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WNY Hiking Challenge becomes huge success as popularity grows

There are more than 5,000 hikers registered, and the challenge has raised more than $80,000 for various organizations.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — You might remember this story from back in March. The WNY Hiking Challenge is underway and has become a huge success!

Last time we talked with Mike Radomski, the spring and summer edition of the WNY Hiking Challenge was just getting started. And now?

"We're now up to 3,200 registrations, which works out to be over 5,000 hikers, which is amazing," Mike said. "We've raised it looks like it's going to be over $80,000 right now to the various organization that we're fundraising for."

Mike says even the number of organizations benefitting from the challenge has grown.

"Since we had so many dogs registered for the challenge, we decided to take all of the dog registrations and donate it to Sadie's Safe Harbor Canine Rescue," Mike said.

It's all rooted in a love of the great outdoors and the desire to help people discover the beauty in our own backyard. To complete the challenge, participants have to hike 20 of 32 trails throughout our area's state, county and town parks. 

The popularity of the idea led 42 North Brewing Company to reach out to Mike to brew up a special adventure guide just for them.

"If you go to their brewery, pick this up, do the challenges, it's very similar to the hiking challenge on a lower scale," Mike said. "Fewer parks, but same maps, finish the challenge, and you get a free pint of beer at the brewery. So that's kind of a cool thing that they're doing to get people outside and encourage outdoor recreation."

With all this momentum Mike decided to take it up a notch and partner with the Buffalo Audubon Society for a nature challenge focused not just on the trails but the things you'll see along the way.

"It's more geared toward kids, but adults can certainly enjoy picking out different species while they're on the trail around their house," said Mike. "Basically, what you do is you have to find a certain number of each species in a category."

The WNY Hiking Challenge runs through December. The Nature Challenge wraps up on Labor Day.

Just like the hiking challenge, there's a full slate of resources online to guide you through and rewards for completing the challenges too. You can get all that info by clicking here.