This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). A special celebration, dubbed Hike Fest 2016 was held last weekend, May 13-15 at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center (WRELC) near Finland, Minnesota, and was attended by over 300 SHT members. Total membership now exceeds 4,600.
The Anniversary/B-Day party was a great get-together of young and old, and offered eight hikes and numerous informative workshops to keep folks busy. A big old-time dance Saturday night, with music provided by Wild Thyme, kept folks on their toes throughout the evening. There was a Silent Auction that helped raise funds for trail maintenance, and the SHT store was open for business. On Sunday afternoon there was opportunity for some exercise for those willing to work on a trail maintenance project to clear a section of nearby trail after winter storms.
I spent time touring the Wolf Ridge ELC, meeting staff and volunteers, and seeing many old SHT friends, while meeting new ones! My grand-kids and their parents have visited WRELC in recent years to participate in multi-day learning stints, so I was looking forward to this first visit. I even had the opportunity to successfully complete the ropes course and fly down the zip line!
The WRELC offers an amazing array of educational learning opportunities for young and old, in areas of energy conservation, renewable energy resources and conversion-technologies, environmental stewardship, outdoor adventures, challenges and teambuilding. If you’re an educator or a business looking for challenging learning opportunities combined with live-in facilities and meeting space, be sure to check out Wolf Ridge ELC. Likewise, if you’re a Scouting organization, or just a large family looking for a get-away opportunity/reunion that will challenge the mind and body, the WRELC just might fill the bill! Check them out?
After driving up to the WRELC facility (located high on a hilltop), one of the first things you’ll see (and probably hear if it’s a windy day) is the 10 kw wind-generator system mounted on a tower about 60′ high, surrounded by a tracking photovoltaic array and an impressive array of stationary photovoltaic panels. There was a flat-plate domestic hot water solar panel system on one of the dorms, and numerous less-conspicuous energy and water conservation innovations scattered throughout the development. If you have an interest in such options the folks at WRELC can help you learn and evaluate your potential options from both a technical and an economic perspective.
And now for a few photos:
The Superior Hiking Trail’s last short section is currently being completed on the south end near the Minnesota border with Wisconsin, where it will connect with the North Country Trail.
Note- I have no affiliation with any organizations mentioned herein, except for my annual membership with the Superior Hiking Trail Association, and I receive no pecuniary gain, real or in-kind, from any organizations mentioned above.