Are you setting a New Year’s resolution to explore Nature more? To discover new places, or get more exercise? Or maybe all three?
Here’s a program that’ll be perfect for you, now in its fourth year: the Geauga Gems Trekking Series!
Registration for the 2023 series opens January 1, 2023, at 10 a.m. online and by phone for Geauga County residents and opens January 7, 2023, for out-of-county residents.
NEW in 2023: Hike the Seasons!
To complete this year’s series, explore a minimum of four trails each season from that season’s list, created by Geauga Park District naturalists. Attending a naturalist-led hike? Count it as one of your trails. Don’t see your favorite trail? Add it in the space provided!
Hike a total of 16 trails by 12-31-23 to earn your commemorative sticker for the year (and your trekking pole if you are a first-time finisher). Or, if you are interested in hiking more, you may also still hike 60 self-guided miles to earn your rewards.
How to Get Started
Upon registration, you’ll receive a detail trekking card to track your progress. Remember to mark all your hikes on it, or track 60 self-guided miles of hikes throughout the year, since this is what you’ll turn in for credit. Naturalist-led hikes that we’d recommend for your hiking card (not a requirement in 2023) are easily identifiable on our website under Programs & Events by filtering program type Geauga Gems, or by looking for the Geauga Gems logo in our quarterly Park Explorer Activity Guide.
Whenever you finish, submit your completed hiking card to The West Woods Nature Center (no later than December 31, 2023). Those who complete their goal will receive a collapsible trekking pole (if they haven’t received one during a previous year of the series) as well as a 2023 Geauga Gems hiking medallion sticker (it’s the year of the sapphire). Awards will be available for pick-up after November 1.
More details can be found on your trekking card when you sign up, as well as the following documents:
2023 Geauga Gems FAQ
2023 Geauga Gems Introduction Presentation
Happy trekking, and we’ll see you out on the trails!