Our Response to COVID-19

The Board of the Trailblazers, with guidance from our parent walking club, the AVA, has adopted a set of COVID-19 protocols for our walks.  Highlights include using masks when checking in, asking for pre-registration via our eRegistrations page and only accepting exact change placed in an envelope for our walks.

You can read the full set of protocols here: COVID-19 Protocols

eRegistration for our September 19th walk at Standing Bear Lake is available here:  eRegistration Page

Unfortunately, we cannot have a September 14th club meeting, for all sorts of logistical reasons.  We are looking at options for October.

 

Summer 2020 News

If you’re not a club member, you probably didn’t see our July – August newsletter.  If you did see it, you might not know that our Westroads Year Round Event has reopened!  Good news – all of those year round events will be available next year, with a few surprises.  Bad news – our 20 Iowa Parks in 2020 program is coming to an end October 15, 2020.  Good news – there’s still two more months of great walking weather to get them all done!

More bad news – we won’t be having any Group Walks in Iowa State Parks as planned for August 29th, October 2nd nor October 3rd.  But our partner in these walks, the Greater Des Moines Volkssport Association, is planning a Group Walk of Stephens State Forest on September 26th at 10 a.m.

Bad news/Good news – our friends to the north, the Prairie Wanders Volkssport Club, have had to postpone their multi-event walking weekend from September 11 – 13, 2020 to September 10 – 12, 2021.

Our September 19, 2020 walk at Standing Bear Lake, Entrance 4 (between Fort and Military on 132nd Street) is still on, but the breakfast portion of the walk has been cancelled.  Arrive anytime from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. to register and to walk.  Masks are required for the registration, but are not needed once you start walking.  Please bring $2 exact change in an envelope for each Fun Walker and/or $3 for each Credit Walker (book stamper).  Bring your own pen to sign in.  No need to rush this walk – you have until 2 p.m. to get back – and yes, we do check to make sure that the same number of people that start out are the same number of people that come back.  ?

Lots of News! and a Newsletter

It’s hard to keep track of everything that’s changing, isn’t it! Our crack reporter and newsletter editor Julie put together another great newsletter – and in the last couple of days, we’ve got more news and updates to pass along to you.

First, the newsletter: NWFT May-June 2020 newsletter

You can download it here: NWFT May – June 2020 newsletter

Now for the updates:

  • Our May 9th Traditional Walk, rescheduled from April, is CANCELED.
  • No decision has been made at this time about our June 1st Club Meeting.
  • 20 Iowa Parks in 2020 seasonal walking program has OPENED as of May 1st.  All facilities are not open at the parks until at least May 15th, although one or two toilets may be available.  Try to be flexible if you want to walk before the 15th and do follow all Iowa social distancing guidelines.
  • Speaking of the Iowa Parks program, Lake Anita State Park’s POC Jill reports that the Start Box is temporarily located inside the Park Office, until the campgrounds open on May 15th.
  • Still speaking of the Iowa Parks program, the June 6th Group Walks at Lewis and Clark and Stone State Parks have been CANCELED.  These are fantastic walks that you can do on your own, but not with a group at this time. Maybe in the fall?
  • Omaha Hanscom Park YRE has REOPENED.
  • Omaha Westroads Mall YRE is still CLOSED.
  • A New Seasonal Walk, with Little Free Library!,  has been ADDED in Southeastern Council Bluffs, courtesy of Sandy Spaulding.  Info at: AVA website listing

UPDATES TO OUR YEAR ROUND WALKS

Updated May 4, 2020, 3 p.m.

Just added: a new Seasonal Walk May 1 – Sept. 30th in southeastern rural Council Bluffs!  It even has a Little Free Library.  See details here: Country Knolls – Council Bluffs

Our club hosts 8 different year round walks (YREs) that you can do on your own, at any time that the hosting business for our walk box is open.  Of those 8 YREs, one has been closed and one has had some changes to their accessibility.

The Hanscom Park Walk, sanction #114315, registers at the Comfort Inn at the Zoo, and starts within Hanscom Park. The City of Omaha has reopened all city parks, so this walk has re-opened.

The Westroads Mall Walk, sanction #115089, registers at the AmericInn at 9720 W Dodge Rd, Omaha, NE 68114, just across the street from the Westroads Mall. The AmericInn is closed and the Walk Box is not available.  The Mall itself has shortened its hours of operation, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Most stores in the mall are closed, as is the Food Court.  is closed to shoppers and walkers.

Across the Missouri River, the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Black Squirrel Walk, sanction #114319, registers at Lansky’s at 1131 N Broadway, Council Bluffs, IA 51503.  Lansky’s is closing earlier and is offering takeout food only, with no access to bathrooms. Operating hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Management has asked walkers to take the Walk Box outside to complete paperwork and then to return it.

CALENDAR UPDATE

Please note that the following events have been changed (updated May 21, 2020):

  • June 6th Group Walk at Lewis and Clark State Park, Iowa – CANCELED
  • June 6th Group Walk at Stone State Park, Iowa – CANCELED
  • June 20th Group Walk hosted by Iowa’s Walking Club at Mines of Spain State Park – CANCELED

Any questions, please let us know at netrailblazers@gmail.com.

2020 Walk Booklet – just published!

Our 2020 Walk Booklet is just filled with so many walks and activities that you’re going to need to pull out your calendars NOW and mark them all!

Just check out the new weblink here to see it and the instructions for printing 28 pages bursting with information on just 7 sheets of paper!

Our first regular walking event is Saturday, March 7th – our annual Soup Walk, complete with Raffle.  Our booklet editor, Julie, calls it our “Winter-Be-Gone” Soup Walk.  Hope so! – there’s an Ice Cream Parlor on the route (one of three Special Programs available on this walk).

 

What time? Where? Registration? It’s all in the booklet! But we’ll be posting later this month to remind you.  🙂

 

News for 2020

Happy New Year of Walking!  Get your calendar out – besides a great slate of regular walks this year, our club is involved in two very special events:

  1. The “20 Iowa Parks in 2020” walking program, which runs from May 1st – October 15th of this year; and
  2. “Blazin’ Trails and Tellin’ Tales”, the North Central Regional Roundup, to be hosted by our club from October 2 – 4, 2020.

We’ve got LOTS of information about these two events on our website, so be sure to click on the links to learn more.

Our news-packed newsletter for January and February 2020, in stunning color, is available here:  Jan/Feb 2020 Newsletter  But you won’t see the name of our 2019 “Walker of the Year” in it – you’ll have to attend our Annual Dinner and Meeting to find out!

WALKS, WALKS AND MORE WALKS!

  • Walnut Creek 6k and 11k walkSaturday, September 21st – 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. registration at the lower level of the American Legion at 230 W. Lincoln Street in Papillion, Nebraska. The 6k walk goes through Papillion and the 11k walk takes you out to Walnut Creek Lake.  Cost is $2 for Fun Walkers and $3 for AVA/IVV Credit Walkers. Walk at your own pace, but please return by 2 p.m.
  • Arrowhead Park 5k and 10k walkSaturday, October 5th9 a.m. to 12 p.m. registration at Breezy Lodge inside of Arrowhead Park in Neola, Iowa. Google says the address is 29357 310th St, Neola, IA 51559. Follow the paved park road around the lake to the lodge on the right at the top of the hill.  The 10k walk consists of two 5k loops in the hilly woods of Neola. An alternate 5k route stays on park roads.  Hiking sticks and long pants recommended.  Cost is $2 for Fun Walkers and $3 for AVA/IVV Credit Walkers; park entrance fee of $3 is waived for walkers on that day.  A pulled pork sandwich lunch will be available for $5, plus pop for $1.
  • Le Mars, Iowa Winter WonderlandSaturday, December 7th. Bus leaving from Council Bluffs area around 10:30 a.m. and back 10 p.m. We’ll take part in the 5k and 10k seasonal walk, watch the parade and join in the festivities. Need at least 25 participants for trip to take place. Nonrefundable cost $40 per person; $10 discount for club members. Meals and walk fee of $3 not included. Limited to first 30 paid participants. (If bus company cancels due to inclement weather, payments will be refunded.) Payment must be postmarked by October 1st and sent to: NWFT, P.O. Box 8147, Omaha, NE 68108.
  • AVA’s “Starting Point” printed book lists nearly 2,000 year round and seasonal walks across the United States. The book costs $20 and must be ordered by September 27th. Send payment to NWFT, as above.

Walking Season Returns!

Now that the weather is starting to turn, it’s time to give those walking shoes a check-up.   Are they ready for another great set of walks this fall?

Our latest newsletter is full of information about upcoming meetings and walks – check it out here:  NWFT Sept – Oct 2019 Newsletter.

Our next club meeting is Monday night, September 9th at 7 p.m. at Morning Star Lutheran Church at 331 S. 85th Avenue. Our speaker will have you on your feet!

Our next walk is Saturday morning, September 21st, at the American Legion at 330 W. Lincoln in Papillion, NE. The 10k route takes you to Walnut Creek Lake. Start times are from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Fees are $2 for Fun Walkers and $3 for AVA/IVV credit walkers.

And of course, we’ve got a number of Year Round Events  waiting for you anytime – year round!

See you on the trail!

Shelby Year Round Event Closing August 3rd

A view of the Start Point from the trail`
A view of the Start Point from the trail

The hosting business for our Year Round Event in Shelby, Iowa is closing its doors in August.  The Corn Crib was a good host and served some great food!

Our club will say farewell to this walk on the morning of Saturday, August 3rd.  At 8 a.m., we’ll hold a Meet and Eat.  Groups of 5k and 10k walkers will head out and return for a late breakfast or early lunch together.  $2 for Fun Walkers, $3 for AVA/IVV credit (book stampers).  Exact change is always appreciated!

After the walk, the Walk Box will be removed from the premises.  So if you’ve been planning to walk this beautiful walk, take advantage of the group walk on August 3rd or during the promised break in hot weather coming up soon.