American Hiking Society is excited to welcome Carolyn Hartfield to the Ambassador Program of AHS- promoting the physical health and mental benefits of hiking and inspiring seniors to explore the great outdoors.
Carolyn Hartfield is an outdoor enthusiast who leads others on hiking, camping, zip lining, cycling, spelunking, tree climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking — you name it — excursions. This Baby Boomer who is also a senior citizen says she is “Seasoned and savoring in the spices of life!”
Carolyn was 56 when she went on her first hike. She did not know the hike was going to be a challenging trek up Blood Mountain along the Appalachian Trail. She loved it. Being outside in nature was so exhilarating, she not only wanted to keep hiking but wanted to share her experience with others. “The decision to try something new was one of the best decisions I ever made. It completely changed my life!”
She was so inspired she felt she had to share this newly discovered adventure with others. To prepare herself, she became a certified outings leader through the Sierra Club, was trained in wilderness first aid through the NOLS Wilderness Medical Institute, became a Certified National Interpretive Guide, and selected as a community partner with REI and the Georgia Conservancy. She also works with the National Park Service in their Trails and Rails volunteer program.
As a result of inspiring others through her online monthly newsletter, she has expanded her influential voice to several thousand followers of her web-based Meetup adventure groups and is a leading voice for seniors, encouraging them to get outside and try new things. Carolyn also has a love for senior Olympic sports, earning medals in various state, national and world competitions.
In 2016 Carolyn represented AARP when she was recognized with a ‘Positive Aging Image Award’ from the Georgia Institute on Aging. She has been featured on the CNN/HLN Accent Health Network for her healthy hiking adventures, and in various other media. Carolyn is currently working on her new book, ‘The Joy of Aging’ expected to be released in Spring 2017.
When Carolyn speaks to groups, her message is simple: “Get in the great outdoors, try new activities and have fun while getting healthy!”