Outdoor Afro and REI Co-op Team Up on New Trips Celebrating Black Joy

These tours celebrate Black joy through belonging, togetherness, and connection with nature.

hikers looking out across landscape in Shenandoah
(Photo: REI)

Apparel and Gear company Outdoor Afro is teaming up with REI Co-op to co-guide three new small group guided adventure tours of national parks. The trips to New River Gorge National Park, Shenandoah National Park, and areas near the parks will be offered from July through October. 

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Each of the three four-day itineraries “celebrates Black joy by amplifying belonging, togetherness, and connection with nature.” The trips include adventure activities and education about both nature and Black history. Here’s more about the tours:

  • Shenandoah Hike and Camp Adventure: Kayak the Shenandoah River, hike to Hawksbill Summit, see waterfalls in Whiteoak Canyon, and have a tasting and dinner at a local vineyard on this moderately active four-day trip. ($1,799)
  • New River Gorge Epic Family Camping Getaway: This family-friendly camping-focused tour of New River Gorge is open to families with kids eight and older, as well as grandparents. Activities include hiking, low-key whitewater rafting, and a ropes course. Campsites have oversized tents, comfy sleeping pads, chef-inspired meals, plus hot showers and flush toilets. ($2,499)
  • Shenandoah and DC Hike and Kayak – Lodge-based: This “easy active trip” starts and ends in Washington, D.C. Learn about Black history in Old Town Alexandria, kayak the Potomac, hike in Shenandoah Valley, listen to a local speaker who shares thoughts of the region’s divided history, and go on a tour and tasting at a Black-owned vineyard. ($2,799)

Outdoor Afro is also collaborating with REI Co-op in stores with a new gear collection that includes a soft zip-up comforter and a travel-sized satin pillow. The company’s non-profit arm also runs free and low-cost outdoor experiences around the country. 

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Christine Sarkis is the co-founder of Vacationist Media and editor-in-chief of TourScoop and FamilyVacationist.com. She is the former executive editor of SmarterTravel.com, a travel publication owned by Tripadvisor. Her work has been published in dozens of publications including Conde Nast Traveler and USAToday, and she has been quoted in print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also offered tips for travelers on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now.