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Mississippi Valley Conservancy’s Trail Trek Challenge is on

The free, year-round hiking program has outdoor fun for the whole family to enjoy.

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The Mississippi Valley Conservancy is celebrating their 25th Anniversary as a non-profit land trust permanently protecting land in 9 Wisconsin counties. They have a lot going on this spring including the launch of another year of the free hiking program, the Trail Trek Challenge.

They protect land in Buffalo, Crawford, Grant, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Trempealeau, and Vernon Counties. A lot of this land is public and the Trail Trek Challenge is an excellent way to highlight some of their nature preserves.

The free, year round hiking program officially kicked off the season at this weekend’s Earth Fair. Sarah Bratnober, Communications Director for Mississippi Valley Conservancy, told Z93 the “challenge” is to hike 5 of the 15 trails throughout the course of a year.

A articipant’s free registration includes a downloadable Trail Guide and Hike Log with hike descriptions, a place to record your hikes throughout the year, and there’s also nature treasure hunts for kids.

Registered participants will receive their Hike-of-the-Month feature by email each month. Bratnober added that the email includes hiking tips and ideas for day trips, with suggestions on things to do along the way. “Those things kind of helped to inspire people to keep going and stick with the program.”

The Hike of the Month has specific destinations suggested for their seasonal attributes and trail conditions, but nature isn’t always predictable. They have trail condition updates and reminders on their website, including asking participants to turn around if paths become muddy, not go around. “Going around muddy areas on the trails only makes things worse by damaging sensitive habitat.”

500 people participated in last year’s challenge that just wrapped earlier up this month. Bratnober said.

For more information or to register for the Trail Trek Challenge, head to their website, HERE.

Tracy has worked at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 2004. She is half of the Z93 Morning Buzz with Brittany and Ballzer and coordinates Z93's charity, Zcare. She writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse and announces for the Mississippi Valley Mayhem Roller Derby team.

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