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‘Have Baby Will Hike’ Group

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[leadin]A popular hiking group for parents of young children based in Portland has encouraged hundreds of people to get outside with their babies. Now they are looking for like-minded parents nationwide to expand the organization.[/leadin]

Hikeitbaby is a group that meets weekly around Portland to hike, stroll, run and do whatever they can to be outside with their babies.

The group has no membership requirements, no fees, no rules and no limitations. New parents who want to join the weekly events only have to agree to a disclaimer and show up.

Hikers can also add events to a public calendar through the group or join a private Facebook page after attending a hike.

This simple way to get outside and socialize has become quite popular with Portland parents since it was founded in 2013. More than 500 people are now planning hikes with the group whose mission is to get women (and men) “out of the postpartum nest and into a comfortable, non-competitive, non-stressful nature experience.”

The Hikeitbaby website also has information for new parents hoping to get in shape, get outdoors and network.

Shanti Hodges, the current organizational mastermind who co-founded the group with Heather Sparks, said she hopes to help parents in other communities across the country begin their own Hikeitbaby chapters.

“The goal of it is to get as many babies on trail from as young as possible and create a larger community of people who enjoy being outdoors,” she said.

Hodges said she wants to help parents and newborns across the country get out and experience nature.

“It creates a way to cope with those early days of having a baby. When you have a group to walk with, depression is combatted, you make new friends and get outside. Anyone can do it.”

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