11 Outdoor Organizations in Indy You Should Know

From biking to canoeing, these groups will help you experience all Indiana has to offer this summer.

Take it all in mavens, summer is here—and that means nature is calling. Now is the perfect time to get outdoors and try some new activities or get back to one perhaps you used to love.

There are tons of local organizations to choose from that are passionate about getting outside, connecting with nature, and building a community. Check out these groups and see what might be a good fit for you.

Black Girls Do Bike

Black Girls Do Bike is a national organization that focuses on supporting and building a community of women of color who are passionate about cycling. The local chapter of Black Girls Do Bike was started in 2014 by Chyri Jackson. This group is open to all women and occasionally hosts family rides. Join their Facebook group to learn more.

Indy Surviveoars

Indy Surviveoars is a non-profit organization that helps breast cancer survivors gain inspiration and support through dragon boat racing. Indy Surviveoars chose dragon boat racing because repetitive upper body exercise has been shown to improve quality of life for survivors. Breast cancer survivors can choose to race or paddle for fun. If you aren’t a breast cancer survivor, consider volunteering to help the team.

Outdoor Afro

Outdoor Afro is a national organization that focuses on inspiring and empowering Black connections and leadership in nature. Indianapolis’s chapter reconnects Hoosiers with natural spaces through activities like fishing, gardening, skiing, camping, hiking, biking, birding, and more. To learn more about Outdoor Afro join their Facebook group

Explorer chick

Explorer Chick is a national organization that offers adventure trips and tours for women. The organization provides local and global destinations ranging from day trips to full vacations. The local chapter, Explorer Chicks of Indy, attends experiences like glass blowing classes, backpacking workshops, and tree climbing and forest bathing in Kentucky. Join their Meetup to learn more.

Indianapolis Women’s Hiking Community

Indianapolis Women’s Hiking Community is a group of women who network and hike together. The group is for all experience levels and members hike for various reasons from improving strength and fitness to bonding with friends and family. To learn more join the Indianapolis Women’s Hiking Community Facebook group.


Central indiana wilderness club

Central Indiana Wilderness Club is a non-profit that provides affordable wilderness adventures to those who want to get into the great outdoors. These adventures include backpacking, car camping, hiking, bicycling, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and cross-country skiing. The club also offers classes and gear loans, so you learn the ropes. To learn more join their Meetup.

Hoosier canoe and kayak club

Hoosier Canoe and Kayak Club is a group that sponsors paddling trips all over Indiana. The organization also has classes if you are new to these sports or just want to sharpen your skills. Paddling groups include kayak and canoe, whitewater, sea touring, and paddle fishing. You can join the group by getting a membership that costs $20 annually per family. 

The Indiana Audubon Society

The Indiana Audubon Society was founded in 1898. The group focuses on appreciating and identifying birds. The society hosts field trips and meetings in various locations across Indiana. Their website also has information about the birds you might be seeing in your backyard, so you can identify them. Join their Meetup to learn more.

Indy Climbers

Indy Climbers is a group of rock climbers with all experience levels. The group organizes climbing events at EPIC climbing and fitness. EPIC also offers private instruction if you are a first time climber. Join the Indy Climbers Meetup to learn more.

Soar indy

Soar Indy is a group of pilots who fly sailplanes. If you are new to flying or just want to try it out, you can book a discovery flight and ride with a pilot. Or if you’re interested in becoming a pilot, you can learn how to fly with a group of instructors who will get you ready for your FAA Private Pilot glider certificate. If you are already an experienced pilot, you can apply to join Soar Indy.

DNK Presents

DNK Presents is a local organization that organizes and guides adventure retreats for groups and businesses. The mission of DNK Presents is to empower people as they get out of their comfort zones, try new things, and gain confidence in their abilities. Their adventures include hikes around Indianapolis, paddling trips on Eagle Creek, week long trips to the Grand Canyon, and more. DNK Presents is currently taking nominations for their Women’s Adventure Giveaway where four women win a four day outdoor adventure and $1,000 worth of gear.

Ellie Allen is Indy Maven’s editorial intern who is excited to get outdoors this summer.

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