The PA Barefoot Hikers are a group of men, women, and children of all ages (from 6 to 80) and experience levels from the PA-NJ-DE-MD area who enjoy hiking through nature without the encumbrance of shoes. We are loosely affiliated with other barefoot hiking groups around the nation which can be found at http://www.barefooters.org/hikers. We also follow the guidelines detailed in Richard Frazine's book The Barefoot Hiker. Barefoot Hiking groups nationwide have been featured on the television shows Extra! and ABC's Good Morning America and in various local and national newspaper and magazine articles.
Barefoot hiking is simply hiking without footwear. While to some strolling through the woods shoeless may seem dangerous and unhealthy, walking barefoot through natural terrain is a natural and traditional practice for which human feet were designed and continue to be totally efficient and sufficient. For more information on the health of walking barefoot and general information of interest to barefooters, visit The Society for Barefoot Living. The SBL has been featured in numerous publications and radio programs, most notably the New York Times and Good Morning America!!
Hikes are held in many local, state, and national parks throughout the tri-state area (usually within a 2 hour or less drive from Philadelphia). Hikes have occurred at the Delaware Canal State Park, Ringing Rocks Park, and Tyler Park in Bucks County, PA. We look forward to visiting the NJ Pine Barrens and some Delaware State parks, such as Brandywine Creek, in the spring.We are always open to new hike locations. We have expanded our base to include areas of Maryland as well.
Hikes occur regularly throughout spring, summer and fall, as long as weather permits. Hikes usually take place on Saturday or Sunday morning around noon and typically last an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the experience and stamina of the attendees.
The reasons for hiking barefoot are many. For some, the simple health benefits of freeing their feet from shoes outweigh any greater concern. For others, the sensual aspect of feeling varied natural terrain beneath their bare soles cannot be denied. Still others feel a much greater connection to Mother Earth when they are not separated from the land by ill-fitting pieces of leather or rubber. Of course, hiking free of heavy boots or shoes also has much less erosive environmental impact than shod hiking. For most barefoot hikers, the reason is a combination of the above.