The Beauty of Hiking

By: Chloe Seletz, Communications Intern 

When I am asked what my dream vacation would be, it is always a no brainer. Anywhere I can go hiking. I spent a portion of my childhood living in San Francisco which is where I discovered the beauty of hiking. Every Sunday, my family and I took advantage of the amazing trails California has to offer. Even at a young age, I remember the feeling of getting to the top of a mountain and seeing such mesmerizing views.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel and hike in many different places. Some of my favorites include Israel, Australia, Costa Rica, and Tennessee. As I have grown older I have noticed hiking has many different aspects; it can simply be walking on a flat surface exploring the streets of a new town. Or it can be a more strenuous activity on mountains where you are really living life on the edge.

Unlike other outdoor activities hiking is accessible to anyone year round. Of course there are places that have more opportunities than others, but just going out for a short walk in a park can be beneficial.

Surprisingly enough, hiking can be a social activity. I have made some of my closest friends while being outside. Going on such excursions, I have met amazing people and even strengthened relationships that I already had. On long hikes, it is great to have someone to talk to or give you a helping hand.

When looking forward to a hike I think about the views, the atmosphere, the workout, and the people. However, the feeling of happiness is most prominent. I have noticed that every time I finish a hike, I feel satisfied and peaceful. I believe that any type of exercise outside is great for your mental health. If I am not in the best mood, taking a 15-minute walk helps me feel so much better. Hiking is a great way to clear your head and put things in perspective.

Having recently moved to Pittsburgh, I preach this philosophy to many people. While I have not hiked as many trails as I may have hoped, I have explored the city to its fullest. Moving to a new city was originally a challenge; however, I can honestly say that walking around Pittsburgh’s different neighborhoods has been the greatest welcoming gift. It has made me a more independent and happier person. I try to walk as often as I can, to see new sights and improve my physical and mental health.

If you haven’t explored the streets of Pittsburgh, now is your time to start. I moved to the city believing there weren’t any places to hike, but I was pleasantly proven wrong. I look forward to my daily walks by the river every morning and I am excited to continue discovering new trails.

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  • Getting to Know Our Staff: 15 Questions with… Karen Wood

    October 10, 2017

    There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes brain power that goes into planning your favorite programs, be it public, family-friendly, or custom outings. Learn about those who work inside so you can get outside.

    This week we’ll be interviewing Karen Wood, our shared Chief Financial Officer.

    Karen Wood 1. Briefly tell us about your background: where did you grow up, where did you go to school, and what brought you to Venture Outdoors?

    I grew up in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA. After college (at William & Mary in Williamsburg), I moved to Eugene, Oregon in the mid 80s where I started my first accounting job and became active in various environmental causes.

     » Read more about: Getting to Know Our Staff: 15 Questions with… Karen Wood  »

  • Women On the Water: My first adventure with Venture Outdoors

    October 3, 2017

    By: Grace Groeger, Communications Intern


    I decided to hit the ground running and just dove into any program with an opening my first week with Venture Outdoors. I started scrolling through the activities calendar and saw an opening for Women on the Water (WOW), and I thought to myself, that’s the one I’m doing. I couldn’t be more excited about signing up for my first program; my friends were sick of me already for bragging about how awesome my internship is only a week in.

    There I was bright and early down in Pittsburgh on the home opener for the Steelers trying to find parking.

     » Read more about: Women On the Water: My first adventure with Venture Outdoors  »

  • Put-in-Bay, An Island Getaway in your Back Yard

    September 26, 2017

    By: Jacob Tumminello

    Put-in-Bay is a small village located on South Bass Island just north of Sandusky, Ohio. The town was constructed in 1830 and originally named for only the bay in Lake Erie. Although the name may imply a man-made creation, the islands were naturally created by the geographic evolution of the earth. I had the privilege of exploring this strange little island getaway on a trip with my family and was surprised by how much there is to do in such a condensed place.

    Sunset Put In Bay

    After stepping off the ferry that took us from Sandusky to the island,

     » Read more about: Put-in-Bay, An Island Getaway in your Back Yard  »


    September 19, 2017

    Summer Tree ID

    By: Samantha Sektnan, Communications Intern

    Attending the “Summer Tree ID” program was a great way to start off being a part of the Venture Outdoors community. Taking an easy stroll in Frick Park as we learned tips and tricks to identify the trees around us was something I never imagined myself doing before joining this organization, but I am definitely glad I did it. As someone with literally had zero knowledge on how to identify trees, local ecologist Henry Schumacher – who led the trip – had a lot of work on his hands in order to teach me the basics..


  • Venturing Outdoors: How I Learned to Appreciate Nature by Working at Kayak Pittsburgh

    September 12, 2017

    By: Alexander Downing

    Since August 2014 I’ve worked as an attendant at Kayak Pittsburgh’s North Park location. This means I’m one of the smiling faces in the green shirts pushing boats into the water and handing out PFDs and paddles. It also means I get to look out on the beautiful North Park Lake for hours on end. As it turns out, that’s been the most memorable part of the job and the catalyst for a change in how I view nature.

    As a kid, the primary role nature played in my life was as the location for sports.

     » Read more about: Venturing Outdoors: How I Learned to Appreciate Nature by Working at Kayak Pittsburgh  »

Kayak Pittsburgh



Our North Shore and North Park locations are open weekends only in October.

Featured Outing

Romeo and Juliet Hike
Saturday, October 28
5:00 – 10:30 PM

Calling all theater lovers! Join us for an evening of two adventures! We’ll start with a hike through Oakland and a pizza dinner from 5pm -7pm followed by a production of Romeo and Juliet presented by Pittsburgh PICT Classic Theatre. Price includes the hike, dinner and show ticket.