The long-term weather forecast for October is warmer and drier than normal, so that means a great walking forecast. Here’s a rundown (or should that be walkdown?) of October walking events.
- Sunday, October 4th – Hitchcock Nature Center, 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, IA 51542. Check in is from 9 a.m. to noon. The trail is rated 3B (pretty hilly and dirt under your feet), so be sure to come early enough to be off the trail by 3 p.m. Hiking sticks are strongly recommended. In addition to the $3 walk fee (exact change or check made out to NWFT), each vehicle load of people needs to bring $3 in exact change to feed the kiosk as an entry fee to the Nature Center. eRegister by 9 p.m. Saturday or fill out a Start Card at the check in table. COVID-19 protocols are in place and must be followed.
- Monday, October 5th – NO CLUB MEETING.
- Thursday, October 15th – End date of 20 Iowa Parks in 2020 program. Flat, hilly or in-between, there’s a walk waiting for you! Early October is the perfect time to enjoy these parks, with no crowds, few bugs and the best weather for getting in a quick 5k or 10k.
- Saturday, October 17th – Walk for Wildlife (sponsored by Iowa’s Walking Club). Jester Park Nature Center, 12130 NW 128th St, Granger, IA 50109. Register at the Outdoor Recreation Center building between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (Since they can’t get into the building to set up before 10:30 a.m., give them a few minutes to set up, please!)
- Saturday, October 24th – Wyuka Cemetery Walk (sponsored by Lincoln Volkssport Club). City Impact Building, 1035 N 33rd St, Lincoln, NE 68503. Register between 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., be off the trail by 1 p.m. Historically, this is a pretty flat trail, so you should be able to make good time on the trail. This walk is FREE to all walkers. This is the final walk for the Lincoln Volkssport Club and this walk is their gift to the walking community. Let’s show them some love and come out in droves!
You know how there are only two real seasons in the Midwest: Winter and Construction Season? Well, our scheduled walk for September will not take place at Standing Bear Lake because they have closed the trails just west of our Start Point. We’ll have to reschedule this walk for another year.
Our September 19th walk will start at the Subby Anzaldo/Columbus Park at 1329 S. 24th Street. Registration and walk from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m, please be off the trail by 2 p.m. From the Subby Anzaldo Columbus Park, this trail leads through the historic Field Club neighborhood, President Gerald Ford birthsite and Hanscom Park, Omaha’s first public park. The 10k trail extends this walk along a portion of the Field Club Trail. Bring a mask and maintain social distancing guidelines as you complete your registration. Fun Walkers pay $2 and Credit Walkers (book stampers) $3 – please use exact change or write a check to “NWFT” and have the payment sealed in an envelope. Dogs on leashes and strollers welcome; the trail to/from Columbus Park and through Hanscom Park is hilly.
Walk has moved! See latest post (September 9, 2020). Our next walk will be September 19th at Omaha’s Standing Bear Lake, Entrance 4 (N. 132nd Street, between Fort and Military – closer to Military) from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. We’ll be offering a 6k around the lake and a 10k that adds some hills in the Saddlebrook neighborhood to the west of the lake. Please register online at: eRegistration Link . Pay when you arrive: $2 for Fun Walkers, $3 for Credit Walkers (book stampers). Group Walk at 8:30 a.m. We will be observing COVID-19 protocols, so bring your mask and pen and an envelope containing payment (exact change or check made out to “NWFT”).
Our latest newsletter, containing 2021’s tentative schedule and plenty of insights from President Lee and Coordinating Committee Chair Sandy, is available here: September – October 2020 newsletter As always, club members get the full newsletter directly in their inboxes, hot off the press! Be sure to send in your “Walker of the Year” nominations to newsletter editor Julie, whose email address is listed in the full newsletter.
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.
According to Merriam-Webster, a derecho is: “a large fast-moving complex of thunderstorms with powerful straight-line winds that cause widespread destruction.” The National Weather Service says that a long-lasting line of storms producing winds in excess of 58 mph and greater and leaving damage for 240 miles or more is a derecho. One of those occurred Monday morning, August 10th, popping up just west of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area just after sunrise and ravaging the landscape as far east as Indiana.
Four of the Iowa State Parks in our 20 Iowa Walks in 2020 program were affected by the derecho:
- Big Creek – no power, limited services, some trail closures
- Lake Macbride – closed
- Ledges – no power, limited services, modern toilets affected, trails open
- Palisades – Kepler – closed
Before heading to one of those four parks, contact it directly for an updated status. Use this link to navigate to the park of interest: Iowa’s State Parks
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. ?
June 1st Club Meeting: CANCELED
June 6th Group Walks: CANCELED
Our next scheduled event is the Group Walk of the Waubonsie State Park 5k and 10k trails at 8:00 a.m., followed by Lake of Three Fires at 1 p.m. We’ll remind you as the time comes closer, never fear!
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
May 4th Club Meeting: CANCELLED
May 9th Walk: CANCELLED
Follow all health directives, so that we can see you once again in June!
Iowa’s Walking Club has posted on their website that their May 1st – 3rd Kickoff Weekend for the 20 Iowa Parks in 2020 Program has been POSTPONED. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has not decided yet on the status of the overall 20 in 20 seasonal walks starting May 1st. Stay tuned for updates!