West Ottawa Hiking Club


Connor Purcell

Sr. Jared Wiseman stood amongst the whispering pines; creaks and moans traversed the woods with the aid of an afternoon breeze. This beat going home and exploring his phone for him any day. It was Wednesday, and that meant that it was the WO Hiking Club’s first day. Wiseman, the leader of the club, appeared very well prepared, as did the other students joining him for the launch at Riley Trails.

  This isn’t your normal club in comparison to the other 30+ at WO, but rather a chance to be one with nature. “When you’re hiking by yourself you learn a lot about yourself, and when you’re with others, you get to know them, their stories, and nature,” Wiseman said.

  “The response I got was that it was really fun, something they had never done, and they really enjoyed it. Not everybody can always come, so I have an open door policy,” Wiseman said. From hearing this response from those who attended, Wiseman came to know that people were experiencing what he had when he first began hiking last year. His primary goal is to connect those who do not have an outlet in life to be able to find one within nature and have them be indulged in all of the beauty that surrounds them; this is a disparate goal in comparison to the other clubs held at WO.  

  “…We are sometimes able to find new things and identify plants and mushrooms. It is all about being aware of the amazing sights in nature that we often miss out on when we stay inside,” Sr. Sarah Cremin said. Seeing the visual aspects of nature is what Cremin sought most when joining the club. “… it is really nice to have a laid back environment in which you can spend time with friends and learn new things about your surroundings. It is not a huge time commitment, and is absolutely worth attending,” Cremin said.

  The club has proven to give members the ability to spend more time with their friends and to better see their surroundings, and it won’t stop in doing the same for others. All a student has to do in order to experience what the WO Hiking Club has to offer is to talk to Wiseman; he would like everyone to try it out, experienced or not. The club meets at Riley Trails every Wednesday, 5pm-7pm.

  Contact Wiseman at [email protected]