Hostelling International-Toledo Chapter
“Hostelling is about travel with a purpose – to get to know people of different cultures,” says Scott Carpenter, PR Chair of the local Hostelling International Council. There are 31 councils of Hostelling International in the U.S. and each is self-governed and provides activities for their communities. There are safe, affordable hostels worldwide, 72 of them in the United States, including Malabar Farm here in Ohio.
Each chapter of HI has its own focus depending on the interests of its members and the Toledo area council has a long tradition of using bicycling to bring people together. Mr. Carpenter explains why HI members participate in TMACOG committees. “TMACOG links us with communities and organizations that have an interest in creating a vision for our region’s transportation future. Our goal is to represent the interests of the ever-growing number of bicyclists in our region who also have a stake in that vision.”
Members of the HI Toledo Chapter are long-time partners in TMACOG planning activities, serving on the Pedestrian & Bikeways Committee and working to ensure that cyclists’ needs are included in all transportation plans. They have helped developed our region’s many recreational bike paths as well as working to include bike travel on roads.
HI Toledo is participating in TMACOG Bike Week this month, sponsoring a 28-mile bike ride on the Wabash Cannonball Trail on Thursday, May 19 starting at 10 a.m. The ride starts at Oak Openings Metropark at the Mallard Lake parking lot. HI Toledo also sponsors a series of bike rides in the summer and fall:
- Portage River Tour, Sunday, June 26
- Metroparks Tour, Saturday, July 16
- Irish Hills Tour, Sunday, September 18
- Tombstone Tour/Family Haunted Ride, Saturday, October 15
They are interested in more than bikes. The group also sponsors walking tours, pot luck dinners, and presents the winter Travel Circle program. At Travel Circles, which are co-sponsored by Metroparks of the Toledo Area, a speaker shares his or her travel experiences at cultural or historical destinations, from a trip along the west coast of the U.S. on bike, to community organizing in Poland and Hungary. Mary Lou Leonard is behind the Travel Circle program at HI Toledo. She was a recipient of a 2010 Jefferson Award.
For more information about Hostelling International see http://www.hitoledo.org.