BUFFALO, N.Y. — Outside Chronicles has released its trail list for the upcoming 2023 Western New York Hiking Challenge for the summer.
This year, Western New Yorkers will be given a list of 32 trails (and 2 bonus hikes) with the task of exploring at least 20. The challenge this summer includes staples like Letchworth State Park, Devil's Hole & Whirpool State Parks, as well as Chestnut Ridge State Park.
New this year, hikers will also need to complete three of eight stewardship tasks. These include:
- Pick up trash on the trail
- Introduce someone new to hiking
- Join our partner organizations
- Donate to our partner organizations
- Take a Leave No Trace class
- Participate in a clean-up event or trail maintenance event
- Participate in a partner event
- Help find invasive species with WNY PRISM
Organizer Mike Radomski told 2 on Your Side, "The challenge is designed for all hiking levels from beginner to expert. It will take you to places in WNY that you never knew existed. Not only does it get people outside into nature, it raises money for some great organizations."
The Hiking Challenge starts May 1, and hikers need to finish by November 17. Registration opens on April 30 with a Facebook live Kickoff event.
To take part, it costs $23 per person or pet, $65 per family, and $15 for scouts. All profits from hiker registrations will be donated to Beaver Meadow Nature Center & Buffalo Audubon Society with a special donation to Earth Spirit. All profits from pet registrations will be donated to Sadie’s Safe Harbor Canine Rescue.
People who complete the challenge earn a finisher number, patch, and sticker. There are bonus prizes for people who hike all 34 trails.