Hikers gather with their back­packing gear in the parking lot at Hayden Park
Courtesy | Charles Steele

While many stu­dents snooze their 7 a.m. alarms on Wednesdays, a small group of eco­nomics pro­fessors and stu­dents trek through Hayden Park. 

The group has hiked with light packs, since Sept. 22.

“It’s a lot of fun,” freshman Anna Coln said. “I really enjoy hiking, so it’s nice to get out with other stu­dents and faculty here.”

The size of the hiking group fluc­tuates every week. Last week’s outing included 10 people. Yes­terday, just four set out on the hike.

Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Eco­nomics Roger Butters and Chairman and Asso­ciate Pro­fessor of Eco­nomics Charles Steele spent time hiking together when they orga­nized an eco­nomics con­ference and hiking trip in Montana this summer. The day after gath­ering in a room donated by Montana State Uni­versity for the con­ference, they took off to hike with a group of 16 people, each asso­ciated with Hillsdale. 

“We thought, ‘That was a lot of fun,’” Butters said. “‘We should do that all the time.’”

After returning to campus, they decided to organize a group to con­tinue staying in shape. After inviting stu­dents, faculty, and the Outdoor Adventure Club, their first group came together for a short prayer and con­vo­cation before heading out in pouring rain for their first Wednesday hike.

Despite Hillsdale’s mostly flat terrain, Butters said the single track mountain biking trails remind hikers of the moun­tains. Steele said many places to backpack in Michigan aren’t dif­ferent from what they have available in the park.

“I def­i­nitely want a mountain to be built. I’ve insisted on that ever since I got here,” Steele said jok­ingly. “You make do with what you have.” 

The group isn’t training for a par­ticular event, and there’s no par­ticular skill set or goal required to join the group. Steele, an avid ultra­ma­rathon athlete, finds this type of workout to be a …….

Source: http://hillsdalecollegian.com/2021/10/economics-professors-begin-weekly-hiking-at-hayden-park/

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