Enjoy the outdoors with Hike the Wild

If you have hay fever after what seems like a long winter and are just itching to get outside, the Dickinson County Conservation Board has the answer.

Its monthly Hike the Wild program restarts for 2018 on Tuesday, Feb. 27, with a special snowshoe hike at Elinor Bedell State Park.

“Snowshoeing is always weather dependent, but if there is enough of a snow base, this will be a great opportunity for people to borrow our snowshoes and try out a new winter sport,” said Kiley Roth, Dickinson County Conservation community relations coordinator. “If there isn’t enough snow, just wear your boots and enjoy a fun and informational hike through the park.”

(Take the kids outside for a shape walk.)

Hike the Wild is held the fourth Tuesday of each month, year-round. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji and then caravan to that month’s hiking site.

“We love to get people outside in all seasons, in all kinds of weather,” Roth said. “So often we think that if it is cold outside then we have to stay inside, but that’s just not the case. The Iowa Great Lakes area, especially, offers plenty of outdoor opportunities in all seasons, and Hike the Wild helps people experience that.”

(Learn how to create snow masterpieces.)

Each month, Hike the Wild will head to a new location, allowing people to see some of the great places they can hike in their spare time with their families and friends as well. Also during each program, Dickinson County Conservation environmental education coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman and naturalist Ashley Hansen will give information about the landscape, the plants and animals found in that area and the environmental or historical importance of the location.

The schedule for 2018 hikes will be as follows:

Feb. 27: Elinor Bedell State Park

March 27: Lower Gar State Recreational Area

April 24: Gull Point State Park

May 22: Wildwood Nature Preserve

June 26: Cayler Prairie

July 24: Silver Lake Fen

Aug. 28: Kettleson Hogsback

Sept. 25: Freda Haffner Kettlehole

Oct. 23: Ocheyedan Mound State Preserve

*3 p.m. Nov. 27: Turkey Trot, Kenue Park

*3 p.m. Dec. 27: Winter Wonderland Walk, Kenue Park

Hike the Wild is a free program for all ages, but most trails will not be paved and terrain is varied, including hills, so please keep that in mind as you plan your participation.

“We’re excited to kick off another year of Hike the Wild, a program that has been a popular one in the past for getting people out to places in the region that they had not experienced before,” Roth said. “Bundle up this season, head outside and enjoy some fresh air as winter begins to wrap up.”

For more information on Hike the Wild and other Dickinson County Conservation Board programming, visit our environmental education page or call 712-336-6352. You can also keep up on the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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