Season-long event celebrates National ‘Take a Hike’ Day Nov. 17

Pictured from left are Phil Clift; Russell’s dog Josh; Mike Russell; and Dennis MacVittie at the Big Rock on the 440 Trail at Great Bear Springs Recreation Area. Photo courtesy of Richard Drosse

OSWEGO — The Oswego County Healthy Miles Coalition encourages residents to get out and enjoy the wide variety of trail networks and nature parks the county has to offer. The group will celebrate National “Take a Hike” Day on Sunday, Nov. 17, with a season-long hiking event.

The group presents “Take a Hike!” 2020 this fall. The event is a virtual campaign to help people leave their stress behind and reconnect with nature. It begins on Saturday, Oct. 3 and continues through National “Take a Hike” Day on Tuesday, Nov. 17. To participate, go to https://forms.gle/2qJ7Cov34J7TfT3U9 to complete the free registration form and then start hiking. Participants can walk 100 miles as team or 50 miles as individuals; whenever they can, wherever they want.

“This has been a stressful year for many of us due to the coronavirus,” said Virginia Bough, program specialist, Oswego County Opportunities. “There’s no better way to relax and unwind than to get out into the great outdoors Oswego County is so well known for.”

Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang agreed, “Regular exercise improves our overall physical and mental health. Hiking is an excellent form of exercise because the changes in elevation and terrain help to utilize muscles that aren’t necessarily exercised every day. Deep breathing helps to improve blood flow and lower stress, which is important to mental health, especially during this pandemic.”

He continued, “I’ve noticed that many organizations and individuals have been working hard to keep popular public health programs going in this difficult time. Over the past several months, many have adopted the ‘new norms of COVID-19’ and led the way to encourage walking and exercise, quitting smoking and preventing substance use disorders.”

The Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning has developed an interactive online map which identifies approximately 200 miles of trails and walkable paths in Oswego County. The geocoded map is posted on the county tourism website at www.visitoswegocounty.com.

The Oswego County Healthy Miles Coalition includes Oswego County Opportunities, ARISE, Friends of Great Bear, Oswego YMCA, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, Oswego County 4-H Program, Oswego Expeditions, Oswego City-County Youth Bureau and the Oswego County Health Department.

For more information about the Oswego County Healthy Miles Coalition, contact Virginia Bough at 315-598-4717 or vbough@oco.org.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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