Being out on the trail is something we all have a deep love for but returning home and sharing your experiences with your community can be just as rewarding. Today, we’re excited to announce Heather Smith is launching Mappy Hour NWA (NorthWest Arkansas) based out of Bentonville, AR. Read on to get to know Heather and her inspiration for community building.
I moved to Bentonville in 2013 right before the wave of bike culture and craft beer hit our scene. I found myself with my dog driving through the Ozarks searching for hiking trails, waterfalls, and indulging in the sounds of nature. I had never felt anything so spiritually healing before and I tried to spend all of my free time in the woods.
After a friend told me about the Appalachian Trail I did some research that lead me on the path of planning a thru hike. The trail was yelling my name and in 2016 I flew to Maine and spent 4 months hiking the Appalachian Trail Southbound through 14 states to finish in Georgia.
Thru hiking drastically changed my life in so many ways. There’s really something about walking 20 miles a day, not showering, sleeping in a tent for months, and living off ramen and gummy worms. But more importantly being in nature.
After the hike I came back to Bentonville but needed more adventures. I worked for a couple of months and then headed out for a summer adventure of hiking through Montana & Colorado, and biking through utah down to Arizona.
Returning to Bentonville to see friends I found myself realizing why I kept returning here and why I would tell everyone I met on my travels about NorthWest Arkansas. I was reminded that it was this place that lead me to fall in love with the outdoors. There is an abundance of outdoor activities for anyone and anybody and I want everyone to get to experience the joy that the outdoors can bring into your life.
My goal in starting Mappy Hour here in Bentonville is to make sure everyone in our community has the tools you need to plan, prepare, get you outside, and also connect you with a network that has the same interests. Join us on this adventure.
Live in Bentonville? Join the brand new NWA chapter here. Live somewhere else? Tell your friends!
Mappy Hour NorthWest Arkansas Launch Details:
Who: Anyone who loves to hike, kayak, ski, run, climb, and generally explore the great outdoors.
What: A happy hour with a twist to bring together the local outdoor community. Every month a new speaker will highlight local recreation, skills and ways to connect with the outdoor community. This month, join us to learn map reading from local mountaineer Becca Jungers.
When: July 15th, 6:00-8:00PM
2205 SW I Street
Bentonville, AR 72712
Cost: Free – just bring some guidebooks and maps to share!
For more information and to RSVP please see: https://mappyhour.org/events/2019/07/nwa-launch-im-definitely-not-lost-map-reading