LCWM Holiday Hike Challenge

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LCWM Holiday Hike Challenge

November 20, 2023 - December 31, 2023

Find a bow, snap a photo, win prizes!

This holiday season, busy elves from the Land Conservancy of West Michigan have hung a big red bow on one tree at a number of our nature preserves. If you find them, you have the chance to win some cool prizes!

How to Enter

Hike Explore select LCWM nature preserves any time between November 20 and December 31, 2023 to look for trees decorated with holiday bows! There is only one bow per nature preserve. 

Snap Take a photo with the decorated tree! 

Share Post the photograph to Instagram and tag @naturenearby*, or email the photo to If you correctly identify the tree species the bow is affixed to, you will be entered into the prize raffle twice! 

*Note: Your Instagram profile must be public for us to see and count your entries!

Win Prizes – Each holiday bow found enters you into a raffle to win prizes! This year, we have grand prizes for the first two people to visit all of our preserves and for the first two people to correctly identify the most trees. If you don’t win a grand prize, you will still be entered into a raffle – every tree found and every correct tree ID counts as a submission!

Bonus Prize – This year, your social media entries make you eligible for a bonus prize! This means each time you find a tree and share it on Instagram, your name will be entered into a separate raffle for a special prize (1x per tree shared). Anyone who wins a grand prize or raffle prize is still eligible for this bonus social media prize!

Rules & Guidelines

One photo submission per family per preserve

Photo should clearly show the bow and the tag indicating the preserve name

Submissions will be accepted starting at 12:00 am on November 20 through 11:59 pm on December 31.


Where to Look

There are bows on trees at each of the following preserves. Happy hunting!

Kent County 

Bradford Dickinson White Nature Preserve

Brower Lake Nature Preserve

Lamberton Lake Fen Nature Preserve

Saul Lake Bog Nature Preserve

The Highlands

Wege Foundation Natural Area

Maas Family Nature Preserve

Ottawa County 

Kuker Van-Til Nature Preserve

Minnie Skwarek Nature Preserve

Palomita Nature Reserve

Allegan County 

Dune Pines Nature Preserve

Newaygo County 

Richmond Woods Nature Preserve *bow hunting is allowed at this preserve. Please dress in bright clothes, take note of whether a hunter is present on the preserve when you are there, make your presence known, and take the necessary precautions to remain safe! 

Upriver Nature Preserve

McDuffee Creek Nature Preserve

Muskegon County 

Anderson Woods Nature Preserve

Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve



This year, we have 4 grand prizes, as well as a bonus prize for social media entries!

Framed Original Painting by Jerry Gates, donated by the Conservation Resource Alliance. *Valued at $2,600, this painting will be awarded to the first person to find and submit photos of all 16 bows!

Prize Box, donated by Brewery Vivant

*Valued at $125, this prize box will be awarded to the second person to find and submit photos of all 16 bows. Box includes $75 gift card, a bottle of spirits, and a 4-pack of local, Brewery Vivant beer!

Prize Package, donated by Querkus Creative

*Valued at $130, this prize will be awarded to the person to correctly identify the most species of trees with holiday bows! Package includes a guided hike at McDuffee Creek Nature Preserve, a Trees of Michigan poster, and a gift card to the Querkus Creative website!

Backpacking Bundle, donated by REI

*Valued at $350, this prize will be awarded to the second person to correctly identify the most species of trees with holiday bows! Package includes a 2-person tent, a sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad.

Bonus Prize

Backpacking Bundle, donated by REI

*Valued at $350, this prize will be raffled to those who post on social media! Each tree posted counts as an entry. Entries must be submitted on a public Instagram account to be counted, and must tag @naturenearby. Please note that this is a bonus prize – grand prize winners will be eligible to win!

Raffle Prizes

All submissions will be entered into a drawing for additional prizes. You do not need to visit all the preserves to be eligible for the drawing – each entry counts as a submission! Please note that if you win a grand prize, you will no longer be eligible for a raffle prize. You could win any of the following: 



Thank you to our prize donors!



November 20, 2023
December 31, 2023
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