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The easy miles of the Mammoth Hike Challenge

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Courtesy: Ice Age Trail Alliance

Why don't you just go and take a hike. No, really. A local organization wants you to get on one of its iconic trails and do some hiking. It's called the Mammoth Hike Challenge, and the goal is to get you out to enjoy the Ice Age Trail. Local business owners say, just by walking, you can help them get a running start toward getting back to normal.

The last two years have put us on an emotional marathon that doesn't seem to have a finish line. It's one of the reasons Amy Lord recharges on the Ice Age Trail.

"It kind of slows down a little bit. We like to say you go into nature to unplug or maybe you plug back in and get in tune with things," Lord said.

Lord, the outreach and education manager for the Ice Age Trail Alliance, wants others to find that there.

"Reminding people that they can do it and all types of abilities. You don't have to look a certain way to get outside and enjoy nature," Lord said.

That's why she wants you to sign up for the Mammoth Hike Challenge. It's 41 mile walk on the Ice Age Trail. Don't worry. You don't have to do it all at once. You have all October.

"You can do it as a team, a family, you can do it on your own. You can do it with a couple," Lord said.

The goal is to get people out to enjoy the trail system, but that's not all.

"I've had a lot of people who have stopped in after hiking and have never been here before," Rachel Peters said.

Peters is a bartender at the Nineteen09. It's wine bar situated near the trail in Cross Plains. Part of the Mammoth Hike Challenge is to encourage people to stop at businesses like these and support them.

"They're the lifeblood of the village, right? The village, the cities. If our hikers, if our supporters, can support them, that's really important," Lord said.

The challenge is to hike 41 miles, but the the other aspects of it are pretty easy.

"It's an opportunity for community, too. We all definitely need that right now," Rachel Peters said.

After a marathon of the last two years, Lord hopes you can just slow down and enjoy the miles ahead.

"Being in nature, being on the Ice Age Trail is a great therapy," Lord said. "Use it as an opportunity to be in that moment and let go of some things. Just take a deep breath and keep one foot in front of the other."

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