Exploring the Great Outdoors with ARD Hiking and Trail Running Club in Donegal

March 01, 2024

In the picturesque landscapes of Donegal, a vibrant community has emerged, embracing the call of nature and fitness. ARD Hiking and Trail Running Club, founded by the passionate Eunan Quinn, has become a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a blend of adventure, social connection, and physical & mental well-being.

The ARD Hiking and Trail Running Club takes pride in being an inclusive community, welcoming individuals of all levels and abilities. From beginners taking their first steps in the world of outdoor activities to seasoned runners looking for a refreshing change, the club provides a supportive environment for everyone. The offerings include walking, hiking, and trail running, ensuring a diverse range of options.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of outdoor activities for mental and physical well-being. Eunan Quinn, the founder, recognises the psychological benefits of getting outdoors, especially in the hills and amidst nature. The club's core activities involve trail running and hiking, providing a perfect avenue for individuals to escape the confines of daily life, breathe in fresh air, and connect with like-minded people.

Joining the ARD Community goes beyond merely participating in outdoor activities. It's an opportunity to gain motivation, fostering an environment where health and fitness improvements are not only encouraged but celebrated. The Saturday morning hikes and trail runs offer a unique blend of exercise, social interaction, and the therapeutic effects of nature.

The success of the ARD Hiking and Trail Running Club is evident in its growing membership. With close to 80 registered members last year and numerous drop-ins, the club has tapped into a need for community and outdoor engagement. The diverse range of participants contributes to a dynamic and energetic atmosphere during every outing.

Recognising the potential for growth, the club has implemented training programs tailored for specific events, such as the Seven Sisters event in September. The Saturday morning sessions serve as a platform for members to prepare for various challenges while enjoying the scenic trails of Donegal. Additionally, the club is expanding its horizons, exploring opportunities to participate in events across the country and even the possibility of trips overseas.

Unlike traditional clubs, ARD Hiking and Trail Running Club does not confine its activities to a single location. With the unofficial base being the Seven Sisters, the club embraces variety by rotating locations. This approach allows members to explore different terrains and scenic spots, keeping the experience fresh and exciting.

ARD Hiking and Trail Running Club in Donegal has carved a niche for itself as more than just a fitness group. It is a community that thrives on the principles of inclusivity, outdoor exploration, and collective well-being. As the club continues to grow and explore new horizons, its impact on the lives of its members remains profound, proving that the great outdoors, combined with the right community spirit, can be a transformative force.

Featured Image: Courtesy of Eunan Quinn