Founded in 1919 by Esther McCarty and Edna Wooley, the Cleveland Hiking Club (originally the Cleveland Hiker’s Club) was modeled after a group in Baltimore that Esther had run into. The original premise was simply to organize a local walking group. With the introduction of a clubhouse in 1939, the group began to grow slowly but surely into a full social club. Today, members take part in potlucks, speaking events, and cookouts, and keep in touch with a monthly newsletter and club directory.The focus of the group, of course, is still the hikes themselves. With over 225 hikes every month (most over 5 miles), there’s plenty of opportunity for members to carry on the legacy of McCarty and Wooley. Longer hikes are held regularly as well, along with annual events like the President’s Hike, the Chili Dog Hike, the Bird Hike, the Frozen Waterfall Hike, and more.There are currently over 900 members between the ages of 18 and retirement. Unless a hike on the online schedule is marked “members only” or requiring an entry fee, all hikes are free and open to everybody. Pick a “leisure” or “moderate” hike to start off with, and be sure to show up on time, as this group doesn’t waste any time (on hikes marked “brisk,” that extends to the hikes themselves). With hikes every day in both East and West Cleveland, there’s no excuse for not checking out the club if you’re interested.Membership in the club is open to new visitors after they’ve attended six hikes. Attendance is monitored by cards filled out at the end of each hike. Members not only have the opportunity to participate in the private hikes, but also are invited to the annual parties, birthday celebrations, after-hike dinners, and other special activities.