Article Written by Sarah Penney
Are you an outdoorsy person? Are you looking to experience life al fresco with other likeminded members of the community? While enjoying the outdoors is definitely healthy for the mind and body, it’s much more fun in the company of others. The Halton region happens to be home to a world-renowned organization dedicated to connecting people who share a passion for outdoor pursuits.
Established 40 years ago, originally as a family-oriented cross-country ski club, the Halton Outdoor Club is a non-profit organization now boasting close to 800 members. Athletes from all over the GTA come together to enjoy sporting activities with other members at many events throughout the year.
There’s no reason to favour the sofa over sailing or snowboarding if you’re a member. There are seasonal day trips, evening events and weekend outings, including: skiing, snowboarding, cycling, paddling, and hiking. Any level of expertise is welcome. New members and beginners have access to different training courses to learn the foundation of their chosen sport. Safety is always a top priority during any event, and the club always advises and educates participants about injury prevention to minimize risk. All family members are welcome to participate at age appropriate events such as hiking or cycling with a parent.
This summer, cycling groups will be meeting every weekend and many evenings with excursions to local attractions such as Lowville, Prince Edward County and Toronto’s waterfront trails. There’s even an option to train for the annual end of summer club race in Findlay, Ohio. Kayaking is offered in daylong or weekend trips to Guelph, Hamilton and throughout the Halton region. There’s also a two-hour open paddle every Friday night in the summer at various locations between Hamilton and Port Credit followed by a relaxing social event. Paddling lessons for beginners will be held at Guelph Lake on June 15 and 16. Hiking is also organized on many summer evenings and weekends.
Membership is very affordable with a small fee of only $50 per person or $85 per family – and many of the organized daytrips are free. Since the club is run by volunteers, fees are put towards social media, website maintenance and distribution of bimonthly newsletters.
Has this club piqued your interest? Perhaps you’re apprehensive about dusting off your hiking shoes? They’ll make the decision even easier by providing prospective members with two free passes to any event. Since humans are essentially social creatures, it only makes sense that one of the big benefits of joining is the opportunity to expand your social network. Attempting (or perfecting) a sport with others is a great way to break out of a social rut while broadening your athletic horizons.
5 Reasons to Join
1 Have fun and enjoy sports with people with similar interests.
2 Keep fit and active throughout the year.
3 Take ski lessons or improve your cross-country and downhill skills.
4 Experience the great outdoors, skiing, snowshoeing, cycling, hiking or paddling.
5 Explore your local surroundings with daytrips, weekend or weeklong adventures.
5 Benefits of Membership
1 Gain helpful knowledge of equipment.
2 Take advantage of special member discounts.
3 Participate in skiing, cycling, hiking and paddling trips.
4 Learn to canoe or kayak.
5 Meet new people and make new friends.
The Halton Outdoor Club
3310 Palmer Drive, Burlington