Who Winter Walks In Northern Michigan

Who Winter Walks in Northern Michigan is a story series highlighting our active, winter embracing, walk-tastic neighbors who Walk More, Winter More, Connect More in this amazing place we call home.
Share why you winter walk:
And then email us a smiley photo of you in action to hello@elgruponorte.org

Chris Hinze
Day Job: Physical Therapist/Dad to 2 beautiful girls
Workplace: The Grand Traverse Pavilions/Old Towne Neighborhood
My favorite place to walk in TC during winter is the GT Commons natural area. This is an amazing place to walk and the cedar cathedral trail is especially beautiful with a fresh coat of snow. I walk in the winter (and the rest of the year) because:
1) FREE Exercise!
2) After a particularly busy or stressful day a walk is a great way to unwind before getting home
3) Allows for opportunities to feed my brain by listening to podcasts or audiobooks

Name: Evan Dalley
Day Job: Mail processor
Workplace: Hagerty Insurance
My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is a tie between the neighborhoods around my house and downtown, because in both places it’s likely I’ll encounter and have a chance to connect with other people walking. Walking in the winter is an easy, reliable way to get from one place to another in town without worrying about traffic or road conditions. And the sound of fresh snow crunching underfoot is a bonus!

Name: Ashlea Walter
Day Job: Marketing Manager
Workplace: Right Brain Brewery
My fave place to winter walk in Traverse is in Central Neighborhood and downtown TC. I get to feel the pulse of the neighborhood and interact with neighbors. I love walking in the winter because I like to feel alive and see my breath and feel the crunch of the snow.

Name: Gary Howe
Day Job: Photojournalist
Workplace: The world at large
My fave place to winter walk in TC is through the neighborhoods after a fresh snowfall around 11:30 at night because it is still, quiet, and everything looks clean and bright. Walking in winter is at a slower pace that is less stressful than biking or driving. Winter is naturally a reflective time, so adding walks to the daily routine is simply an extension of that frame of mind.

Name: Megan Olds
Day Job: President/Principal
Workplace: Parallel Solutions LLC
My fave place to winter walk in TC is from my house to my office in downtown TC because the ten minute stroll gives me a some time alone and a chance to take a deep breath, stretch my legs, clear my head, and greet the day. I live in Old Town neighborhood and have an office downtown. Walking takes about the same amount of time as driving, once you factor in the time in takes to find a parking space. We have a nice network of sidewalks downtown. It helps that the City, business owners, and neighbors keep them clear of snow.


Name: Chelsea Bay Dennis
Day Job: graphic designer at Chelsea Bay Design / life coach at The Conscious Entrepreneur
Workplace: Home!!
My fave place to winter walk in TC is the hills behind The Grand Traverse Commons because it was my backyard since 2008 when i lived there. I walked there every morning before work for 45 minutes. I got to know the trails and hills like the back of my hand, like a good friend – and I feel they got to know me. I saw when the first snowflake fell, when the first trillium bloomed, when the trees fell- and it saw me when i was happy or sad or with a friend or in solitude. We became friends. Its my favorite place- and I still walk there every morning at 6:45 (or so) before work to start my day- even though I live a mile away now. Its still my backyard. Walking in the winter makes me feel alive, strong, resilient, grounded. When I walk in the mornings- the snow illuminates everything that would have been in the pitch dark if it were not there. When I’m the first footprints after a snowfall – everything is in unison, simple and calm and peaceful.

Name: Mandy LaBarre
Day Job: Teacher
Workplace: Eastern Elementary
My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is around my neighborhood, down to Eastern’s playground, and through NMC. My daughters and I love going on winter walks to look for animals and their tracks, stomp through the big snow banks created by the snow plows, and admire all of the sculptures on the NMC campus. Often times we will also look for neighborhood houses with a “Frosty” and wave a friendly hello! Walking in the winter is a great way to enjoy time outdoors in our beautiful community, be active (while showing your children the importance of being active) and spend less time in your car!

Name: Debra Graetz
My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is to appointments like the financial planner because going to it becomes an escape to the outdoors instead of an adult obligation. I like to winter walk in Traverse City because we have more snow than ice.

Name: Lily and Alex Alvarado
Day Job: 3rd and 5th graders
Workplace: Willow Hill Elementary
Our favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is Downtown and Hickory Meadows because it’s pretty and it’s open nature. We like winter walking in TC because it’s fun to just forget about all life’s troubles, explore, and have fun. We also like getting fresh air and exercise with our family!

Barb Meredith Winter Walks in TC
Name: Barb Meredith
Day Job: Promotional Specialties Sales
Workplace: Oliver Specialties, Inc.
My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is from Slabtown neighborhood to Downtown and back. It’s invigorating! I get to look in windows, see shops I’ve not seen before (e.g., just discovered Saco’s yesterday and that they occasionally have baba ganoush!). Believe it or not, it is easier than waiting for traffic to clear getting out of my alley, and then driving and parking and all driving entails!

Name: Jennifer Yeatts
Day Job: QC/Marketing/Communication
Workplace: Higher Grounds Trading Co.
My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is from home to work… because I can listen to a full podcast (currently Serial!) while I walk and start my day with an hour of fresh air and movement. It’s all so very beautiful.

Name: Sophia
School: Eastern Elementary
Grade: 5th
My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is to school through NMC’s campus. I especially like it when we get to bring my dog, Stewart, with us! It is so pretty with snow on the ground and on the trees.

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Name: T Michael Jackson
My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is around town – it’s refreshing and healthy!! It’s enjoyable to see and hear the winter sites and sounds. Things that appeared “dead” in late fall now become “alive’ with the snow of winter.

Name: Lynn Geiger
Day job: Writer
Workplace: TC Business News & The Ticker
My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is downtown … I love to pop into a local establishment to quench my thirst! Walking in the winter simply makes me happy.

Name: The Lake Ridge Rovers
We are all residents of the Lake Ridge condominiums and we love to keep active. 7 members had a kick-off party and walked today and we’ll add 5 more walkers next Wednesday. Our favorite place to walk is out the door to the Tart Trail that runs through our property. We appreciate this winter walking challenge.  It gets us out together in the beautiful snow. We may even make an igloo and snowman after one of our walks. No! 70 and 80 years of age is not too old to make a snowman!  Thanks for this great project!

Name: Gardner
School: Glenn Loomis
Grade: 1st Grade
My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is in Hannah Park at the sledding hill by the river. We can sled and there’s snow everywhere! It’s fun to go fast and build snowmen around town to surprise other people.

Name: Jeanne Esch
Traverse City in the winter is beautiful, especially with snow. I enjoy being outdoors. I find the the fresh air invigorating and a walk (or roll) near the water peaceful. I also need to be outdoors regardless the weather. I’ve a months old pup, in training to be my service dog, who needs lots of exercise! Weather cannot stop us! The quiet of Traverse City in the snow is wonderful. The snow brings a special silence. I most enjoy taking the TART trail along the bay in winter. The summer busyness is gone. It is beautiful to watch the waves through the snow covered trees.

Name: Becky Ewing
Day job: Associate Director
Workplace: Rotary Charities
My favorite place to walk in Traverse City during the winter is to work – it starts my day off just right! This year I am tracking how many days I drive to work. So far? One day. And I got a ticket for an expired parking pass, one more incentive to walk every day I am able. So thankful for two strong legs and being able to live close to where I work. I feel healthier and the planet is too!






Name: Patrick Sullivan

I walk almost every day from my house to my job on Front Street at the Northern Express, where I am a writer. My favorite place to walk in the winter in TC is downtown, because I love to see all of the people outside even though it’s cold and snowy. My favorite place to run in TC is from my house to Wayne hill, because I love to get to the top. I like to walk (and run) in the winter because it gets me outside. This town is beautiful all year round, and it is especially beautiful in the winter when snow piles up and crunches under your feet. It is great to live in a place where we can breath fresh, clean (and cold) air in the winter.







Name: Jodi Simpson

My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is from home to my office at My North Media/Traverse Magazine. I enjoy walking to work in winter because it warms me up in the morning. No matter how cold it is, by the time I arrive to the office I’m toasty warm. Plus, frequently I run into neighbors along the way. At the end of the work day walking home works all the kinks out of my body and clears my mind. I arrive home relaxed, warm and happy to hear all about my daughter’s day.







Name: Fyn
School: TCAPS Montessori
Grade: 3rd

My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter around downtown because it is right next to the bay. There are boardwalks along the Boardman River and sometimes it’s faster than driving!







Name: Victoria Velting
Workplace: Sew! A community initiative
Day job: Artist

My favorite place to walk in Traverse City in the winter is along the water. I like to see how the ice and snow play with light to make the loveliest photos.