Lindsay Wriston: Hike 100 Finisher
“As a doctor, I have seen first-hand the strain the pandemic has had on our community and I am glad that people are turning to the outdoors to benefit their mental and physical health.”
Lindsay Wriston from Battle Creek, Michigan, completed her Hike 100 Challenge in July. Lindsay hiked most of her miles in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, crossing into the Ohio border for some miles too. As a teenager, she hiked the NCT in Pictured Rocks and along the Manistee River. After moving to Battle Creek, she rediscovered the trail near her backyard. The NCT has become part of her family’s routine, especially during the Coronavirus.
She shared, “I regularly walk the wooded section near my home, as well as Linear Park in downtown Battle Creek on my work lunch breaks. My husband and kids (7 year-old twin girls and 4 year-old boy) often come for walks in the woods, especially as the kids get older and were not in school after the pandemic hit. They even like to bring a bag along and help pick up trash. They have enjoyed watching the swans raise their young this summer as well as finding frogs, snakes and turtles along the path. They are always on the lookout for blue blazes!”
Lindsay also shares the NCT is a way to connect with her father. “In 2019, my dad and I started taking once-a-month day hikes on sequential segments of the NCT in Michigan, starting at the Ohio border and moving north. Our favorite spots so far are: Lost Nation State Game area, segment behind Fort Custer National Cemetery, Yankee Springs State Recreation Area, Fallasburg County Park/Lowell State Game area. We also hiked 37 miles over 3 days in the Manistee National Forest north of White Cloud for my 37th birthday.
My father is a retired farmer from southern Michigan. We have had so much fun together discovering the beautiful woods, forgotten backroads and small towns of south and west Michigan. My mom often comes along as well. She will drop us off, join us for a few miles, or shuttle my kids so they can take part in the fun. Completing the Hike 100 challenge (and many miles beyond) has been such a fun platform to motivate us to keep getting out there. Through blisters, sweltering sun and biting winter wind, we chat and work through our daily stresses. We return home exhausted but quickly start looking at our maps and planning the next adventure.”
As a doctor, Lindsay recognizes the importance of the outdoors for health, especially during the pandemic.
“The trail has been so important in this challenging year. I have seen increased use of the Ott Biological Preserve in Battle Creek. I believe it has served as an important escape for many families, a safe option to explore and be together. As a doctor, I have seen first-hand the strain the pandemic has had on our community and I am glad that people are turning to the outdoors to benefit their mental and physical health.”
Lindsay and her family look forward to more adventures on the North Country Trail together, including in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Ohio. She says her NCT motto is “Take the circuitous route!”
We extend many congratulations to Linsday and her family on their commitment and accomplishment. We hope they inspire you!
Learn more about the Hike 100 Challenge at northcountrytrail.org/hike-100-challenge. You can also sign up for the challenge to gain exclusive access to resources and monthly giveaways, and fill out your completion form from here, too.