Grab your pack and gather your camping essentials for Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s (LMC) inaugural Hike2O. The three-day, 2-night backcountry benefit begins on Friday, January 24, 2020, where registered participants will meet at the Everglades Youth Conservation Camp (EYCC) before boarding a complimentary shuttle to the trailheads and begin the challenge. The hike will support marine conservation and education outreach to non-coastal schools across South Florida and promote environmental stewardship of Florida’s fresh and saltwater systems.

“Florida’s environment is our economy and clean healthy water is the lifeblood of our beautiful state,” said Jack E. Lighton, president and CEO of Loggerhead. “Getting out into nature is the most effective way to teach the importance of our interconnected ecosystems and the importance of clean water.  Our lands and seas make for the world’s most compelling and memorable ‘outdoor classrooms’ this amazing hike will help us foster the next generation of environmental ambassadors.”

In its first year, Hike2O will set foot on the ocean to lake hiking trail section of the Florida Trail in partnership with the Loxahatchee Chapter of the Florida Trail Association. Participants will join trail experts and LMC staff biologists as they are guided through some of the most iconic ecosystems of South Florida. Each participant will be given a comprehensive description of the trail, equipment recommendations, safety presentations, and additional information beforehand. Adrenaline and nature lovers can experience a serene, yet action-packed weekend, with a celebratory cook-out, complimentary swag, and a closing award ceremony to commemorate Hike2O finishers!

Not ready to commit to 33 miles? Supporters can still make an impact by registering as a Hike2O virtual hiker. Virtual participants are encouraged to complete a hike of five or more miles to help raise awareness of Florida’s important waterways. Remote participants will receive a participation packet, recognition on the participant roster, 100% organic cotton event t-shirt, and a Hike2O virtual hiker completion pin. 

“Most learning opportunities take shape through firsthand, immersive experiences,” said Hannah Campbell, Director of Education. “We aim to constantly engage individuals in an unconventional way so participants may understand the significance of our most precious natural resources and the profound, positive impact we can make when we are aware of our actions.”

Don’t fall behind the pack! Visit Loggerhead Marinelife Center and register for the inaugural Hike2O. Capacity is limited to 60 in-person hikers, virtual registration is unlimited and not age-restricted. Previous hiking and camping experience are strongly suggested as there will be no trail provision. Attendees are required to bring the proper equipment and complete a waiver as well. Registration is $125 for full event hikers and $65 for virtual day hikers. Participants must be 18 years or older to register for the full event. All ages welcome as virtual hikers.