Birds of a Feather Flock Together

by Sue Freeman

Birds of a feather may flock together, but so do people who enjoy outdoors activities. Joining an outdoor group can have many benefits. The group can lead you to places and experiences you wouldn’t find on your own, or might be too timid to try on your own. Venturing outdoors with others is certainly safer than going alone and you can learn skills from more experienced members. Car pooling saves on gas and provides shuttle capabilities. Plus there’s plain old camaraderie – it’s more fun to do things with like-minded folks.

Around Rochester there are plenty of outdoors adventure groups, each with a slightly different activity or geographic focus. It’s easy to find one suited to your preferences.

One of the largest and most active outdoors groups is the Genesee Valley Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club. They offer year-round day hikes and backpacking trips locally as well as in the Adirondack Mountains. In addition to hikers, skiers, and snowshoers, there’s a large number of paddlers in the group, and a very active younger members contingent. Explore their web site at, then plan to attend a free, educational and entertaining meeting at the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Eisenhart Auditorium, 657 East Ave., held the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM.

Another active multi-sport club is Huggers Ski and Bike Club ( Huggers is a social club that offers a variety of fun activities indoors as well as outdoors.

Hikers can join one of the area volunteer trail groups to help build and maintain trails, or just tag along on one of the many hikes they lead on area trails.
The Crescent Trail Association in Perinton (
Victor Hiking Trails (
Finger Lakes Trail Conference (
Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway (
Ontario Pathways in Canandaigua (
Friends of Webster Trails (

Many clubs have recreation as their main focus. For hiking, there’s:
Genesee Valley Hiking Club ( )
Wednesday Hikers, call (585) 582-2349
Women Out Walking, call (585) 425-7007

Orienteering is a sport that combines hiking (or running) with map and route finding skills. To give it a try, check out the Rochester Orienteering Club (

Winter activity groups include:
Monroe Y Ski Club (
Mosaic Outdoor Mountain Club, call (585) 251-2801
Nordic Ski Club (

Paddlers can find their flock at:
The Finger Lakes Ontario Watershed Paddlers Club (
As well as at the Adirondack Mountain Club and Huggers paddling groups.

Birdwatchers can choose among:
Burroughs Audubon Nature Club (
Genesee Ornithological Society (
Rochester Birding Association (

For bicyclists there’s:
Rochester Bicycling Club (
Genesee Valley Cycling Club ( for bike racing.
Victor Mountain Bike Club (
The Greater Rochester Eating & Tandem Society (

Of course, there are plenty of running clubs;
Greater Rochester Track Club (
Ovendoor Runners (
Genesee Valley Harriers (

Or, try combination sports with
Rochester Area Triathletes (

Who needs to join a gym when there are so many active clubs available? Check out their web sites, make your selection, then go outside and play with your flock.

HOME to Footprint Press