Trails and Peaks Hiking Club


Mariam Alikyan (former president), Mr.Nino (club adviser), and Leia Minzt (current president.)

Marie E. Rodriguez, Editor In Chief

Trails and Peaks Hiking Club looks to promote mental and physical health through physical activity. A rock climbing club was originally run by Mr. Kusaka years before and so Mariam Alikyan decided to revamp a similar program. Inspired by nature and fitness, Alikyan gathered research from schools with identical clubs and wanted to “include our school’s population” in on the fun.  Leia Minzt also provided inspiration for introducing the club to Birmingham. Being that hiking is one of her “methods to escape from the real world,” she was confident that the club would be a success.

Along with the help of  Mr. Nino, Alikyan and Minzt were able to start the club. Mr. Nino is the club adviser. As described by Minzt, Mr. Nino is “very involved in the club and has a strong passion for hiking.”  Members of the club look to Mr. Nino for advice and safety while out on hikes. Nino explained his reasons for wanting to become the club adviser. “Last year, I made it a routine to go outdoors over the weekends, like swims, bike rides, and hikes. I would tell my students about my adventures. One of my students, Leah Minzt, took note of my stories and asked if I would be interested in being a sponsor for the hike club. I enthusiastically said yes.”

As mentioned before, Mr. Kusaka held a similar club years earlier.  Mr. Nino described the similarities between the two clubs. “While the level of difficulty differs from both clubs, the purpose is similar: to get outdoors and experience adventure.” Mr. Kusaka has also provided them with tremendous advice such as what hiking locations to visit the preparation needed for hikes.

Kassandra Cook (Vice President)
Kassandra Cook (Vice President)

Since the start of the club, there has been a change in cabinet members. As of now, Leia Minzt has taken the presidential role while Kassandra Cook has been placed into the vice president position. Cook is a tenth grade student who was inspired by Mr. Nino to take part in outdoor activities. Cook explained her outlook on becoming the new vice president. “I feel honored but also challenged at the same time…” Cook looks forward to working with Mr. Nino and Leia Minzt, as she hopes to “recruit more members” and plans to expand the club in order for more students to have an “enjoyable experience.” 

Some hiking spots that the club has visited include Griffith Park, Hermit Falls, and Eden Canyon. As the club expands, future scheduled hikes will include visits to Malibu Creek, Veteran’s Park, and the Los Angeles Forest.

Mr. Nino and Cook shared their goals for this semester. Mr. Nino expressed his goal of wanting to schedule a hike each weekend as he wants the club to “grow and increase” its membership in order “to promote health and well being.” While Cook hopes “that members learn how hiking can be a fun experience while being safe and fit.” Minzt also encourages all members to “enjoy the freedom of nature” while out on hikes.

Trails and Peaks is now looking for more members who enjoy fitness and nature. All cabinet members want to take part in growth and adventure as the new semester begins.  As Mr. Nino explains, “our goal this semester is to do at least one hike a month…” Trails and Peaks and its members are ready to take on new challenges and strive for stable  physical fitness as hiking allows them to care for their health all while enjoying nature.