Did you know the Mt. Pleasant area has over 1,000 acres of parkland and 18 preserves? You can thank the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) for all of their hard work in maintaining and protecting 18 natural areas in Mid-Michigan. The CWC’s mission is to protect and restore Central Michigan’s land, water, and wildlife resources to improve the quality of life overall. They even offer events to the public like snowshoe walks and full moon hikes!
We all know that outdoor recreation is fun and good for the mind, body, and soul. So, we are excited to announce that the CWC has a fun new challenge for 2022! They have launched a brand-new challenge called “The 100 Mile Hiking Challenge”. The challenge is pretty simple – complete 100 miles (or more) of hiking on any CWC preserve between now and the end of 2022.
(Bundy Hill, Bundy Hill, Audubon Woods)
How to Participate in the Challenge
Mike LeValley, Executive Director of the CWC, explained how their main inspiration for this challenge was to simply get more people outside and hiking. Walking outdoors can provide many health benefits, and 100 miles throughout an entire year is a challenging yet still an attainable number. It becomes much less intimidating once you break it up into 2–3-mile weekly hikes. Mike also hopes that this challenge will reach more people who might not be aware of the CWC and what they do for the Mid-Michigan community, stating he wants the challenge to, “build awareness of the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy, our publicly accessible properties, and the work that we do in the community to protect and restore natural areas.”
Looking to participate in the CWC 100 Mile Challenge? It’s simple! Register by sending your name and email address to email@example.com with the subject line “100 Mile Challenge,” then start hiking! And don’t forget to fill out your hiking log as you go. The CWC will E-mail you regular updates regarding things like trail conditions and their favorite hikes, so you’re always one step (or hike) ahead!
(Bundy Hill, Sylvan Solace)
Once you have completed 100 miles, return your hiking log to the CWC offices (306 S. University Ave., Mt. Pleasant) to claim a special 100 Mile Challenge award!
The CVB is getting involved too – if you use #MeetMtP when sharing photos of your adventures during the 100 Mile Challenge, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win an overnight stay in the Mt. Pleasant area!
Did we mention dogs can participate too? Dogs are always welcome on CWC trails as long as they remain leashed. If your furry four-legged friend completes the challenge with you just add them to your registration email. Once they complete the challenge, they’ll get their own special prize!
(Bundy Hill, Stearns)
Where to Participate
There are so many different preserves to choose from when participating in the challenge, including Bundy Hill Preserve, Audubon Woods Preserve, Sylvan Solace Preserve, plus many more! When asked which preserve was his favorite to hike, Mike had trouble narrowing it down, but ultimately chose Bundy Hill Preserve and Hall’s Lake Natural Area. Bundy Hill is known for having the highest geologic point in Isabella County and providing wildlife habitat, while Hall’s Lake Natural Area offers a variety of nature preserves that surround much of the eastern shoreline of Hall’s Lake. To see a full list of preserves, check out the CWC website.
(Halls Lake, Sylvan Solace)
Remember to check the CWC website for other hiking challenges, information on recreation and conservation, and any news on upcoming events. You can also keep an eye on their Facebook page for trail updates and pictures of the preserves. Well, what are you waiting for? Get outside today and begin your 100-mile journey with the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy. We’ll see you on the trails!