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Happy trails to you

Hit the trails for a healthy summer. This week marks National Trails Week.

Happy National Trails Day. The first Saturday in June has been designated National Trails Day by the American Hiking Society.

This is the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act which promotes the enjoyment and appreciation of trails while encouraging greater public access. Moving naturally is a one of the Blue Zones Project Power 9 principles and trails are the perfect way to move naturally by hiking, biking or walking.

Local trails include:

  • Wisconsin’s Wild Goose State Trail south trail head is located near Clyman and extends north through Dodge County, skirting the western edge of the Horicon Marsh. Along the trail are opportunities for people to enjoy rest stops and picnic areas. In Juneau, at Wild Goose Park, self-registered campsites are available for tents and small campers.
  • Gold Star Memorial Trail broke ground in spring with the goal to connect the communities of Mayville and Horicon. Eventually, the trail is expected to expand all the way to Beaver Dam and connect with the existing Wild Goose State Trail. The genesis of the Gold Star Memorial Trail was a grassroots initiative with the goal to promote recreational, economic and tourism development and promote healthy lifestyles for residents of and visitors to Dodge County. The trail will honor and remember local service members from our communities that have lost their lives while serving.
  • There also are trails to walk at Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area and in Harnischfeger, Ledge and Astico county parks.

Despite having great trails and parks nearby, more than one in five Dodge County adults are still physically inactive according to the 2016 Beaver Dam Community Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment Report. Celebrating National Trails Day is a great reason to start a more physically active life. Here are a few suggestions of ways to participate in National Trails Day today and throughout the summer.

  • Adopt-a-Trail. The Friends of Dodge County Parks coordinate an Adopt-a-Trail program for the Wild Goose Trail. This program allows individuals and groups to adopt a segment of the trail by volunteering their time to help keep the trail clean and safe. To learn more about how you or your group can help, contact the Parks Crew Leader, Mike Simons at (920)386-3704.
  • Take a hike or bike. The only way to really appreciate the trails is to experience them. Grab a friend, neighbor or your family and get out on a trail today.
  • Donate. The Gold Star Memorial Trail has been funded by community donations, grants and in-kind support. To allow for completion of the project, additional funds are needed. Find out how you can help expand Dodge County’s trail system by going to http://goldstarmemorialtrailwi.org/support-the-trail.
  • Meet a naturalist. Dodge County Parks has a volunteer naturalist dedicated to educating groups and the public at various events. For National Trails Day, Arwyn Yarwood will be leading a plant ID event on the Wild Goose Trail and on June 9 will lead a garlic mustard removal day at Astico Park. For more information, email arwyn.yarwood@gmail.com.

Learn More about National Trails Day and nearby events that are happening by visiting https://americanhiking.org/national-trails-day.

For more information about Blue Zones Project, visit dodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com or follow it on Facebook. Call (920) 212-8511 or email bluezonesprojectdodgecounty@sharecare.com with questions.

Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through improvements to a city’s environment, policies, and social networks. Blue Zones Project is brought to Dodge County by Beaver Dam Community Hospital, in collaboration with Sharecare and Blue Zones.

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