SAWYER — The 2021 version of the #10Trail Challenge offered 15 different places to hike and take selfies at special picture-frame stations during July.
This was the fourth year COL and the Rotary Club of Harbor Country sponsored the #10Trail Challenge, and 375 people signed up (with most of them sending in selfies via Instagram, Facebook or email).
Chikaming Open Lands Education and Outreach Coordinator Casey Struecker said a total of 109 people had completed 10 of the trails while 57 had achieved “Extreme15” status.
Struecker said those completing 10 of the trails will receive a $10 gift card to either Nola Rue (a Cajun eatery in St. Joe), Haymarket in Bridgman, or Leed’s Public House in Michigan City. Those that trekked all 15 trails get a gift card of their choice and a chance to win additional prizes such as a $100 gift card from Wanderlust or three $25 Outpost Sports gift cards.
The #10Trail Challenge’s 15 trails for 2021 were: Lydick Bog Nature Preserve, St. Patrick’s County Park, Burns Prairie Preserve, Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve, the Edward and Elizabeth Leonard Wildlife Preserve, Jens Jensen Preserve, Warren Dunes State Park (via the Floral Lane entrance), Fernwood Botanical Gardens, the Mt. Tabor Trails, Baroda Township Park, Dowagiac Woods Nature Sanctuary, Riverview Park, Lake Michigan College, Sarett Nature Center, and Paw Paw River County Park (in Waterviet).
Struecker said this year’s #10Trails Challenge was the debut for a new trail system in COL’s 108-acre Edward and Elizabeth Leonard Wildlife Preserve near Lakeside. She noted that the trails were completed just in time for the #10Trail Challenge.
“They were brand new.”
This was also the first time the Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve (located along Warren Woods Road near Warren Woods State Park) was part of the challenge.
“Those trails have been open for about a year now,” Struecker said.
She said COL partnered with a couple different land trusts to include Dowagiac Woods Nature Sanctuary and the Lydick Bog Nature Preserve in Indiana in this year’s event.
Also popular with hikers this summer was the Mt. Tabor Trails which run in rural Baroda between the Tabor Hill and Round Barn wineries.