The New Hike to Health Program

Voyageurs National Park is proud to partner with Rainy Lake Medical Center to bring you Hike to Health. This program encourages a healthy lifestyle while exploring Minnesota’s national park. It is free and available for all ages. Hike to Health dovetails with the new, multi-use Rainy Lake Recreation Trail and will be a special feature of VNPA’s Fall Volunteer Rendezvous.

The hallmark of this program is the Hike to Health Trails Passport booklet, which has a separate page for each trail in the park. When hiking one of the trails of Voyageurs National Park, participants will bring along their Trails Passport booklet and a pencil or crayon.  Along the trail, attached to a post, hikers will find a rubbing plate with a design etched into it. Those who are more tech savvy can also pick up a list of GPS points for the plates from a visitor center.

Once the participating hikers find a trail’s plate, they simply hold the corresponding page in their Trails Passport booklet against the plate and carefully rub over the paper with your pencil or crayon. With the etchings in the plate, a design will appear on the page. Upon completing 5, 10, and all of the trail rubbings, participants will present their Trails Passport booklet at a park visitor center to receive a stamp and recognition. But, of course, the real reward will be the sense of accomplishment and improved health.

Another focus of Hike to Health is encouraging visitors to get out and about during our long northern winters. Toward this goal, Voyageurs National Park already offers loans and rentals of snowshoes and cross-country skis. This equipment will work hand-in-glove (or mitten) with Hike to Health, as the special winter trails maintained by the park will have their own pages in the Trails Passport booklet and their own corresponding rubbing plates.

Sponsorship for Hike to Health is provided by the Active Trails Program, which in its fifth successful year, promotes healthy living by getting people outside and active on trails. The sponsors of the Active Trails Program deserve special thanks for facilitating this program. Funding is provided by Coca-Cola™ and is managed by the National Park Foundation.

It’s amazing what a little walk in the park will do.