The Summit is a Women's Hiking and Backpacking Conference designed to bring experienced outdoors women, novices, and armchair dreamers together to celebrate the trails and our place on them. This year, The Summit will take place at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina, on July 13-15, 2018. Stay tuned here for more information, and sign up for our mailing list to keep up on the most up to date Summit news.
On a cold February day in 2011, I sat indoors and dreamed about hiking and backpacking. I thought of warmer days, sunny skies and the laughter of women ringing out over the trail. And I dreamed of meeting other like-minded women from around the country. Coming together to share our hiking dreams and outdoor visions. It was at that moment that I realized that there was no avenue for such a thing. There was nothing out there to bring women together from all over the country, to share in our common love of the outdoors. I knew that what we needed was a hiking and backpacking conference for women of all ages. A place to learn, share and grow. At that moment, The Summit was born.
I had zero experience in hosting conferences, planning big events, finding sponsors or advertising! However, my mother always taught me that it was just as easy to dream big as it is to dream small, so I didn't let such things stop me. I shared my dream with some close friends and along with a group of intrepid Trail Dames, started planning. Four months later, we gathered with 60 other women in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Joined by 13 clinicians, key note speakers, vendors, sponsors and award winners we proceeded to do exactly what we set out to do—celebrate women in the outdoors.
For three days we laughed, learned and dreamed. And made some wonderful friends along the way. When we were done, we knew that something very special had been created and that we owed it to the women of the hiking community to further this project. I hope that you will join us for our next Summit in 2018! I promise you an experience in learning, laughter and life that you will treasure for years to come.
Registration for the 2018 Summit is now open! Click the link below to sign up.
We have sponsorship, silent auction and vendor opportunities available. We hope that you will join us in supporting this historic event!
Are you interested in leading a session at the 2018 Trail Dames Summit? Fill out our online form and let us know what you would like to do.