Women Who Hike Founder Discusses the Importance of Female Unity on Social Media

Nicole Brown is arguably Merrell’s most modest ambassador. The outdoor enthusiast, who considers herself “just a woman who hikes,” is the founder of a grassroots social media movement that gives female nature fans a place to share their stories. Since its inception in 2016, the Women Who Hike community has grown to 232,000 followers on Instagram and more than 20,000 on Facebook. While on a six-week public lands hiking trip, Brown shared insight on Women Who Hike and national monuments.

On Women Who Hike Origins

“I remember being able to find other women who, like me, enjoyed being on the trail because we needed stimulation outside of typical places where women unite. I also remember when I wanted to be featured by [certain Instagram] accounts. I would go out on hikes and try to get that perfect picture in the perfect outfit with perfect hair. One day I realized the culture of competition social media was creating was totally counterproductive to why we seek the outdoors. When we started our [Instagram] account, @womenwhohike, we did post images like that. But I eventually changed things because I remember how I felt when, after a weekend of hard hiking, I want to share and repost images of real women.”

Women Who Hike Nicole Brown
Nicole Brown, founder of the Women Who Hike social media community.
CREDIT: Instagram: @im_nicolemarie

On the Community

“The success of @womenwhohike isn’t, and has never been, dependent on just me. Through our hashtag and online communities, I’ve been able to find other interesting, brave and unique women that we can all rally around, follow and connect with.”

On Her Trip

“Last year, the secretary of the interior ordered a review of some of our national monuments. These are federally held public lands that suddenly were at risk of being shrunken down. The goal is to figure out, in person and on the ground, what these places are like, why they are significant, and share our experience with others via social media and a mini-documentary.”

Nicole Brown Women Who Hike Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Nicole Brown, founder of Women Who Hike, at the Canyon de Chelly National Monument.
CREDIT: Instagram: @im_nicolemarie

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