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AARP AARP States Health & Wellbeing

Go Take a Hike! Last Outing of the Year

Loretta Davis, at right, leads a group hike through Edgar M.Queeny Park in Ballwin, Mo. Photo by Whitney Curtis.

Once she started walking, Loretta Davis didn’t want to stop.

Davis has been leading walking tours in St. Louis as an AARP volunteer for three years. She has started a program of longer hikes around the metropolitan area, called the Outdoor Adventure Group.

“I had an idea about hiking trails and talked it over with my state director,” she said. “They even allowed me to name the group.”

The last hike of the year is Satur­day, Nov. 19, at Lone Elk County Park in Valley Park. It begins at 9 a.m. and will end by noon.

Participants will hike a three-mile loop trail that follows the Meramec River flood plain, so it’s mostly flat. If time permits, a side trip to the nearby World Bird Sanctuary may be included.

Different people show up for each hike, but Davis has her regulars, including an expert who helps identify bird calls. While the hikes are social and friendly, the emphasis is on movement.

“As we age, we need to find something we can do to keep these legs limber,” said Davis, a 62-year-old retired government worker living in Florissant.

She tries to walk a couple of miles each day. “I’m brand new to hiking and I absolutely don’t want to be without it,” she said.

To register and get more information, call 877-926-8300 or go to —Alan Greenblatt

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