foot print in snow

4-H Wildside 2020-2021 Winter Hiking Challenge

Mon, 11/30/2020 to Sat, 03/20/2021

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 (other cool prizes are in the works 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.

Hiking Criteria

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 by Monday, December 14, 2020.

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:

Download Winter Hiking Challenge Booklet

There are two ways to earn your patch:

  • Mail your completed booklet to your county 4-H office. 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.

hiking patch

Guidelines

  • 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
  • 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!)
  • Have fun!!

Prizes

  • 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.
  • Other cool prizes are in the works for those who earn ten or more points!

Finding Trails

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.

Unsure how to use Trail Finder? We got you! UNH CE's Emma Tutein will be hosting a virtual Trail Finder tutorial on Tuesday, December 15 from 6:30-7:30pm to show you have to navigate the website, give you examples for hikes that meet the critera, and answer your questions. For Zoom information, email rockingham.4h@unh.edu.

Guided Hikes

We will be leading a few guided hikes during the challenge! Schedule coming in December.

How to Register

Please register for Wildside Winter Hiking Challenge via 4HOnline 2.0 by Monday, December 14, 2020.

Cost

Free

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