Join the Pack: Great Indy Hiking and Biking Groups

Sprained ankles. Snake bites. Spotty cell reception. For these reasons and more, it’s always best to pick or wheel your way through the wild with a buddy. Here are a few local groups to consider.

1014-hikelogoThe Indianapolis Hiking Club

Founded in 1957, this 580-member group organizes more than 2,000 hikes annually around the state and beyond (including a 2015 weeklong trip to the Rio Grande). $10 new-member fee; $20 annual dues.
Hoosier Backpackers
Hikes with this more-informal crowd include Deam Wilderness this month and Big South Fork, along the Tennessee-Kentucky border, in November. Free. To join the mailing list, contact David Culp, 317-253-3498.
The Indianapolis Hiking Meetup Group
A loosely organized collection of about 1,800 hikers have the opportunity to commune with nature and each other at spots such as Shades State Park and Red River Gorge. $5 annual dues.
Hoosier Hikers Council
Volunteers and members build, maintain, and promote trails across the state, and the HHC website includes for-sale maps and invaluable tips for stretches like the popular Monroe-to-Brown County Tecumseh Trail and their newly built Eagle’s Crest Nature Preserve, which overlooks Eagle Creek reservoir. $25 annual dues. 855-812-4453,

1014-bikelogoHoosier Mountain Bike Association

HMBA maintains more than 120 miles of the state’s narrow singletrack trails, and it’s also a great place to meet other fanatics at events like the Hoosier Outdoor Experience. $30 annual dues.
Central Indiana Bicycling Association
Although it’s primarily a road-riding club, many CIBA members like to get dirty on the trail every now and then. $25 annual dues.
IndyCog advocates for bicycle safety in Indianapolis, and also takes part in events like the Thirsty Thursday Urban Ride, a trail-cruising, barhopping good time. The route changes nearly every week. $35 annual dues. 317-663-3423,
Sub-9 Productions
Jonathan and Tania Juillerat put on some of the best biking events in the region, including the annual Midwest Women’s Mountain Bike Clinic. 317-413-0624,