• Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations are among the oldest of our partners in improving habitat and supporting outdoor recreation. Scout projects have improved and maintained trails, protected sensitive areas, improved shooting ranges, provided nesting habitat for birds and increased accessibility to outdoor users.

    As important as these service projects is the organizations' commitment to getting kids outdoors. Scouting has long encouraged a healthy relationship with the outdoors. Both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can earn advancement and awards for many different areas of natural resources stewardship or outdoor recreation activities. Scouts can earn awards or recognition for events like hiking, fishing, archery, shotgun and rifle shooting, canoeing and kayaking.

Iron Belle Trail Scout Challenge

  • Iron Belle Trail Challenge 2021 patch with Hike Bike PaddleThe Iron Belle Trail Scout Challenge began in 2015 as a Michigan Department of Natural Resources-sponsored scouting event to commemorate the establishment of the Iron Belle Trail, stretching over 1,200 miles between Belle Isle in Detroit and Ironwood in the western Upper Peninsula. It began as a hiking event, but has grown to include participants who bike, kayak or canoe. Each year the DNR sponsors this trail event in conjunction with National Trails Day and encourages scouts to get out and enjoy one of Michigan's many trail opportunities.

    This year's Iron Belle Trail Scout Challenge takes place June 5, 2021. Each scout who participates in the event receives a commemorative patch. All they need to do is fill out our online reporting form (the reporting form will be added to the website Friday, May 28). The submission deadline is June 14, 2021. Scouts are encouraged to share photos of their outdoor adventure on social media. Please tag photos using #IBTScoutChallenge.

    For questions about this program, please contact Elissa Buck at BuckE1@Michigan.gov.

Past Challenge Photos

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Conservation Stewardship Award