this year than the Staples Hiking Club has had in the past.

“There used to be a hiking club at Staples, a few people tried to found it but it never really got it off the ground,” Baer said, thanking his club advisor, Nick Morgan and head of PR, August Densby, for spreading the word of the club through networking prior to club rush.

Eventually reaching Godfrey pond, the group climbed up a set of rocks, taking precaution of the many cracks between the slabs of stone. Zack Effman ’15, eager to get a reaction from his peers, was brave enough to crawl between a set of rocks, relying on there being an opening at the bottom.

“While Zack was just curious, that could have turned into a serious situation quickly,” Moro said, concerned Effman would be unable to get out. “But, that’s what hiking is about really, going out and being adventurous.”

The trail led the hikers back to their starting point. Given the option to climb steeper rocks, a couple experienced members headed back to the trail, but many of them slipped into their cars to warm up their hands as quickly as they could.

“Connecticut has great hiking and the Staples Hiking Club hopes to take advantage of it,” said Baer, promoting the club as he ventured back towards the trail. He hopes more members will join the Facebook group and attend the hikes every other week, especially before the trees are bare.

Interested members can message Kyle Baer on Facebook for information on becoming part of the club.