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Embracing the Outdoors and Building a Canine Community: My Journey as a Hiking Leader at Hiking Dog

Written by Galen Sylk aka @baxtersmountain

As the sun shines down, casting a golden glow over the picturesque mountains, I find myself

standing at the trailhead surrounded by a group of eager hikers and their four-legged

companions. I am a Colorado hiking leader for Hiking Dogs Co., and this role has brought about

a life-changing experience that has not only deepened my love for the great outdoors but has also fostered a beautiful community of dog owners and like-minded individuals. Together, we embark on incredible adventures, showcasing the beauty of nature, exploring new places, and forging lasting friendships both human and canine alike.

When I stumbled upon the opportunity to become a hiking leader for Hiking Dogs Co., I was nervous, but it felt like fate. I attended my first hike with another leader and immediately fell in love with the concept. Combining my passion for hiking with my unwavering love for dogs, this leadership role has allowed me to merge two aspects of my life that bring immense joy. Little did

I know that it would be a stepping stone toward building a remarkable community centered around our furry friends. I truly did not think that signing up to be a leader would have led to such amazing experiences. I have made friends who I know I will be hiking with for many years

to come, and I feel truly grateful for this. It has been a beautiful surprise for both Baxter and me.

He has made just as many new friends as I have. After moving to Colorado two years ago

without knowing a single person, it is crazy to think about the difference in our lives now after

becoming a hiking leader.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a hiking leader at Hiking Dogs Co. is the opportunity to bring together a diverse group of dog owners who share a common love for adventure and the great outdoors. Our hikes have become a platform for fostering genuine connections, as we

exchange stories, tips, and experiences about raising and caring for our beloved canine companions. Through these shared experiences, friendships blossom, creating a supportive network that extends far beyond the trails.

Together, our community has embarked on countless unforgettable journeys. From alpine lakes

to explore hidden gems off the beaten path, each adventure has been etched into our memories forever. We've witnessed the exuberance of our dogs as they frolic in open meadows, chase after

sticks, and gleefully splash in cool mountain streams. We've celebrated milestones, conquered

fears, and encouraged one another to push beyond our comfort zones.

Becoming a hiking leader at Hiking Dogs Co. has allowed me to combine my passion for hiking with my love for dogs, while simultaneously fostering a vibrant community of amazing individuals who share the same interests. Through our hikes, we have formed unbreakable bonds,

discovered breathtaking landscapes, and advocated for the protection of our natural world by respecting Leave No Trace principles. The experience of exploring the outdoors together has not only enriched our lives but has also shown us the transformative power of nature and the beauty of human connections.

I am so grateful to be able to bring others along to embark on unforgettable adventures while celebrating the joys of outdoor exploration and the unconditional

love of our faithful hiking partners.

Hiking Dogs Co. is so happy to have Galen and Baxter as a part of our meet-up leader team! If you are interested in being a leader for us we applications for the program are still open! Click HERE to apply!

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