This post is sponsored by Gociety and Merrell

Earlier this year, I discovered Gociety, a Denver, CO-based company behind a social network for active, outdoors-loving people. Their goal: help you get outside with awesome people around the sports you love — simply and spontaneously. I chatted with Gociety co-founder Anna Thielke, who counts skiing, snowshoeing and backpacking among her favorite outdoor pursuits, and I learned that she and her team were planning some big things for Michigan. I told her I definitely wanted to keep in touch, that I would love to hear about upcoming Gociety happenings in the Mitten. In the meantime, I signed up for my free account on the Gociety network. {You can check out my profile and learn more about signing up yourself here »}

Flash forward to a few weeks ago, when Anna and I got talking again about a cool — free — event taking place this month in the Grand Rapids area: Ales & Trails, an afternoon/early evening get-together on the Merrell Trail, located eight miles north of downtown Grand Rapids. The outdoor clothing, shoe and gear company Merrell is partnering with Gociety on Ales & Trails. Another cool thing: Gociety recently launched this Grand Rapids Guide »

I’m excited to share event details all with you, and though I can’t unfortunately make it myself (my dad’s retirement party happens to be the same day!), I really hope you’ll all consider stopping by. Running, hiking, biking, exploring with fellow Michiganders — what’s not to love about that? Did I mention the live music, Founders Brewing Co. beer and delicious local food?

Here’s what you need to know:

WHAT: Ales & Trails 
WHEN: Saturday, July 16
WHERE: Merrell Trail, 8 miles north of downtown Grand Rapids. Here’s more on the Merrell Trail, including map and other cool info »
Learn more and sign up here »

Event details:

Join fellow outdoor enthusiasts on the Merrell Trail for an awesome day of hiking, biking, running, and exploring. After an active afternoon working up a sweat, join Gociety and Merrell for an early evening of food and entertainment.

Dance to live music with Michigan DJ Dante Lasalle

Snack on healthy bites from Hit The Road Joe

Demo Merrell’s All Out Crush shoe right on the trail

Bike demos from Central District Cyclery 

Enter to win on-site giveaways

Play favorite outdoor games such as corn hole, human size janga, hula hoops and can jam

Ice cold brews from Founders Brewing 

Join a community and become part of something awesome!

Check-in begins at noon, we will hit the trail around 1 p.m. Join groups, explore with friends, and receive tips and tricks with local industry leaders.

Meet us back at the park at 3 p.m., bring your favorite picnic blanket or outdoor chair, and kick back and relax for an evening of community we promise you won’t forget!

Thanks to Merrell, I am able to try out a few of their awesome clothing and shoe items. I’m really looking forward to getting off-road more wearing my new All Out Crush trail shoes — these shoes will be available to test out during the Ales & Trails event on July 16.


Definitely check out Gociety, too. It’s pretty cool what they’re doing for active people like us.

“No matter what it is you want to do outside, we believe someone else nearby wants to do the same thing — you just haven’t met them yet. Gociety is designed to help you find and connect with those people as simply as possible. Social networks help you connect with people you already know — Gociety helps you connect with and meet people you want to know. On paper, it’s a subtle difference. But in the real world, it’s a major gap in how people interact. We’d all like to think we’re brave enough to walk up to a stranger and invite them adventuring, but it’s never quite as simple as it sounds. Gociety makes finding and meeting new people fun, natural and easy. Bromances optional.” ~ from the Gociety site.


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