Inclusivity Outdoors: Resources for Building a More Mindful & Inclusive Outdoor Community

OptOutside Inclusivity Hike with the 52 Hike Challenge
This blog post is sponsored by REI

Here at the 52 Hike Challenge, we are gifted with a diverse community of hikers (like you!) that come from many different cultures and backgrounds. You are so important to our mission to create a mindful and inclusive space for all.

In our ongoing efforts to make the outdoors more accessible to everyone, we compiled a list of resources to help you join the movement.

Before we deep dive into the many amazing resources available to you, we’d like to share a bit about what we are doing to ensure our community remains inclusive.

Building an Inclusive Outdoors at the 52 Hike Challenge:

This year we…

  • Hosted five #OptOutside inclusivity hikes in partnership with REI.
  • Launched our #Over50Outside program in partnership with Outdoor Research, Osprey, Oboz Footwear and Outdoor CEO Pledge.
  • Met with our new friends at Living Heritage Research Council to better understand land acknowledgement and how to amplify the voices of indigenous peoples.
  • Connected with many BIPOC and LGBTQ+ groups and individuals and spotlighted them in blogs and social media so you can connect with them as well.

We are looking forward to continuing these efforts and more!

Now let’s explore resources that will help you recreate responsibly and inclusively.

Scenes for the 52 Hike Challenge OptOutside inclusivity hike

Inclusivity Resources for Hikers & Outdoor Enthusiasts

Recreate Responsibly

We have been closely connected with Recreate Responsibly since their inception, and we love how they are empowering the outdoors industry to take steps towards more inclusive recreation.

On the Recreate Responsibly website, there is an entire page dedicated to “building an inclusive outdoors & confronting inequity.”

On the page you will find:

  • Accessibility resources: how to make the outdoors inclusive for disabled hikers
  • Racism in the outdoors resources: how to be an ally in outdoor spaces
  • And much more

We encourage you to explore the Recreate Responsibly website and stay up to date on the Recreate Responsibly guidelines outlined below.

Recreate Responsibly Guidelines

Living Heritage Research Council (LHRC)

LHRC, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, collaborates with Indigenous and local communities to preserve, interpret, and celebrate heritage places.” - LivingHeritage.net

We sat down with Anna Cordova and Jessica Yaquinto from Living Heritage Research Council (LHRC) for a conversation centered around inclusivity, land acknowledgement and how to amplify the voices of indigenous peoples. 

Here’s what we learned:

  • Native American culture is very much alive today.
  • Land acknowledgement goes beyond tagging indigenous tribes in your posts.
  • We need to amplify native voices instead of speaking for them.
  • You can learn about indigenous peoples by visiting cultural centers or tribal museums.
  • You can support native peoples by hiring indigenous-led adventure companies.
  • Further your learning by reading books by native tribes and visiting their websites.
The importance of land acknowledgement

Outdoors Empowered Network

Outdoors Empowered Network is a national network of community-led, youth-centered outdoor education groups that are dedicated to increasing access and diversity in the outdoors through gear libraries and outdoor leadership training.” - Outdoors Empowered Network (OEN)

The Outdoors Empowered Network is an organization that serves youth in low-income cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, Chicago and more.

By collaborating with other inclusive organizations of its kind, OEN has been able to help tens of thousands of young people gain access to the outdoors.

View the Outdoors Empowered Network website to find out how you can learn more and get involved now.

Inclusivity Hike with Youth

Disabled Hikers

This impactful project was developed by disabled hikers, for disabled hikers. 

The vision at Disabled Hikers is to create “an outdoors culture transformed by fair representation, accessibility, and justice for disabled and all other marginalized outdoors people.”

On their website, you will find in-depth descriptions of various hiking trails around the country, including whether they are wheelchair accessible.

In addition, Disabled Hikers has a page on their website that explains how to make your digital content accessible to outdoor enthusiasts who are hard of hearing or visually impaired. We certainly benefited from reviewing this content, and we recommend you do the same.

Diversify Outdoors

Diversify Outdoors is “a coalition of digital influencers, entrepreneurs and affinity groups promoting diversity in outdoor recreation and conservation.”

This movement brings countless inclusive organizations together to create a powerhouse for change. From BIPOC to LGBTQ+, affiliated organizations include:

  • Outdoor Asian
  • Natives Outdoors
  • Latinx Hikers
  • Pride Outside
  • Unlikely Hikers
  • Native Women’s Wilderness
  • Queer Nature
  • And many more

One of our favorite initiatives from this organization is their extensive Diversify Outdoors Job Board that highlights businesses in the outdoor industry who want to diversify their workforce.

We encourage you to explore the Diversify Outdoors website and connect with all of the organizations they work with.

Native Land

Native-Land.ca is a resource you can use to find out whose land you are recreating on — whether you’re hiking near home or on a faraway adventure.

Explore this tool by visiting Native-Land.ca and enter your location. The immersive map will show you which indigenous nations own the land.

Native Land Interactive Map

More Resources + Inclusive Organizations for You to Connect With

There are so many incredible inclusive organizations out there, and we invite you to connect with all of them. 

Check out these 52 Hike Challenge blogs that spotlight BIPOC and LGBTQ+ hikers and organizations who inspire us:

Sign Up for the 52 Hike Challenge

The 52 Hike Challenge is an inclusive community of hikers of all colors, backgrounds, ages, genders, and sexual identities, and we would love to have YOU join our community!

SIGN UP FOR THE 52 HIKE CHALLENGE NOW


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