Bear Yuba Land Trust, Folk Trails Hiking Club to celebrate 52-trail challenge successes |

Bear Yuba Land Trust, Folk Trails Hiking Club to celebrate 52-trail challenge successes

The 52 Hike Challenge was started by Karla Amador and Philip Stinis in 2014. The challenge became a global movement inspiring people to get outside and try to hike 52 times in one year, or an average of once a week.
Submitted photo to The Union |

This year, Rachelle Rodriquez challenged herself to hike 52 new trails, at least five miles long.

As a result, she has explored local favorites like Feather Falls and Loch Leven Trail, plus Havasu Falls in Arizona, Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite National Park and Angels Landing in Zion National Park.

“I loved sharing many of these experiences with friends and family,” said Rodriquez. “One of my favorites was a car camping trip with my teenage daughter to visit Utah’s five national parks.”

In 2017, nearly 300 people in Nevada County, mostly women, took a pledge to go on 52 hikes. Folk Trails Hiking Club and Bear Yuba Land Trust will celebrate these trail warriors with a party and award ceremony from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Ol’ Republic Brewery in Nevada City.

“People joined the 52 Hike Challenge for a variety of reasons,” said Jesse Locks, founder of Folk Trails Hiking Club. “Some joined because they were looking for a community to connect with. Others were doing it to improve their health. But no matter the reasons, everyone wanted to get outside to see and experience all the beauty and wild spaces that exist in our community.

“It was exciting to see so many people take the challenge this year.”

Started by Karla Amador and Phillip Stinis in 2014, the 52 Hike Challenge has become a global movement inspiring individuals to step outside their comfort zone in order to hike 52 times in one year, or an average of once a week.

In January 2017, the land trust and Folk Trails Hiking Club teamed up to offer guided hikes and other trail resources to inspire hikers to go out on their own. Hikes ranged from beginner to advance, one mile to 15-plus miles, flat to several thousands of feet in elevation gain.

Jim Simmons lost count of how many hikes he’s accomplished this year but believes it is close to double the 52.

“Hiking and the outdoors provides me with a quality of life that very few can imagine at age 82, Simmons said. “My health and stamina can be directly attributed to hikes now up to 15 miles.”

Simmons, at age 65, gave up a destructive life involving addiction and alcohol in exchange for his healthier hiking lifestyle. This year, hiking to the top of Nevada County’s highest peak, Mt. Lola, after a snow storm was one of his highlights.

Linda Conklin has hiked 70 hikes this year. While 26 were five miles or more, she also helped with 12 hikes with the land trust and 20 for Placer Nature Center as a trek docent. She took the challenge in the hopes of inspiring others and plans to continue in 2018.

Everyone who loves to hike or wants to know more about the 52 Hike Challenge and hiking in Nevada County are welcome to attend tonight’s social.

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Source: Bear Yuba Land Trust

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