My family and I are avid outdoors people. More often than not, you can find us outside enjoying the four seasons of beautiful Michigan weather. From rivers and forests to trails and adventures, we’re pretty blessed to be able to explore Newaygo County that boasts the perfect place for many outdoor experiences.

(Me at 2 “enjoying” the snow. I promise I’ve grown up a bit since then)

In January 2021, I heard about the “1000 Hours Outside Challenge” and had to learn more.  Taken from the 1000 Hours Outside website: “The entire purpose of 1000 Hours Outside is to attempt to match nature time with screen time. If kids can consume media through screens 1200 hours a year on average then the time is there and at least some of it can and should be shifted towards a more productive and healthy outcome!” We live in a world that’s highly saturated with technology. I’m not here to say that ALL technology is bad, but I feel that sometimes we lose connection with nature and the outside world, and this challenge is perfect to reconnect with the outdoors.

1000 hours outside can seem like a HUGE, intimidating chunk of time so let’s break it down into something more manageable: 1000 hours/365 days is around three hours per day.

The winter months can be more challenging, I do like 75 and sunny over -9 and blowing snow, but I’ve learned to find beauty and peace in all types of weather.

Here are some winter outdoor activities that would “count” toward your 1000 hours:
Sledding at Branstrom Park? -Count it
Snowshoeing at Loda Lake? -Count it
Ice fishing with the buddies? -Count it
Snowmobiling the LP3? -Count it
Outside shoveling snow? -Count it

You can check out Newaygo County’s Winter Top Ten here for more outdoor ideas!

What if you start the challenge and it doesn’t work out? What if you get 500 hours, or 200 hours or 100 hours?  That’s TOTALLY OKAY! You’re doing great. ANY time spent outdoors is better than no time at all.

If you want to know more about 1000 Hours Outside, their mission, blogs, and ideas for outdoor adventures, check them out at:

Get out and explore the great outdoors!