Gen Zs walking the walk on National Walking Day.

National Walking Day is exactly as it sounds — a day to celebrate the easiest way to be the healthiest version of you. And today’s youth are lacing up their walking shoes and getting on board. Perhaps first fueled by the early pandemic TikTok trend of “going on a stupid walk for my stupid mental health” evolving into trends such as The Hot Girl Walk - a four-mile outdoor walk where you essentially walk while looking and feeling cute garnering over 657M views, walking is having a moment, so to speak. So today, we take a walk alongside three Gen Z groups walking the walk in aid of their physical, mental, and social goals.

Image of a group of women walking through the woods


High school students in Forest Hills, Michigan recently launched The Walking Club, focusing on walking in nature and staying healthy while also connecting with classmates. Inspired by the “Hot Girl Walks” trend, and in what started as a joke to be able to add more leadership experience to their college resumes, once the founders started talking about it, they saw that it had real potential and became more serious. Although the club is new, founder Gigi Sinicrope explains that the club is for people who want to get active and also for athletes who are in season but don’t want to do an intense workout on the weekend.

Text quote, “My favorite mode of transportation is walking because it offers the best exercise for me.”

— Peter, 23, NJ (Casandra Collective)

    Image of the Charlotte Hot Girl Walk logo


    Without a physical office to go to during the pandemic, Lilian Kennedy found it difficult to sustain friendships in her new career. She knew the same had to be true for others, especially those new to Charlotte. So, she set out to create a social group that promotes both mental health and networking, and in August 2022, Charlotte Hot Girl Walk, or CLTHGW, was born. Despite its name, CLTHGW is gender-inclusive — everyone is welcome and consists of a 3-4 mile walk, with a few essentials — think curated playlist and earbuds (if you’re going solo), a water bottle, a workout set, and a safe environment.

    Text quote, “I have a trail like 5 minutes from my house that I walk on a lot and my brother and I are planning on making a day hike of it soon.”

    — Melissa, 24, FL (Casandra Collective)

      Image of the green Teens to Trails logo


      Building community through collaboration and shared outdoor play, Teens to Trails works with schools in Maine to build meaningful relationships between students, adults, and the natural world while sharing fun outdoor experiences. The organization provides adult and student leaders who are interested in spending more time outdoors, making friends, and learning new skills with the training, financial support, and reliable resources they need to start and sustain an Outdoor Club at their school.