Hike Leader Policies of St. Paul Hiking Club

Approved by the Board of Directors on June 12, 2017

Leading a hike is a very rewarding experience! The club depends on its members to volunteer to

lead hikes, and encourages ALL members to do so. Contact the monthly schedulers (see the

membership roster) for some good ideas. The club wants to walk your favorite routes! If you

wish, find a partner and lead a hike together.

Before scheduling a hike, scout trails and/or drive street routes if unfamiliar to you, checking

access, safety, and condition. Determine parking and restroom availability. Estimate mileage,

rounding up if over .5 miles. Mileage can usually be determined online with a map service—

Google Maps or Mapquest. Plan adequate breaks.

Contact the monthly scheduler to schedule your hike. Send the scheduler your hike description.

The hike description should include directions to the starting point, including a postal address

and/or a street intersection if available, route information as needful or desired, restroom

availability, your phone number, and any plans for food and beverages after the hike.

Spring and fall are especially popular so submit your request early. Hikes must be scheduled in

time to appear in the previous month’s newsletter, the Trailblazer.

Before the hike, print a sign-up sheet from the club website (“Hike Sign-In Form” under

“Miscellaneous Pages”), or obtain a sign-in sheet from the Mailing Director. Have membership

application copies available for guests.

Arrive at the hike at least 20 minutes early in order to welcome new members and guests and

answer questions.

Introduce guests. Make sure that guests see the liability release printed on the sign-up sheet.

Carry a cell phone (or make sure someone has one) and know how to call for help in case of an


Before starting the hike, have all members and guests sign the sign-in sheet. Make sure that

names are written legibly so that mileage credit can be given.


Sunday 5-mile hikers have the option of walking 3 miles. Explain that anyone walking 3 miles

should put a circle around their number on the sign-up sheet. Make sure that at least one

person walking 3 miles knows the way back to the starting point and will not leave others


Start the hike at the scheduled time, but make sure that no additional hikers are in sight.

On the hike, although each member and guest is responsible for their own behavior and safety,

it is usually appropriate for all hikers to stay behind the leader. The leader may allow faster

walkers to go ahead as long as there is an understanding of when and how they will link up


Adjust your pace to give consideration to other hikers, particularly if obstacles or conditions

slow the group.

Use sidewalks or park trails and cross streets at marked crossings whenever possible. When

walking on a road make sure that everyone stays on the left, facing traffic. Alert hikers to

oncoming traffic (cars, bicycles, pedestrians) and have someone in the rear designated to alert

hikers of traffic approaching from behind.

At stops and turns at trail or street intersections, ensure that everyone is still in touch with the

group and knows the direction to be taken.

At the completion of the hike, forward the sign-in sheet to the Mileage Director.

As leader, you may reroute, shorten, or cancel a hike because of severe weather or a personal


If you become unavailable in advance to lead a hike you have scheduled, contact the monthly

scheduler for assistance (if necessary) in finding another member to substitute as leader.

Adverse weather: If at all possible, hike leaders are encouraged to show up in case any

members do, even if weather will make a hike impossible. Members are encouraged to be

aware of likely weather conditions.

Personal emergency: if a last-minute personal emergency makes it impossible for you to lead a

hike, if possible have someone available to answer phone calls at the number published in the

schedule and contact the monthly scheduler.

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