Mr. Richard Goddard began to organize hikes in 1983 as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program. These were on Sunday mornings at 6am and lasted for 3 hours. This format has not changed.
I joined them in the first year and have been hiking on a regular basis except for a few years when “work” got in the way.
At first we used to walk for the first 6 months of the year as it was considered too hot to walk in the later half.
David Marshall soon formed the AR Walkers (After Richard Walk) to walk for the entire year and we have never looked back.
The Barbados National Trust and the Barbados Hiking Association now organizes the hikes. At first there was only one group but as the numbers increased other groups have formed. On Sundays we have the:
- “Stop ‘n’ Stare” group walks for 5-6 miles,
- “Here ‘n’ There” group walks for 8-10 miles,
- “Grin ‘n’ Bear” group walks for 12-14 miles.
- “The Train Hike” group following sections of the now defunct Barbados railway.
All start at the same place and time and last for approximately 3 hours; the only difference is the degree of difficulty.
Colin Hudson formed the “Stop ‘n’ Stare” group and he was very knowledgeable of all things connected to Natural Barbados. Unfortunately he died on Sunday 22 Feb 2004, as he was getting ready for a walk. He was also instrumental in organising the “Train Hike”.
Today it is not uncommon to have more that 100 hikers on a Sunday morning. This is especially true in January when we get the New Year’s resolution walkers!
Besides the Sunday morning there are Sunday Evening (same start of the Morning hike), Saturday Morning, Thursday Evening, Wednesday Morning walks. I am sure that are others that I am not aware of.
All of these hikes are free to every one but donations to the National Trust are welcome.
Every year regular members of these hikes travel to hiking locations across the globe. Over the years groups have been to Base Camp of Everest, The Andes, The Caribbean Islands, most countries in Central America, Peru, Argentina, Scotland, Europe, New Zealand, Grand Canyon to name a few places. Some have climbed Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua and Elbrus. Some do it on their own, others form their own groups or join tour companies. We have to thank Richard Goddard for starting these free hikes and allowing it to evolve into what it is today.
You can click on the thumbnail image to see a larger image with captions.