DNR invites Scouts to take a hike

LANSING — Scouts across Michigan will be hitting the trail – some hiking the Iron Belle Trail or local trails, others riding their bikes or paddling canoes and kayaks – June 1 as part the Iron Belle Challenge.

This annual DNR-sponsored event, which coincides with National Trails Day, started five years ago to celebrate the then-newly designated Iron Belle Trail system and its role in bolstering Michigan’s reputation as the Trails State. Since then, Scouts and their leaders have traveled over 33,000 miles as part of the Iron Belle Challenge.

The DNR, looking to increase that number, invites all members of Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA and Girl Scouts to get out on Michigan’s trails again this year.

“Over the last five years, thousands of Scouts, Scout leaders and parents have participated, and many have remarked on the availability of trails in their community and keep coming back each year,” said Iron Belle Challenge event coordinator Ray Rustem. “The trail opportunities in Michigan are endless! Most Scout groups in the state are only minutes away from the unmatched quality and beauty of a hiking, biking or water trail.”

All Scouts who participate in the Iron Belle Challenge will receive a commemorative patch. For an even bigger challenge, participants are invited to return to the trail Sept. 21, National Public Lands Day, to complete a stewardship activity and earn a special rocker for the patch.

More information is available on the DNR scouting webpage at Michigan.gov/DNRScouting, under Iron Belle Challenge. Those interested in participating also can contact Ray Rustem, DNR youth program specialist, 517-284-6070.

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