Ajijic Hiking Group History
Gerry Green, an avid hiker originally from the Ottawa, Canada area began exploring the local mountains above Lake Chapala in the late 1990’s and is widely credited as the founder of the Ajijic Hiking Group. His enthusiasm and desire to share his knowledge of the many trails weaving throughout the mountains led him to lead interested hikers into the mountains.
For many years, from the fall until the spring, Gerry would show up at Dona’s, on the Carretera in Ajijic, early on Tuesday mornings. By 9 a.m. a group of hikers would assemble and decide where to explore that day. Generally, there were hikers of varying abilities. Gerry would lead the novice hikers on shorter routes with less elevation gain, while the more advanced hikers would head off on their own to explore more challenging routes.
In addition to leading the hikes for many years, Gerry compiled the various routes he had mapped out into a pocket guide called “Hikes and Trails Around Ajijic”, which was printed and distributed in 2005. An updated version followed in 2008, including GPS waypoints.These guides enabled hikers to explore further on their own, with less fear of getting lost. Today there is typically a minimum of three different levels of hikes on Tuesdays- Beginner, Intermediate and, advanced- with a leader for each group.
In the early days, there were a few female hikers in the group. However, some felt that an option to “stop and smell the roses” while enjoying the outdoors and each others company, might be preferable. Thus, a small female group formed in the Fall of 2005, with Friday hikes, leaving the option open to continue with Tuesday hikes. The female hikes started out on trails like the mixed novice hikes, but at a more relaxed pace. They gradually explored further into the mountains, and one day found themselves challenging the Three Crosses trail, returning via the Sky Race down trail. In order to not discourage female hikers with a lower level of fitness and strength, the hikes varied weekly from a couple of hours to several hours.
Occasionally, a spouse joined in, and in 2007 it evolved to become a mixed group. In more recent years, it has mirrored the format of the Tuesday hikes to accommodate all levels of hiking ability.
Stop and smell the roses.
To provide hiking and related activities at various levels for its members. To promote the creation and maintenance of hiking trails in Ajijic and the lakeside area. To increase awareness of and instill respect for the local ecology, environment, people and culture. To recruit and educate tomorrow’s leaders, advocates, and volunteers.