Hike it Baby tours around Natrona County with snowshoes, strollers and smiles

(Casper, Wyo.) - On Friday, April 15th and Saturday April 16th dozens of families came out to enjoy nature and hiking with their infants, toddlers and children. The group was joined by Hike it Baby Founder, Shanti Hodges, who is on an impressive tour of the Western United States with her 2.5 year old son. They are on the road this spring with the goal of hiking 30 hikes in 30 days with stops in over 20 cities. During Shanti’s stop in Casper, 17 adults and over 35 children showed up to hike on Friday for what we call and “urban stroll” along the Platte River Parkway starting at Crossroads park. ​On Saturday, seven brave adults and nine children showed up to Snowshoe on the Casper Mountain Nordic Trails. ​While everyone was excited to welcome Shanti and her son Mason to our community, this is not the first time that families are joining together for Hike it Baby in Casper. The Casper Hike it Baby Branch started back in June of 2015 and since then hundreds of families have been enjoying free hikes every week for the last 7 months. Every week new faces are showing up and the groups are growing larger and larger. ​The hikes range from trail hikes on the Bridle trail, snow shoe hikes on Casper Mountain to stroller friendly hikes on the miles of pathways all through Casper. There have been hikes at Alcova, Muddy Mountain, Edness State Park and more. There are quite a few groups activities out there older children, but very few to none for infants. This group gives the opportunity to start enjoying nature with your child right from birth. The Hike it Baby group is accepting and welcoming to all forms of families. The group serves moms and their babies and also dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents and even foster families. ​After the weekend snowshoe hike, Rebecca Bertasso, mom and hiker, said “One word kept coming to mind as I hiked with these wonderful people that morning, teamwork. Everyone helping everyone out to do something fun, cold, and beautiful outside with our kids”. ​​What others have to say about Hike it Baby in Casper: Kassia, mom of one year old, " I am/will be new to Casper and since we are moving all the way from Iowa I was having a hard time accepting the big change. I wanted a way to find new friends for both me and my daughter to make the transition easier. I found the Hike it Baby group and it totally changed my view of our new home. I met new people and found a good way to get out and stay active regardless of the weather and I began to look forward to living in Casper full time. January was my 3rd challenge that I participated in and my most successful yet, not because I hiked the most miles or logged the most minutes outside, but because I pushed myself the hardest to get out there and achieve that 30 mile goal. 5 days before the end of the challenge I was sitting at a little over 8 miles for the month but rather than throwing my hands up in the air and saying 'oh well, maybe next time' something inside of me lit a fire under my behind and in 4 days we hiked almost 22 miles!! It felt great to make the 30 miles, but the most important part was that we had fun." ​Bertasso continued, "During the November challenge we only hiked 7.9 miles for the month and spent 343 minutes outside. I don't look at it as a fail but rather as a win that we beat the cold and had fun making memories during the time we did get outside. The challenges aren't a contest to see who hikes the most miles, who hikes the fastest, or who spends the most time outside. It's about spending time outdoors with your families and sharing those experiences with others while encouraging each other along the way. One of my favorite things about each challenge is seeing the pictures everyone posts and the variety of terrain across each branch as well as everyone's struggles and wins each day. Hike it Baby is just an awesome community overall." Paraphrasing Another, Mom of five named Tedda, she stated she lived in Casper all her life, she loves to hike and thanks to Hike it Baby she has discovered so many new places that would not have explored on her own. ​Hike it Baby hosts free hikes throughout the US, Canada, UK, Italy, South Africa, and Australia, and is run entirely by volunteers. The goal of Hike it Baby is to help families minimize the effects of postpartum depression in new mothers (and fathers), create a network of like-minded individuals, encourage families to discover new parts of their cities and county, and teach children an appreciation for nature from the newborn stage on. The non-profit organization was founded in Portland, Oregon, in 2013 by Shanti Hodges. Currently, there are over 100,000 members in nearly 240 branches around the world with close to 500 people organizing in each city. The calendar has 2000 volunteer-led hikes in it a month. For more information on Hike it Baby, please visit or email #oilcity #news