‘Take Two Hours On The River And Call Me In The Morning’

New campaign seeks to improve health and happiness with outdoor activities.




3 minute read

Little hiker
Hiking in Governor Knowles State Forest (Photo courtesy Corry Mosher)

The health benefits of time spent outdoors are a key part of a new opportunity for people in Burnett County to enjoy nature and improve their well-being.

Active Trails Burnett County kicked off last Friday, offering a passport that residents can use to document their adventures. Fill it out and mail it in by October 10th, and residents can win prizes, including a new bike.

Beautiful Burnett

The county is full of first-class natural areas beckoning for backyard adventures.

“The Active Trails Challenge is a great way for the local community to discover the tremendous opportunities for outdoor recreation available in Burnett County. We have a national park – the St.Croix National Scenic Riverway -, thousands of acres within the Governor Knowles State Forest and Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, and a state trail—the Gandy Dancer,” remarked Chris Stein, superintendent of the Saint Croix National Riverway.

Participants are also encouraged to take photos of their outings and share them on social media using the hashtag #ActiveTrailsBurnett to share the experience.

A ‘Park Prescription’

Interest in how outdoor activity can help people’s health is growing nationally. A doctor from Washington, D.C. recently made headlines for prescribing nature to his patients, saying it’s just as effective at treating the country’s growing health problems as antibiotics are at fighting bacterial infection. “With our nation’s current epidemic of obesity, asthma, ADHD, and now Nature Deficit Disorder, it’s time that we doctors prescribe time outside, in Nature, for all our patients,” Dr. Robert Zarr wrote in a blog post.

The sentiment is echoed by Burnett Medical Center’s CEO, Gordy Lewis. “Being active outdoors can improve your physical health, as well as your emotional and mental well-being. We hope this campaign sparks a strong interest in the benefits of taking your exercise outside,” Lewis said.

The Active Trails passport is available at the Burnett Medical Center, the Burnett County Department of Public Health, the Crex Meadows Wildlife Education and Visitor Center, and other locations listed at www.healthyburnett.org/ActiveTrails.

Trail Activities


  • Mug and Mammal Morning Hike
    Saturday, August 9, 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.
    Bring your own traveling mug, and we’ll provide the coffee! Enjoy guided interpretive walks on the wild side! Carpool to different trail locations on the property. Adults only, dogs welcome. Meet at Crex Meadows Wildlife Education & Visitor Center. (715) 463-2739.
  • Ranger Guided Paddle: Cecelia’s Journey
    Thursday, August 21, 3:30 to 8:00 p.m.
    Learn about Cecilia Connor, an amazing Ojibwe woman who travelled the river extensively during the 1800s. Kayaks and related equipment, including a life jacket, will be provided. Includes a 30-minute paddling instruction and safety session. Participants should have previous paddling experience and must be 18 or older. CCC Landing to Riverside Landing. 6 miles, 3.5 hours. $35/ person. Pre-registration required by August 18 at: www.scrapaddle.com.

Passport Checklist:

  • I tried a new form of outdoor exercise.
  • I exercised outdoors 5 days in a row.
  • I enjoyed a new trail in Burnett County.
  • I increased the amount of time I exercise outdoors.
  • I spent some reflective time outdoors to improve my mental health.
  • I hiked or paddled in our local national park.
  • I completed Active Trails Bingo
  • I completed at least 4 of the Eat Healthy tips.

Partners and Sponsors:

Active Trails Burnett County is a partnership among the Burnett Medical Center, the Burnett County Department of Public Health, the National Park Service, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the St. Croix River Association.

This project was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of Coca-Cola, the Coca-Cola Foundation, DISNEY, and the Scrooby Foundation.


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If you have any questions, please email greg@stcroix360.com


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‘Take Two Hours On The River And Call Me In The Morning’