Come hike with us once a week and have some fun engaging your body, mind and most certainly your soul...
Park Challenge is a once a week hiking challenge geared to have you on the trail, for a year, to promote a healthier YOU!
Hiking is a great addition to any healthy lifestyle plan. The benefits of spending time outdoors is well documented and can benefit you both physically and mentally. HIKEhoppers would like to assist you in creating your own personal adventure, designed to find the fire within.
Download ONE Park Challenge hiking log and commit to hiking once a week. Strengthen your BODY
"Gamify" your challenge by working toward hiking MILESTONES. HIKEhoppers has your "inner game junky" covered. Park Challenge comes with a water bottle (to be used to hydrate and to act as a game board) plus milestone water bottle stickers. YOU earn them as you HIKE and when you finish you earn a special finisher sticker to help you celebrate!
Take time to gather and give information you will receive during our once a week Park Challenge Meet Up Group. Calm your MIND
Choose to socialize your challenge by attending a "Meet Up" group that fits YOU! HIKEhoppers has a once a week Park Challenge "Meet Up" group just for Park Challenge participants, for no extra charge, to help you stay accountable to your challenge.
Hike with Mindi -if you are 40 years of age or older this is the group for you!
Hike with Stef- if you are a mother with children still living at home this meet up will have your peeps!
Hike with Matt-under the age of 30 looking to hike locally and travel out of the state check this group out!
Hike with Emma- looking for a bit of yoga and meditation thrown into your hike Emma' s got you covered!
We also have several hiking "Meet Up" groups that you can purchase to spice up your hiking routines during the month. Grab a friend or family member and be prepared for camaraderie, fun, and support!
Take time to set some personal goals, knowing that you will find some great people to support you along the way! Feed your SOUL
Choose to celebrate your challenge by purchasing a Park Challenge Finisher T-shirt to make sure that you remember/honor your commitment to a stronger body, calmer mind, and a more peaceful, happier soul. 100% of your purchase proceeds supports the HIKEhoppers mission.
We all have an inner "spark". We are born with it. When we allow PASSION, CURIOSITY, and LOVE to guide us, our "spark" grows. As our "spark" grows, it turns into a "flame" . This "flame" helps us navigate a life-path that will bring connectedness and happiness into our lives, consistently.
This "Dynamic Trio" definitely ignited our inner fire! We were warmed by their passion, determination and connectedness. Three women, with stories that intertwined with each other like a beautiful patchwork quilt: Mother to daughter, sister to sister, and aunt to niece. They modeled the "Fire Within" through the ties that only family can bind you with...LOVE.
When you connect with these three amazing women, a first time meet up will feel like sitting with old friends, as openness and hospitality is practiced in each of their daily lives. It was easy to be drawn in by each hiking story they told: Jodi's PASSION for the outdoors and hiking, Jen's CURIOSITY and determination in leaving NO leaf, stone, or heavy log unturned, even if it meant digging prize codes out of the ice and snow, and Cheryl's quiet loyalty and LOVE in her connectedness to her family inspired us and brought passion, curiosity, and love into our HKEhoppers vibe!
Before the family knew it, they had Grandpa Paul scheduled to babysit the grandkids as everyone scheduled Park Blast hiking time - Jodi and Cheryl, Jen and Jodi, Jodi and Jen's husband Randy, Cheryl and her son Ben, and Jen, Randy and their sons. The family hiking combinations seemed endless and had them winter hiking for the entire month of February.
The genuine love and respect these three women have for each other is inspiring. When you have your family by your side, you are never alone. There are always people around you that want the best for you and who will always be ready to be called upon when you need someone to help you search for Park Blast Prize codes... or anything else that comes your way.
Our 2018 HIKEhoppers Theme is: Earth Below me, Sky Above Me, Fire Within Me.
We can all light our fires and here are some matches to ignite YOUR fire within:
Earth Below Me, "Dirt beneath our feet shows that we are grounded and feel solid in our foundations. Having steady ground to walk on means we are certain in every step and that we feel comfortable to take risks."
Cheryl and Jodi understand taking risks. They were each others' solid ground when they decided to live fiercely and open SISTERS & COMPANY, in St. Joseph, MN in 2013. Living fiercely starts with asking yourself, “What do I want?”, then tapping into your own gifts, talents, and dreams. When YOU know who YOU are and what YOU want, YOU can be confident in manifesting the life YOU want to live. More often than not, this path will demand that you take risks and navigate untraveled roads. It can be scary, at times, but this is where passion lives. We have great admiration for both of them. It takes courage to try something new, and create something that does not yet exist. Please, visit their store, stop in, connect. We know you will be glad you did!
This month we encourage you to try something that scares you. Include a friend to remind you of your solid footing and be comfortable in the uncomfortable. Take a RISK! You just might be glad you did.
"The sky above, represents limitless potential and endless opportunities. Keeping a broad mind and open heart means we stay constantly on the lookout for new adventures. Life is full of possibilities as long as we are open."
Giving generously does not always mean "opening up our wallets". It also means "opening up our hearts" by sharing ourselves with one another. Jen lives and breathes openness. She doesn't just know the importance of giving generously, she acts on it. Jen opened up her home, provided a meal, and along with her mother and aunt, welcomed HIKEhoppers in. We hope they will continue to stay connected to HIKEhoppers and help us spread the HIKEhoppers story.
Sharing food has a funny way of opening us up, allowing new people and experiences to come into our lives. This week, we encourage you to find some time to connect with a person in your life and invite them to share a meal with you. When we are "open", new experiences can come into our lives and enrich us in ways we can never anticipate, but will always cherish.
Fire Within Me, "A flame inside of us points to all the ways that we burn with passion, curiosity, and love. These are the parts deep within that no one can dull or put out, that keep moving and let us keep the sparks inside of us constantly ignited!"
Our HIKEhoppers theme resonated with Jodi, Cheryl and Jen for personal reasons. Jodi's son Luke is a survivor of cancer. Luke has a motto. Luke, this one is for you, we wish you passion, curiosity, and love in your life.
Luke's motto: " I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me." - Joshua Graham
Be true to yourself. You can be stronger than the circumstances that surround you.
When we open our eyes and begin seeing passion, curiosity and love in ourselves and others,
we feed our inner flame and it grows...
...igniting into the "FIRE within"
Allowing us to create the best version of ourselves.
Here at HIKEhoppers, we believe "families that play together stay together." Join us for our Family friendly "Meet Up" Groups coming this spring! We would love to hike with you and your family and....you might even meet up with Jodi, Jen, or Cheryl along the trail!
HIKEhoppers was founded on a Minnesota hiking trail with a simple thought: everyone could use a little reconnection to themselves and nature. Forged in the possibility that we could make a difference, we committed to a mission: Strengthen bodies, calm minds, and feed souls through creating events and products with "HEART". Through hiking, inspiration, and education, our hope is to bring people closer to nature with the goal of helping Minnesotans become happier and healthier.
Fire Within Me
2018 HIKEhoppers Theme.
THE FIRE WITHIN...
We have had the privilege of meeting some amazing people along our HIKEhoppers journey - people who see the "great" possibilities surrounding them and have a sense of urgency to ACT. It is the "fire-in-their-bellies" that drives them to create a better version of themselves while also helping the people around them succeed.
In the next few months we will feature some amazing local people in The FIRE WITHIN US ALL Blog series. We hope that these stories will inspire you to find THE FIRE WITHIN and ACT. Together we can make and sustain a healthy happy community!
What FIRES YOUR PASSION? Find YOUR FIRE WITHIN and let it BURN!
We all have a fire within us; it burns and urges us to act...
Be a part of the HIKEhoppers community.
ACT now and purchase a signature HIKEhoppers T-shirt!
You receive a HAPPY TRAILS T-shirt and 100% of our proceeds are used to support HIKEhoppers Events.
We took our time and made sure that this T-shirt will be a favorite in both design and comfort. Help spread the word and support HIKEhoppers Events while enjoying this fun HIKING T-shirt!
Join us alongside our partners in igniting the FIRE WITHIN.
Let's CREATE the BEST versions of OURSELVES and OTHERS.
Let's create healthier and happier Minnesota communities TOGETHER.
"After 4 great years, we have decided to end Checkpoint MN. There will not be a scavenger hunt this winter. " - Explore MN
HIKEhoppers has a solution!
A winter scavenger hunt right here in
Join Us February 1-28
This winter, HIKEhoppers and Stearns County Parks are excited to bring “Park Blast” to 8 local parks. This event will definitely entice people to head outdoors to engage in a scavenger hunt event for the whole month of February.
February is a perfect time to shake the "winter time blues". We have been very busy networking with a ton of local businesses to load up each of the parks with amazing prizes. Let's celebrate our local businesses and organizations, shop local, and take time to deliberately work on our health!
How it Works:
Park Blast is a winter outdoor scavenger hunt that takes advantage of our local county parks to promote healthy communities. Participants engage in discovering prize codes while hiking through our local parks. This event will give away hundreds of prizes that will appeal to a variety of ages.
“Have a blast exploring local county parks while searching for hidden treasures along the way!”
I am an "unlikely hiker". You could even say that I am an "outsider to outsiders". I would gather that I am more like the average person reading this blog than the extreme hiker, planning their next pilgrimage to Mount Kailash in Tibet. I would not categorize myself as an outdoor adventurist and you would very rarely find me in a tent, unless my millennial child spiritually mind gamed me into "being one" with nature. I am not in the "typical" age range. I am a woman, and I even fall outside the racial category for hiking. But here I am, working on hiking challenges and diving into creating a business around hiking to hopefully help myself and other "unlikely hikers" find a path to reconnect to the nature in our souls.
I have been consistently hiking for a little over a year. I have progressed in my learning and understandings of the importance of bug spray, a good hat, and a hiking pack to hold a bright flashlight, because I have not quite gotten over the fear of the dark. Even though there has been great growth, I have much to learn. As I continue through this new journey, I keep my first few hikes in mind to always remind me of how I felt after them.
How did I feel? I felt tired, a good tired, and something else...something that I had not felt in a long time - I felt content. The feeling did not last after that first hike and the grind of life soon sucked me back into my “normal". But then I went on my second hike, visiting two more Minnesota State Parks, Charles Lindberg and Crow Wing. In a light misty rain, I filled my lungs with fresh air and I challenged my legs and my body to move. Along the way, I learned a little about the great state of Minnesota, cherished time with my son, and enjoyed the beauty of the outdoors. As we drove home, I felt it again, tired, and content. I started to think, "What is this? What happens to me as I am hiking? It seems to be less work than running, easier than working out at a gym, and time seems to pass slower as I enjoy my surroundings, yet I am amazed at how time flies by as I mark another 3-6 miles in my log book at the end of a hike." I was hooked and I wanted a new "normal" for my life. I think I am not alone, and I believe there are others out there that would like to change their "normal" as well.
During my year of hiking I have logged well over 200 miles, visited and hiked in 5 different states, and enjoyed multiple opportunities to connect with family, friends, and a handful of strangers. Each hike was filled with new experiences, new discoveries and learning opportunities.
I am thankful to EVERYONE I have had the opportunity to hike with. You know who you are! YOU are AMAZING! Thank you for teaching me about loving deep, forgiving often, letting go, living in the "now" and focusing on what really matters. Thank you for helping me begin to change my "normal".
We are multi-dimensional, complex individuals, but we all have a basic commonality tethering us together. We are all children of the Earth. Chubby, skinny, tall, short, Black, Asian, White, rich, poor, happy, depressed, the list goes on and on as we pass our time together on this planet. Our connection to the earth is a blessing, a gift that we often forget to unwrap. Thankfully, it waits for all of us to rediscover and come home to.
As you head into Thanksgiving and Christmas, slow down. Take time for YOU. Maybe sneak in a nature walk close by at a local park, nothing over-planned or fancy, just you reconnecting with the earth. Spend some time thinking about all of the love that is in your life that goes unnoticed and let go of your burdens for a few minutes. Breathe deeply and intentionally the air that sustains us all and find thankfulness during Thanksgiving! My wish for you during this holiday season is to feel a "good" tired and contentment. We can all benefit from strengthening our bodies, calming our minds and feeding our souls.
As I head into my second year of hiking, I am challenging myself to put some of the things I have learned this year into practice. I am also looking for new people to hike with! So...come on "unlikely hikers"! Come out and HIKE; change your "normal".
Where do you like to hike? Who do you like to hike with? You don't hike? Well...neither did I. Let's meet up and give it a try together.
Breaking the “fourth wall” in theatre has been around for a while, but intentionally allowing the audience to jump into the storyline and participate is a newer concept for most of us in Minnesota. Escape Rooms are popping up all over the United States, making them one of the biggest trends in entertainment today. So what is an Escape Room and how does Park Escape fit into the trend?
The average Escape Room hosts 6-10 people, per room, for approximately an hour. The group is escorted into a themed, totally decorated room and given a storyline with a time requirement. Your Escape Room host locks you into this room, wishes you “good luck” and leaves you with a group of friends - or strangers - to the task of decoding clues and solving puzzles. The object of the game: find the key or keys to get out of the room before your hour is up. Consider it “game night” on steroids with a little something for everyone!
If you are a puzzle solver, you will enjoy the themes and storylines aligned to ciphers, riddles, and puzzles. Do you have a high compete level? The time restraint can put on just enough pressure to give you a bit of a buzz. If you are more of a watcher than a puzzle solver, no worries! The hour will still fly by as you enjoy time with friends and family through laughter, teamwork, and the feeling of accomplishing something together (unless you don’t get out of the room in time, then…. you will most definitely have a great story to tell for years to come). Escape Rooms seem to have something for every personality hidden in its active adventure game style.
The HIKEhoppers Park Escape is no different in its gaming style. It will bring you together with friends and family, set you up with a storyline, and challenge you to decode puzzles, ciphers, and riddles. The twist is Park Escape takes advantage of our local county parks. Participants engage in a physical adventure game while hiking a specific trail - same concept, more movement, and a little different look to the puzzles as you need to be on the move to complete the trail in the allotted time frame.
Is the daily grind overwhelming you? If the answer is YES, you are not alone. In today’s busy world there is an increase in the number of people feeling disconnected and stressed. Interestingly, research is discovering that day hiking can balance and lessen stress in our everyday lives. In fact, scientists are beginning to show strong links between mental health, happiness, and the natural world.
This fall, HIKEhoppers joined the MN Hiking Club. We didn’t need research to tell us it would help us reconnect; we experienced the benefits firsthand. Our bodies became stronger, we were able to de-stress faster, and we began to feel more balanced. Hiking became “Chicken Soup” for our souls. Day hiking is an activity that most anyone can partake in and it may be one of the answers you are looking for. Here are three great reasons to try day hiking:
2. Hiking Calms The Mind #LearningMN
3. Hiking Feeds The Soul #BWellMN
Before heading out for a hike, think about finding and reading a few inspirational quotes that you can ponder. Here are three to get you started. Your soul will thank you!
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity… ― John Muir
Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. –Walt Whitman
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. –Edward Abbey
We invite all you to join the HIKEhoppers Community! Post YOUR day hike experiences on our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @hikehoppers. We also hope you will join us annually for our Park Hop Event with Stearns County Parks and CentraCare BLEND
Last year REI launched a campaign focused on connecting people to the outdoors. They challenged us all to #optoutside and encouraged nonprofit organizations, government agencies and companies of all sizes to help spread the message of the importance of connecting to our natural world. It is an important campaign - one that can benefit our communities by enhancing our physical, mental and spiritual health. It is a message that we would like to champion and spread at HIKEhoppers. We are excited to create events and programs for our community that strengthen the body, calm the mind, and feed the soul.
In today's busy technological world we are seeing an increase in a disconnect between humans and the natural world. Many of us, including our youth, are spending considerably less time in nature than decades past. The author Samuel Johnson stated, "Deviation from nature is deviation from happiness." New research is beginning to support Johnson's quote as scientists begin to link the natural world to our overall mental health and happiness.
We at HIKEhoppers have felt this disconnection, as many of you may have also. As we started the MN Hiking Club and MN Passport Club we began to see the benefits of reconnecting with nature. We felt our bodies getting stronger - we were able to de-stress faster, and we began to feel more balanced. Hiking became a "chicken Soup" for our souls.
As we hiked, we joined others, as we talked, others joined us. This inspired all of us to create a community of people committed to building a strong hiking organization. We serve communities by connecting people to nature through experiences in nature.
We hope you will join us @hikehoppers #letshikemn
We are a community of hikers committed to helping people find a healthier version of themselves.
Do you like to write? Submit blogs to HIKEhoppers. Share your hiking experiences and knowledge with us today! You might just see your blog up on our site!