Great participation in Iron Belle Challenge

Bouquets and Barbs


From Ray Rustem, Michigan Department of Natural Resources youth programs specialist:

More than 25,000! That’s how many miles that Scouts in Michigan have hiked during the first three Iron Belle Challenge events in 2015, 2016 and 2017. We’re asking Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts across the state to lace up their boots, grab their water bottles, and hit the trails to drive that number even higher for this year’s challenge June 2, which happens to be National Trails Day.

The Iron Belle Trail, stretching from Belle Isle in Detroit all the way to Ironwood, links many other trails, communities, parks and forests along its 1,221-mile hiking and 798-mile bicycling routes. That means plenty of opportunities for Scouting troops statewide to join in the outdoor fun.

We’ve seen great Iron Belle Challenge participation from the start, with Scouts hiking the trail all over the state, in Detroit, Battle Creek, Cheboygan, Marquette, Ironwood and many other places. This year, Scouts can choose not just to hike, but also can participate via water trails, equestrian trails, ORV trails –the choice of trail and method of travel is up to them.

All Scouting participants will receive commemorative patches. For an even bigger challenge, participants are invited to return to the trail Sept. 29, National Public Lands Day, to complete a stewardship activity and earn a special rocker for the patch.