You are here

Senior Hiker Magazine


About ten years ago, I volunteered to lead hikes for College for Seniors, now OLLI, at UNC-Asheville. I wanted to introduce the over 50 crowd to hiking in Western North Carolina and not so subtly, encourage them to join Carolina Mountain Club after the course.

I carefully chose six- to eight-mile walks with moderate ascent, all the while reminding the students that we were in the mountains. Even downtown Asheville isn’t flat.

A few terms later, after a rocky six-mile walk, a student – a man over 50, by definition – complained to the director that I had chosen hikes that weren’t appropriate for seniors. I wasn’t asked to lead for College for Seniors again. If you can fire a volunteer, I was fired!

So, it was with curiosity and a little trepidation that I opened the first issue of Senior Hiker, a glossy magazine published three times a year ($25/year) by Deer Isle Press, a small publishing house on the coast of Maine. The magazine focuses on hikers over 50 years old, maybe taking the cue from AARP, which also starts at this age.

I need not have worried. Articles range from adventures in the White Mountains to pushing the limits off-trail in the Catskills. Mile for mile, these are difficult hikes, much more challenging than those in the Southern Appalachians, where I now live.

The article on How I became a senior hiker spoke to me.

The irony is that even though I was older, I felt in better shape and was better prepared setting out than I had been 20 or 30 years earlier.

I’ve had the pleasure of now reading the first four issues. As the issues progressed, the content expanded from the northeastern United States to the Tetons, Glacier, and Santa Fe. The articles span coyotes to snakes.

Senior Hiker partners only with nonprofit organizations and has no commercial ads. Maybe that’s why they have the space and inclination to feature long articles with stunning art work. This is where I met Duncan Martin, a wilderness painter who visited all the designated national parks and paints an iconic scene in the park. Inspired by Georgia O’Keefe, he paints not just what he sees but what he feels. Several color pictures of the paintings are reproduced in the magazine.

After a hiking friend flipped through the magazines, she said, “I enjoyed the exotic hikes the best. Who knew there was hiking in Cuba?”

The magazine has potential.

Their first issue only had 50 pages, but 82 pages by Issue 4. Beautiful glossy pictures show active seniors with good equipment and well-shod – no one had an external frame pack.

The editor and graphic artists have also thought about other factors. The font is a little larger than in similar magazines, but most important most of the text is black on white background. No funky color combinations that are unreadable by folks at any age.

After reading four issues, I realized that I had not encountered breathless words like badass, suck, cool, wicked, or … you get the idea.

You can read an article or two online. But the magazine is meant to be read in print and saved. See their website.

Add comment


This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide