When you click on Bloomington native Michael Waterford’s bio at waterfordexplores.com, you get a pretty good snapshot of who he is: adventurer, philanthropist, expedition manager, gear expert, outfitter, backpacker, traveler, a climber who has summited mountains on six continents. Between 2008 and 2012, Waterford lived and worked in 43 different countries and four U.S. states. His travels have raised more than $10,000 for charities and nonprofit organizations.
Right now, Waterford is on a more local expedition, exploring five Indiana land trust territories, plus numerous national forests, state parks, and recreational areas. The hiking trip, from December 1 through December 17, started in Hutsonville, Illinois, just outside Indiana. The first stop: Greene-Sullivan State Forest.
“The trip is 203 miles in 17 days, and I could do it in a lot less, but I have four zero-mileage days where I’m talking to people at the land trusts, a party here in Bloomington with the Sycamore Branches [young conservation leaders in Bloomington], and another night when I’ve invited people to come camp with me in Yellowwood State Forest,” Waterford explains. “I’m definitely taking my time and learning about these wilderness areas so I can teach other people about them.”
Waterford will be posting updates on his journey, and we’ll be posting photo updates and tracking his progress here. Check back frequently for updates and photos.