Last fall, my friend, neighbor, and reader, Jeff, was retiring from his MegaCorp job and told me about a retirement plan he came up with to visit every State Park within three hours of our town. It was one part of his ‘Not Bored List’ and a good cross-training endeavor since he is also a marathon runner.
Related: Pre-FIRE ‘Not Bored List’
I’ve never been much of a hiker, but when he told me about it we made plans to go on a 3 mile hike with our wives – so he could ‘check the box’ on a State Park about an hour from our house. He told us about Minnesota’s State Park ‘Hiking Club’ that he joined. You go on a designated 2-6 mile hike and look for a sign along the path that has a secret password. Collect the passwords in a MN Hiking Club passport book and you can earn 25-50-75-100+ patches and free nights camping.
I thought it was a fun idea, but for whatever reason, I didn’t ‘join the club’. Recently, he sent me a picture of his State Park map and the 18 parks he had already visited and I decided it was time to join. I got my State Park Hiking Club passport book in early August and have already hit 10 parks, earning my 25-mile patch this week.
It’s been a fun complement to the weekly waterfall field trips I’ve been making all year and boosted by two overnights I’ve taken to Minnesota’s beautiful North Shore / Lake Superior. I’ve even brought my new drone and gotten some great shots on the hikes.
Related: Weekly Waterfalls / Field Trips
I’m not sure I can get my 50-mile patch before winter comes our way, but it’s nice to have something to shoot for. Jeff recently earned his 75-mile patch and is quickly heading to 100!
What have you been doing to get outside this fall?
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