Northeast Ohio is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering acres of parkland, wooded roadways and paved trails—all intertwined with urban landscapes. So while the Akron and Canton area isn’t nationally known for being an outdoor destination, it should be! We have some of the best trails around for hiking and biking, along with stunning lakes, rivers and creeks that are perfect for fishing and kayaking.
But exploring the great outdoors is always more fun with a buddy. Thankfully both Akron and Canton are home to several outdoorsy groups where you can meet a few friends while you trek through the wilderness! Whether you’re a hiker, a runner, a biker or a skier—there are a few friendly groups on this list just for you.
If you’re looking for a solo adventure, or just want to spend the day outside with your family—check out our Complete Guide to Being Outdoorsy in the Akron & Canton Area!
Biking | Hiking | Kayaking | Running | Skiing
Hudson Velo is a biking club in Hudson, Ohio focused on recreational road biking. They meet for rides throughout the week, offering a variety of routes for a wide range of skill levels. Non-members are welcome to participate in up to three club rides before formally joining the club, so check out their calendar to see when they’ll be meeting next!
The Akron Bicycle Club brings people together over their love of cycling and Northeast Ohio. Not only will you find them biking through the area three or four times a week, but also socializing at local farmers’ markets, exploring local vineyards and enjoying concerts at Blossom. They frequently travel to other regions, states and even other countries to experience adventures together! You can learn more about joining the Akron Bicycle Club here.
Formed in 1968, the Stark County Bicycle Club is a nonprofit cycling organization based in Canton. While they are primarily an on-road club, they host trail and Towpath rides as well. In addition to offering a full-ride schedule each month, they take community involvement seriously, providing safety classes for young riders and volunteering at various community events. You can get information on joining or register for a class by visiting their website.
Photo courtesy of Hilltop Hikers
For over 25 years, Hilltop Hikers has been bringing local nature lovers together. They hike year-round, exploring all types of trails around the area. This friendly hiking group is open to any skill level, just make sure you check the trail difficulty before you head out. And, if you aren’t sure you want to officially join HillTop Hikers yet, you can try out a few hikes as a guest. Just visit their calendar to see when the next hike will be, suit up in the proper footwear, fill up your water bottle and hit the trail!
WhyNot Adventures is the perfect group for outdoor enthusiasts who have a passion for hiking, biking, kayaking, camping and more! During their hiking season, October through April, they host regular Sunday hikes throughout Northeast Ohio. But when they aren’t traversing Ohio’s natural landscape on foot, they’re exploring the area in other ways—from touring local wineries by bike to taking train rides throughout the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. You can learn more about their weekly events by visiting their Meetup page.
Do you love exploring Northeast Ohio’s gorgeous lakes and rivers? Then Ohio Kayak Adventures is the group for you! This community of kayakers is active year-round, hosting a variety of fun activities both on the water and off, and is open to all kayakers regardless of skill level. Visit their Meetup page to see what events are coming up—from sunrise paddles and breakfast meetups to kayak races on local lakes!
If you’re looking for a more “casual” running group, head up to Cuyahoga Falls every Wednesday and participate in the Falls Beer Run. Each week, local running enthusiasts complete a 5K before socializing over a beer. The route starts and ends at HiHO Brewing and showcases some of the best of Cuyahoga Falls, including the Gorge and the Glens Trail. Afterward, runners get $1 off their first pint of cold beer—can you think of a better post-run reward? We sure can’t!
Summit Athletic Running Club is a charitable organization with over 600 members that welcomes runners of all skill levels. They host a variety of races throughout the year in Summit County, proceeds of which go towards local scholarships, food banks and children’s services. They also have a variety of groups that meet regularly throughout the week, so no matter if you’re a runner, a jogger, or just want to volunteer your time—the Summit Athletic Running Club has a place for you!
Founded in 1966, the Goodyear Ski Club is the largest ski club in the Akron area, boasting more than 275 members. Join them as they ski at local resorts, take weekend trips around Ohio, and even travel across the country to ski on some of the best slopes in the world—all while making some lifelong friends! While the group’s primary focus is skiing and snowboarding, members also enjoy a variety of social events throughout the year. You can find a full list of upcoming events on their website.
What do you like to do outside in Northeast Ohio? Chat with us, and other like-minded individuals, in the comments below!`