New Hiking Challenge to Engage Local Residents in the Outdoors


Members of the Maine West collaborative recently launched a new hiking challenge designed to engage local residents in healthy, outdoor recreation activities.

The Second Nature Adventure Challenge promotes nine different walks and hikes in the Oxford Hills, River Valley and Bethel areas through a new website that encourages participants to earn and share digital badges as they track progress in completing activities.  The program includes a combination of easy, moderate and strenuous hikes in each region — including the Swift River Trail in Rumford, Round Mountain in Albany, and Noyes Mountain in Greenwood.

Development of Second Nature has been led by Mahoosuc Pathways as part of its participation in the Maine West initiative.  Technical support for creation of the new web portal was provided by the Center for Community GIS.

“We’re excited to offer the Second Nature Adventure Challenge as a project of Maine West and believe it will be a fun way to connect people with local recreation opportunities while also helping to address health and wellness issues in the region” said Mike Wilson, Senior Program Director at the Northern Forest Center and coordinator of Maine West.

“We see these nine hikes as simple, fun and attractive ways to get people outdoors on well built trails in the region and we’re excited to be managing this project for Maine West” added Gabe Perkins, Executive Director of Mahoosuc Pathways.

To participate in the Second Nature Adventure Challenge, participants simply create an account at and start collecting and sharing badges after completing each hike. The website offers an easy-to use opportunity to share and chart progress — including the hashtag #secondnaturemaine for participants to use each time they log a hike.

Maine West is partnership of local and regional organizations dedicated to addressing systemic rural challenges and enhancing community well-being through increased collaboration across the economic, education, health, and conservation sectors in western Maine.

Within this context, Maine West partners are developing and implementing projects in three areas:

  • Active Communities;
  • Educational Attainment and Aspirations; and
  • Broadband Access and Adoption.

In addition to the  Second Nature Adventure Challenge, Maine West is currently conducting a regional Broadband Expansion Planning process funded by the ConnectME Authority and managed locally by Mia Purcell of Community Concepts Finance Corporation.

For more information about Second Nature and Maine West be sure to visit and for greater detail and to sign up.



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