A special celebration on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail was held Friday.

Friends gathered to dedicate a bench to Judy Moerlein who passed away last year. Moerlein and two friends were founding members of Hillside Hikers and Bikers, a group of older women who meet twice a week for outdoor adventures year-round. Some of the women have been meeting for more than 30 years.

Betty Arnett, now 88-years-old, and Maxine Rader, nearly 89, are the other two founding members. Both were at Friday's dedication. Arnett explained how the group started with just three friends on a bike ride through Southeast Alaska in 1987. When the ride was over and the women returned to Anchorage, they decided to keep the adventures going and invite any women who wanted to join them.

"We started out with no intentions to have a group, it just happened, and now we have about 63 members," said Arnett.

Most of the women in the group range in age from their 60s to their 90s. They hike or bike on Tuesdays and Fridays and change it up with cross-country skiing in the winter. Members said the exercise helps to keep them healthy and young but they also treasure the friendships they've formed.-- some of which have lasted for decades.

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