This weekend, outdoor enthusiasts from all over the region joined us in northern Michigan for a special spring treat. Over three days, Shanty Creek hosted the North Country Trail Association’s annual Celebration.
The event is an opportunity to bring together trail stewards, environmental experts, wildlife and plant experts, and plenty of enthusiasts hikers for a weekend to learn, share, and grow our love of the outdoors. The North Country Trail is the longest in the National Trails System, stretching over 4,000 miles between North Dakota and Vermont. Bellaire received a tremendous honor in hosting this event, which attracted ambassadors from each state and many of the communities that the NCT passes through.
Glacial Hills took center stage not once, but twice over the course of the three-day summit. Friday night, Sue Holtzmann and Lyn Petty kicked things off with a wildflower hike. While the chilly temperatures kept these shy early season blossoms hiding, hikers reveled in the quality of maintenance and design here at Glacial Hills. It was a welcome chance to move the legs and take some deep breaths of the chill northern Michigan air as attendees prepared to rejoin a number of indoor offerings from the event. Workshops, speakers, meet and greets, plus plenty of informational presentations made for a great opportunity to share knowledge gained across the NCT and other trail organizations.
Saturday had a full slate of the same, and it wasn’t until Sunday that we were able to get more summit-goers back in the woods at Glacial Hills. Motivational speaker, Mirna Valerio, led a four-mile trail run and answered plenty of questions about her journey, her vision, and her book to the folks who made it out. Sunday was a glorious day, with the first warm spring temperatures, sun, and other trails users who were happy to smile, wave, and share the joys of a day in nature.
We want to thank all the sponsors who made the Celebration such a success, as well as the attendees who shared so much about their own trail experiences. These events offer so much in our mission to learn, grow, and improve the trails and what they bring to cyclists, hikers, and runners, as well as our community as a whole!