Skip to main content

The 3 best Meetup groups for fall hiking in New England

Millions of internet users are familiar with Meetup, a website designed to help people create and join groups around any number of interests or activities. If you’re not already familiar, think of Meetup as a kind of social media platform, only for groups instead of individuals.

Generally speaking, hiking is one of the more popular pursuits among Meetup groups. This is a particularly good time of year for hiking enthusiasts, as we’re set to enter peak season for fall foliage.

Related Videos

One of the best ways to check out fall foliage? Hiking. One of the best places for fall foliage hiking? New England. One of the best ways to join a New England fall foliage hike? Meetup.

We found three Meetup groups that welcome new members and are well-established as hiking social hubs around the New England region.

Why is New England so great for fall foliage?

In the fall, because of shortening days and cooling temperatures, leaves stop making as much food and the chlorophyll inside the leaves breaks down. Chlorophyll gives summer foliage its rich green color. This allows the yellow, orange, and red pigments, all of which come from chemical changes that occur as the seasons change, to take center stage.

New England forests are great for fall foliage not just because they are large but because many of the tree species found in the region are broad-leaved, meaning they change colors in the autumn.

Each New England state is a little different. Vermont, for example, is known for its maple trees, while Maine is famous for its huge swaths of unbroken, primeval woodland.

Popular New England tree species that provide brilliant fall foliage include:

  • Maple
  • Sassafras
  • Black Gum
  • Dogwood
  • Beech
  • American hornbeam
  • Aspen
  • Sycamore
  • Black Walnut

Here are the three Meetup groups that organize and coordinate hikes and other outdoor events throughout New England, including during peak leaf-peeping season.

Hiking, Kayaking, and Social Activity Group of New England

Based in Manchester, New Hampshire, and with more than 4,300 members, this is a large group that, for leaf-peeping purposes, is in the middle of the action.

The group touts itself as a social group dedicated to hiking, camping, and backpacking across the mountains of the Northeast. Adults of all ages are welcome, though a moderate fitness level is recommended.

New England Over 40 Hiking Group

The New England Over 40 Hiking Group is based in Amesbury, Massachusetts and boasts nearly 8,500 members. Organizers describe it as a group “for hikers who haven’t given up on their overwhelming love of hiking in the mountains.”

Designed with a range of interests and fitness levels in mind, the group’s stated goal is to make hiking fun, no matter what stage of life you’re in.

The Boston Hiking Meetup Group

The Boston Hiking Group is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has more than 10,000 members.

The vast majority of events staged by this group are hikes, but they do organize other outdoor activities. There’s a wide array of trips that are possible, ranging from one mile to 30 miles and beyond. Treks along the local stretches of the Appalachian Trail are common. All are welcome to join the group from beginners to experts; locals to new transplants.

Fall foliage is one of the most beautiful sights in the Northern hemisphere and is the centerpiece of many an autumn trip or retreat. These three Meetup groups may be able to help if you’re in the area.

While there’s no hard-and-fast guarantee that any of these groups will accept or deny any potential new member, all appear to fit the bill for people looking to immerse themselves in everything the fall has to offer in New England.

It may be the best time of year to be a New Englander, and these groups are well-positioned to take full advantage.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

Editors' Recommendations

The best hiking gear under $55 that offers UV protection
Woman hiking through a meadow

There’s nothing quite like spending the day out in the sun, hiking and enjoying nature. But before you head out to the woods, it's important to ensure you have proper sun protection. It’s no surprise that spending too much time in the sun can cause irreparable damage to your skin; not only can the sun’s rays cause premature aging, but they can also lead to more serious medical problems like skin cancer. To protect yourself from the sun’s rays on your next hike, here are six great pieces of hiking gear and clothes with UV protection.
Patagonia Women's Seabrook Jacket
Patagonia built its brand by offering high-end, long-lasting gear and promoting environmental sustainability, but it wants to take care of its customers too. The Seabrook Jacket offers 50+ UPF protection. The material is super soft, moisture-wicking, and 89% recycled polyester. Plus, it’s Fair Trade Certified sewn! The Seabrook jacket comes in a stylish oyster white with a sleek and feminine shape. You can wear it as a outwear jacket for cool summer days or a mid-layer when it gets chilly on the trail.
Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
Having a great, high-SPF sunblock is essential for UV protection. Sun Bum is an all-natural, chemical-free version. The zinc-based sunscreen sits on top of the skin and blocks UVA and UVB rays. Sun Bum is also hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, and totally vegan. This sunblock should keep you protected for about two hours before you need to reapply, making it perfect for short day hikes.
REI Co-op Sahara T-Shirt
The REI Co-op Sahara T-Shirt provides UPF 30 sun protection, making it an ideal t-shirt for sunny hikes. It’s made of a fast-drying, moisture-wicking, and antimicrobial poly-spandex blend. The shirt is ultra-soft and stretchy, so it’s comfortable for longer hikes and backpacking trips. Plus, the tee has a stylish scoop neckline and comes in cute colors like heather blue, cedar, and sage gray.
Athleta Breeze Reversible Bucket Cap
Bucket hats are super on-trend, and this reversible one from Athleta is a great option. The rim of the cap helps keep the sun out of your eyes. And, the material is rated UPF 50+ for even more sun protection. The hat is also water-repellent, offering protection against light mists. You can choose between two sizes, S/M and M/L, and two reversible color combos, medieval violet/Palermo pink and ecru/tequila green. Customers say the Breeze Bucket Hat runs a bit small, so you may want to order a size up.
EyeBuyDirect Safari Round Dark Tortoise Sunglasses
Sunglasses are essential for bright-day hikes. All of the sunglasses from EyeBuyDirect offer UV protection, and those with tinted lenses have UV400 protection. The company also allows customers to add a prescription to their frame for an affordable price, so glasses-wearing hikers can enjoy the same sun protection as everyone else. The Safari frames are one of their best-selling options, thanks to the stylish shape and cute colors and patterns. You can also choose to add polarized coating, progressive lenses, a reading prescription, and more.
LL Bean Women's Vista Camp Shorts
These LL Bean camp shorts may be the perfect bottoms for outdoorsy women. They are super lightweight and comfortable while still being very durable. The Vista shorts are made of a nylon and spandex blend with UPF 50+ protection. The fabric is abrasion-resistant, moisture-wicking, and fast-drying. These shorts also feature a stretchy elastic waistband and a midrange inseam of six inches. The Vista Camp Shorts are available in six neutral colors and both regular and plus sizes.

From hats and sunglasses to shirts and shorts, this is the best hiking gear to protect your skin from the sun. With these pieces, you won’t have to worry about sunburns and other skin damage. Instead, you can just enjoy a beautiful day in nature.

Read more
4 fun virtual date ideas you probably haven’t tried
virtual date ideas unique crates

It can be hard to keep things fresh when dating through a computer screen. Poor WiFi, distracting backgrounds, and other tech troubles don't exactly favor the kinds of connections one hopes for when seeking romance, especially when it's a new or budding relationship.

But take heart (pun intended). There are ways to stay physically distant and emotionally intimate at the same time. Each of these virtual date ideas will keep you and your date fully engaged, whether you're still in the honeymoon phase or enjoying a long-term relationship. FaceTime and Zoom calls are great for catching up, but think outside the box next time you're planning a more memorable virtual date.

Read more
New to town? 3 ways to get involved in the community
Woman meeting her new neighbors

It takes a certain amount of bravery to move to a completely new area. Living somewhere new where you don’t know a lot of people can be stressful and even a little isolating. Luckily, with a little bit of time and energy, you can start to ingratiate yourself into your new community. By putting yourself out there, meeting your new neighbors, joining activities, and volunteering, you can get involved and start to feel more at home. Keep reading to learn how to get involved in community service, start new friendships, and make a real difference in the neighborhood.

Meet your neighbors
If you’re interested in becoming more involved in your community, start out by meeting your neighbors. It can be stressful to start a conversation with strangers, but, unfortunately, it’s vital to step out of your comfort zone, be vulnerable, and make friends. Be friendly and bring a small gift or card to kick off small talk with your new neighbors, and be sure to ask questions about the area and upcoming events or meetings. Consider offering to help out your neighbors and mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn, babysit for the new parents, or housesit when someone goes on vacation.

Read more