Holiday Hike : Ugliest Sweaters & Beautiful Trails

#60hike of my 52 Hike Challenge

Trail/Park: Theodore Wirth Regional Park, MN

I am the luckiest lady. Really I am. Every time I get to hike with the ladies of the Minnesota chapter of Women Who Hike I’m reminded of all I’ve learned from other hikers. Having the trust and support of this growing group of hiking women is a blessing in my life.

This hike is one of my favorites of the year. Our 2nd Annual Ugly Sweater Hike happened last weekend and was well attended. There is something about wearing the most ridiculous outfit you can muster on a cold day that is sure to lift your spirits. The hike did not disappoint. My co-ambassador, Jen and I welcomed nearly 30 participants despite the chilly 11 degree temperature.

The holiday attire was festive and creative. Everything from a cute reindeer ornament attached to a colorful hat to full zip-up pajamas that looked like a Christmas Tree. We hiked all over the hiking trails of Theodore Wirth Regional Park in two groups. Somehow we managed to not cross paths once, which highlighted that this park in the city can feel like a world away. Many joked that the entire hike was uphill. All of that movement vertically helped us keep warm when the winds picked up!

Hiking with good company kept everyone warmed as well as we covered nearly 3.5 miles, including a walk on the park’s bog loop. One group even decided to take a quick loop around Wirth Lake, covering the trip in less than 30 minutes.

Afterward we gathered at a local brewery for a potluck. It was a hikers dream. Yummy snacks of all kinds filled the tables while conversations about hiking, gear and more filled the air. As a final bonus we’d asked everyone to bring a food shelf donation. Yet again, this dynamic group gave in full force offering up 40# of food that will help families in need this holiday season. All of it reinforced why I joined Women Who Hike and have joined the ranks as a WWH Ambassador for Minnesota.

Women Who Hike patch on a background of ice that has a curving pattern.

I joined at the end of 2018 as a Christmas gift to myself and its been a gift that keeps giving. Want to learn more about Women Who Hike and how to get involved? It’s easy! Head over to and join for a mere $16. Or look for Women Who Hike on Facebook. Find a group of like-minded women who enjoy being on the trials and is welcoming of all ages and abilities.

GEAR: Oboz Women’s Bridger 7″ Insulated Waterproof, Patagonia Womens Down Sweater Jacket, Marmot Kompressor Pack, SPOT GEN3 Satellite GPS Messenger, Dueter Dirtbag, Kula Cloth, Leki Lhasa Lite AS trekking poles. Want to know more about my gear selections? Head on over to Gear & Gadgets

Next Post Preview: We’ll interrupt the regular schedule of posts for a slight break to enjoy holidays with family and friends. I’ll be hiking so look for a post as soon as I’m back! In the meantime, poke around in the archives. There are some great reads (and re-reads).

Copyright Ruth Wikoff-Jones, | No Use Permitted Without Prior Permission

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