TRAVERSE CITY — Gloria Halligan has a love-hate relationship with the great outdoors.
Part of her loves getting outside and exploring the myriad of hiking trails in Grand Traverse County, but there’s a part of her that is perfectly content in her stay-at-home comfort zone.
“I have to admit, when it comes to getting up and going, I have a really hard time getting started, but I get stronger as I go” said Halligan, who will be 69 at month’s end. “I never did sports and was never good at those activities, but I do know the trails.”
Halligan learned through years of exploring what she deems to be some of Traverse City’s best-kept secrets that it’s better to curb the impulse to sit home and instead opt for walking.
The Traverse City resident is sharing some of the scenic vista views, cool woodsy glens and rippling little streams she found just off the city’s beaten path during a series of free, community-guided walks. Halligan organized her hikes into 3- and 4-mile, easy- to moderate-walking tours she hopes to one day parlay into a part-time business.
Halligan said she plots her walking loops ahead of time by consulting various agencies’ websites.
“We have trails that are kept up by the DNR, Garfield Township, the Grand Traverse Conservancy, TART Trails, North County trails. It’s surprising that within a 15-mile radius of downtown Traverse City how many trails there are and how doable they are,” she said.
Halligan said trails are well-maintained, but underutilized.
“They’re pretty much empty,” she said. “I’d like people to get to know the beauty of these trails, whether they’re visitors or they live here.”
One of her favorite trails is Miller Creek Reserve that starts at the trailhead behind the Aldi store on South Airport Road.