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Peninsula State Park's "Like to Hike" and " Peninsula 100 Club" have helped in promoting trail use in order to increase physical activity. At the same time, the park has stayed true to its mission of promoting recreation that is compatible with resource
preservation.

arrow This project was nominated for a Trails for Health Award as part of the 2008 National Trails Awards, announced at the 19th National Trails Symposium in Little Rock, Arkansas.

 

Peninsula State Park "Like to Hike" Program encourages health


photo of trail by Great Lake

Trails at Peninsula State Park

 

The mission of Peninsula State Park is to protect the natural and scenic resources of the park and to provide compatible forms of outdoor recreation and education (1981 Master Plan). Peninsula State Park's interpretive master plan include seven goals rooted in the park's overall mission. The fust goal is especially pertinent to the following proposal: To provide educational opportunities that enable visitors to safely recreate on land and water in ways that sustain park resources (2004 Interpretive Master Plan, 2007 revised).

Needs

According to Wisconsin's 2000-2005 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP), 60% of people over age twenty are overweight and 30% of people age six to nineteen are overweight, or at risk of becoming obese. The goal is to reduce both percentages to 15% by 2010. Outdoor recreation is a way to meet this goal. Eighty-five percent of Wisconsinites walk for pleasure. Forty-nine percent bike. Peninsula State Park is a place to do both. It features forty miles of trails for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing.

Since 2002, Peninsula State Park has promoted healthy outdoor recreation through the "Like to Hike" program. The program is modeled on a program offered in Lake ounty, Illinois. Engaging park visitors in low environmental impact, land based recreation is the program's primary goal.

If visitors hike, bike, or ski up to five different Peninsula State Park trails, they may apurchase a custom pin at cost ($3.00). Visitors log miles in a hiking log, which is presented to Nature Center staff upon completion.

Peninsula State Park distributes 1,500 Like to Hike logs each year, and about 600 pins. A new p[in is offered each year. Each pin features a different animal or plant found at Peninsula State Park.

graphic of pins

Hiking pins available to participants in the "Like to Hike" program to
encourage healthy activity on the park's trails

 

Peninsula 100 is one of several initiatives highlighting the 100-year legacy of the state park. The Peninsula 100 program offers recreation that is locally accessible to all ages, abilities and economic circumstances. It promotes low impact usc of Peninsula's diverse trails while highlighting the park's 2009 centennial year.

In addition, Peninsula 100 rewards recreating at other Door County parks, which will foster an appreciation for the peninsula's natural beauty. A Raibrook Foundation grant will fund the purchase of hiking shields, the incentive that will advance participation. All centennial activities and publications must be completely self-supporting. Funds are not available through the Wisconsin State Parks Bureau.

1. Participants who logged 100 "silent sport" recreational miles within Peninsula State Park during 2008 and 2009 were eligible to receive a centennial hiking shield (while supplies last) at no cost.

2. Participants may submit an official Peninsula 100 Tally Form to receive a centennial shield. Tally forms are available at the Nature Center or may be downloaded at www.peninsulafriends.org.

3. Participants use the "honor system" to log miles. Land based silent sports are eligible: hiking, tour biking, cross country skiing and mountain biking (a trail pass is required for people age 16 and older who use Peninsula mountain bike or ski trails).

photo of young and old hikers

Hikers at Peninsula State Park

 

4. Because of the centennial, focus is on Peninsula. However, in the interest of accessibility and to cultivate broader appreciation for Door County's environmental legacy, participants can opt to log Equivalent Mile Values, totaling no more than 40 miles. Eligible activities include Peninsula's Vita Course (exercise), invasive species volunteer work within Peninsula (stewardship), trail use at other county parks and natural areas (low impact recreation), historical walking tours (heritage) and even reading nature books (literacy).

5. Participants must pick up hiking shields at Peninsula. Shields will not be mailed.

6. Visitors participate on their own, at no cost, but a state park vehicle sticker is required on all motorized vchicles within state parks.

7. The public may purchase centennial hiking shields for $5, tax included. All proceeds fund the centennial celebration.

Peninsula State Park has sold a hiking shield for over five years. All proceeds benefit nature education at the park. This new centennial shield is an exclusive, commemorative item only available at Peninsula. The design will be based on the adjacent centennial graphic element. Unlike the previous shield, this one is tied to a specific recreation program. Peninsula's LIKE TO HIKE program will compliment the Peninsula 100 program.

Peninsula is Wisconsin's most popular camping destination with 468 family campsites and three group sites that accommodate up to 60 campers each. Over one million people visit Peninsula each year. The park's outstanding features include over 40 miles of multi-use trails. Trails include Sunset Bike Route, a I O-mile accessible trail.

For more information visit http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/ORG/LAND/parks/specific/peninsula/

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