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Trek for Treasure is going to be spooky

May 6, 2019

It’s a must to keep your wits about you while on any hiking trail.

This year’s Trek for Treasure will certainly test the mettle — and nerves — of those taking part in an event with a theme of “Ghost Trails and Tales.”

It’s bound to get a bit hair-raising as trekkers explore ghost towns and trails that are rumored to be haunted.

Registration for the hiking series is underway. Early registration runs through May 23, and late registration runs May 23 to June 15.

Hikes can be made June 1 through Aug. 24.

For more information, visit trekfortreasure.org.

Regardless of participants’ increased heartbeats, Trek for Treasure is in the name of being active, getting outdoors, and having fun.

Mark Pearson, manager of United Fitness Center, United General Hospital District 304 has been giving trekkers all that and more for the past nine years.

“It’s another really fun theme,” Pearson said. “We have done pirates, Sasquatch, aliens, bank robbers. It’s about keeping it interesting. We’re excited about this one.”

The Trek’s premise is simple: hikes, clues and riddles is the recipe. Do it all first and win. Or just complete the six hikes and the one bonus hike for fun.

“We don’t want people to get bored ,” Pearson said. “That’s what makes this so popular. That and it gives people something they can do outside with family, friends and co-workers. I hear a lot about that ... And there just may be a wrinkle or two this year.”

Once again, hikes will progress from easy to more difficult.

Pearson does his homework, so he knows exactly what works and what doesn’t. In this case, he also knows what may be haunted or at the very least, creepy.

“A person of average fitness level should be able to do the trek,” he said. “We aren’t changing things too much. We want to keep what works and this is working.”

This year, Pearson has also heard from folks who normally sign their kids up for sports, but have decided to sign up for the Trek for Treasure instead.

Its popularity continues to grow. Entire organizations are now getting involved, including church groups and businesses.

While at first glance it may seem like a competition — a race to the finish — what spurs people on isn’t necessarily the need to win, but rather to finish.

“It’s not a win-lose proposition for many,” Pearson said. “It’s a reason to get outside and be active. It’s structured and we take the guesswork out of the where and when. But the hikes can be done at your own pace and at your convenience, as long as it fits in the allotted time frame.

“That is nice, especially for teams or people who may not be in the best physical condition. They can take their time. That’s a big plus.”