Do you need a little inspiration to get moving after the holiday season? Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy is starting off 2023 with a challenge to get folks out and about – no matter your background or ability this is a project designed to get folks outside to enjoy the great outdoors!
The SAHC Winter Hiking Challenge sets a goal of 60 miles in 60 days, to be completed in your own time and at your own speed. Those can be miles you’ve walked, run or hiked – in your neighborhood, on a flat walking track, up a rugged mountain trail, or meandering in fields and forests. Whatever works for your comfort and skill level – just make it 60 miles within the 60-day challenge time period (January 1 to March 1, 2023). Sign up early to have more time to complete the Challenge. Registration ends on February 1. Please note, this is a challenge you set with yourself, it is not a competition, so feel free to tailor your challenge to best meet your physical abilities.
All participants will receive informative emails with suggestions for some of our favorite places to hike across the mountains of NC and TN. This special email series will include recommendations to enjoy places that SAHC has protected as well other favorite trails and excursions. We all know that some of our favorite hiking places are experiencing overuse and suffering impacts from their popularity. We will try to share tidbits about some of the lesser-known trails and places to enjoy the great outdoors, so you can help alleviate stress on fragile trail ecosystems as well as locations that fit all ability levels. Those who complete the Winter Hiking Challenge will receive a commemorative SAHC patch after the end of the challenge (after March 1). Proceeds from the Challenge sign-ups support conservation work in the Southern Appalachians.
Time spent outdoors and in nature can help with both mental and physical health. We hope this Challenge will make it interesting for folks to explore places you may not have hiked before, and/or to rediscover the joy of nature in your own backyard. Please note, the Challenge signup fee is a fundraiser to help support conservation efforts; you DO NOT have to pay to hike public trails.
Are you a little unsure about hiking in winter? We will share helpful Winter Hiking Tips, for those who haven’t hiked during the winter months. Feel free to enter miles at any date during the 60 days, as long as they are all entered before March 1. You can even enter your miles at the end of a certain time period (e.g, entering your miles for the week on Friday, all under one entry).
Take the Challenge by yourself, or with friends and family. Please just be safe while doing so!