4-H Wildside 2020-2021 Winter Hiking Challenge
Hiking is a fantastic activity to do as a family. The Winter Hiking Challenge is designed to get you outdoors and active during the winter months and get you to explore the natural beauty around the county and state. If you are new to winter hiking or hiking in general this program will be a perfect guide to learning the ropes.
The Winter Hiking Challenge works like a scavenger hunt where you can choose and complete as many hikes as you can before spring. Each hike earns one point, and there are plenty of opportunities to earn bonus points as well. If you earn at least five points, you will earn a special hiking challenge patch (and there are other cool prizes for those who earn ten or more points!). The challenge extends over a 15-week period, ending on March 20, 2021, giving you plenty of time to explore at your own pace.
Youth ages 5-18 who complete the challenge are eligible to earn patches and win prizes.
Choose from the following hikes to complete the challenge (one hike = one point)
- Hike in your town
- Hike to a pond or lake
- Hike to an ocean (We recommend the Atlantic Ocean.)
- Hike a section of a rail trail (such as the 27-mile Rockingham Recreational Trail)
- Hike to a fire tower
- Hike to an exposed summit
- Hike to the top of a 1,000-footer
- Hike in a different county (one point for every county, with ten total possible points)
- Hike with an animal (both wildlife sightings and pets qualify)
- Cross country ski or snowshoe hike
Recording Your Hikes
First, register for the Winter Hiking Challenge event via 4HOnline 2.0.
We have created a booklet you can use to log your hikes, which also walks you through filling out your itinerary and prepares you with the gear you need for safe and enjoyable hikes. (Tip: you will need to print the booklet front-and-back and fold it in half to view the pages in the correct order!) Download here:
There are two ways to earn your patch:
- Mail your completed booklet to your county 4-H office by Monday, March 29, 2021. We will mail it back to you with your patch.
- Complete a digital version of your booklet or upload photos of your printed booklet here: bit.ly/winter-hiking-challenge-booklet-upload. You can continue to use this same link from the same device throughout the duration of the challenge and your responses will be saved.
- You must have earned a minimum of five points by March 20, 2021 to earn your Winter Hiking Challenge patch.
- All hikes must be logged in your booklet (printed or uploaded), and each entry must have a photo. Booklets must be submitted by Monday, March 29, 2021.
- Each photo must have the 4-H Clover visible to qualify. The 4-H clover can be represented in the form of 4-H clothing, Club banner, Clover print-out, get creative!
- Hiking criteria cannot be “doubled-up” to have hikes qualify for more than one criterion. For example, a snowshoe hike to a pond can only count as one of either pond hike or snowshoe hike.
- You must hike with a first aid kit, water, food, and appropriate apparel for the weather.
- You must designate an emergency contact for you hikes. (Who knows when and where you are hiking? Very important if you don’t come back!)
- Only youth ages 5-18 are eligible to earn patches and win prizes.
- Have fun!!
- Collect five points to earn your Winter Hiking Challenge patch (image above).
- Accrue ten or more points and you will get a shoutout with your picture on social media along with your patch.
- For Rockingham County, the first youth or family unit to reach 10 points will receive a $50 EMS gift card, and the youth or family unit that gets the MOST points will receive a $50 EMS gift card. Youth must be registered for the challenge in 4HOnline to be eligible. All participants that earn at least 10 points will receive a 4-H T-shirt.
Need assistance finding the right trails for you? Check out Trail Finder and All Trails. View personally curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews from other hikers. These two online resources will help you find trail maps and directions to parking areas.
We will be leading a few guided hikes during the challenge!
- Mast Road Natural Area with Greg Jordan - Epping, NH - Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 9am
- Pitcher Mountain with Paul Crosby - Stoddard, NH - Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 11am
- Winter Hike with Mike: Blue Job Mountain - Strafford, NH - Saturday, February 20 -OR- Saturday, March 6 at 9:30am
- Goose Pond with Kristen Landau - Keene, NH - Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 11am
- Austin17House Trails with Karlee O'Keefe - Brentwood, NH - Saturday, March 13, 2021 at 1pm
How to Register
Please register for Wildside Winter Hiking Challenge via 4HOnline 2.0.