Hiking Incentives

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Hiking West Virginia program in which you are awarded a walking stick merely for taking hikes in the state parks, forests, and wildlife management areas. I’ve found a few other states that offer similar programs.

Georgia sponsors the Canyon Climbers Club. The membership fee is $10 and the program consists of hiking the one-mile trail to the base of Amicaloa Falls, the one-mile Waterfalls Trail in Cloudland Canyon State Park, a hike to a suspension bridge over Tallulah Gorge, and a 1.5-mile loop at Providence Gorge in the southwestern part of the state. Do these simple walks and the Department of Natural Resources will reward you with an exclusive “I did it!” T-shirt. Enroll through www.gastateparks.org.

It’s a little out of the Blue Ridge region, but Florida’s free Trailwalker program is worth considering. Hike 10 trails in a minimum of five state forests and the Division of Forestry awards a certificate and Trailwalker patch. Walk an additional ten trails, receive a different patch, and hike a total of thirty trails and be awarded the Trailmaster patch and certificate. Information may be found at www.fl-dof.com.

Participants in Virginia’s free Trail Quest program can receive up to five different pins for verifying that they have visited one, five, ten, 20, and every one of the 35 state parks. Sign up at www.virginiaoutdoors.com.

All of these programs are nice little incentives to get you and the kids into the woods.

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