When Niewenhuis turned 45-years-old, she felt compelled to break out of the day-to-day routine and take on a big challenge. She decided to walk all the way around her favorite place: Lake Michigan. “Instead of having a mid-life crisis,” Niewenhuis said, “I had a mid-life adventure!”
In 2012, Niewenhuis will undertake another 1000-mile hike, one that allows her to touch all five Great Lakes. “During my hike around Lake Michigan, I became captivated with the Great Lakes, our vast Inland Seas. I decided that one adventure wasn’t enough. I wanted to touch all five of these amazing bodies of water and to explore their importance in my next book.”
Niewenhuis’s adventure will begin in April 2012 along Ohio’s shoreline on Lake Erie and continue along most of the edge of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. This part of the hike will allow her to touch lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan. Then, she will hike two stretches along Lake Superior’s coast: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising and the Estivant Pine Preserve near Copper Harbor. Finally, along the fifth Great Lake, Lake Ontario, she will hike on the Canadian side from Toronto east to the Sandbanks Park near the point where Lake Ontario egresses into the Saint Lawrence River. The grand finale of her hike will be the approximately 15 miles from the city of Niagara-On-The-
In her adventure this year, Niewenhuis will explore how important the Great Lakes system is to the entire country. “These five lakes contain 90% of the fresh, surface water in the nation,” Niewenhuis points out. “And tens of millions of people get their drinking water from these lakes. They are vital to the region and the nation and we need to be better stewards of this amazing natural resource.”
This journey will give rise to her next book tentatively titled “A 1000-Mile Great Lakes Walk: The Adventure Continues Along the Shores of America’s Vast Inland Seas.” Crickhollow Books of Milwaukee will publish the book in early 2013. Follow Niewenhuis's journey on her blog.
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Loreen Niewenhuis has a bachelors of science from Calvin College, a masters of science from Wayne State University and a masters of fine arts from Spalding University. She is the author of "A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach" (the account of her hike around Lake Michigan), the novella ATLANTA (recently nominated for a SIBA Book Award), and many literary short stories. She was a finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction in 2009.
Niewenhuis gives lectures about the Great Lakes and readings from her work. To contact her for interviews or a speaking engagement, e-mail her at Loreen(at)LakeTrek.com
Please learn more about Niewenhuis, her writing, and her adventures at her website and her blog