Throughout 2020, the Winona Outdoor Collaborative (WOC) team found solace through our time spent in the outdoors. Whether hiking in the bluffs, paddling the Mississippi, climbing on Sugarloaf or biking around town: time spent in nature provided the perfect moment to pause, take a breath, and recharge our batteries. With this in mind and as we turn to the new year, we’ve decided to deem 2021 the “pursuit for the outdoors.”
Throughout 2021, our team is committed to getting outside more, doing the things we love, and staying active in nature. The benefits are widespread. Many studies show that time spent outdoors decreases levels of stress and anxiety, promotes general health and wellness, and decreases risk factors associated with obesity, among other benefits, according to a 2015 Stanford study. With so many ways to access the outdoors here in Winona, we’re excited to see how this increased time in nature can positively impact our own lives — and we want you to get outdoors, too!
As a part of our “pursuit for the outdoors,” we’re inviting the community to participate in the WOC 24 Hikes Series. Through this program, participants will sign a commitment pledge to go on 24 hikes in the Winona area throughout 2021 — that’s just two hikes a month. Participants will be eligible for a series of prizes throughout the year and, upon completion of your hike series, participants will receive a WOC sticker.
Participation is free and includes access to the WOC’s recommended 24 local hikes, however any hike within 40 miles of Winona counts. Participants can hike any length or time — so long as you’re getting outdoors and moving in nature, it counts.
To sign up for the 24 Hikes Series, head to the WOC website: www.winonaoutdoorcollaborative.com/24hike-series. Participants can sign up at any time throughout 2021.
Don’t forget to share your adventures with the WOC through social media. Participants can tag the WOC in their posts on Instagram or Facebook (@winonaoutdoorcollaborative) or by using the hashtag #24HikesSeries. The WOC may feature your posts to help inspire others to continue their own “pursuit for the outdoors.”
We hope you’ll consider joining us this year as we explore more, together. Happy 2021, Winona! May this year bring you more time outdoors, pursuing the things you love and connecting with nature.