BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Western New York group is getting up close with nature.

The group is called Black Girls Hike Buffalo. While it's not exclusively based on race, Black Girls Hike Buffalo was started to encourage women of color to get outdoors, enjoy fitness and nature.

A large group hiked Sunday at Watkins Glen State Park.

"African-American women are at a greater risk for cardiovascular diseases, and hiking has been proven to reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases, stress, strokes," LaTasha Bulluck said.

Added Larniece Whitehead: "I need to lose some weight, and so for hiking and walking and getting my cardiovascular up, that is a great help for me."

And Shannon Thomas said: "I love the great outdoors. I love to be active, and I like the fact that it's social."

Black Girls Hike Buffalo now has more than 600 members. To join the group, click on this link.

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