Annual ‘Footprints in the Forest’ race returns to Bald Mountain

By Georgia Thelen
Review Staff Writer
On October 2, the 7th Annual Footprints in the Forest race and walk will return to Heart Lake in Bald Mountain Recreation Area.
Footprints in the Forest was first started in 2010 by Lake Orion residents Jeff and Michelle Aisthorpe, to honor the memory of their stillborn daughter, Emma.
With family and friends reaching out to them, the Aisthorpe’s decided they wanted to do something that would make Emma’s name live on forever. They set up a scholarship fund in Emma’s name through Wayne State University, and every penny raised helps a student in need who is pursuing a teaching degree.
“When we present the scholarship each year we tell the recipient that we are not some wealthy donors, instead we tell them there are hundreds of people who contribute in small ways and large to make the scholarship possible,” said Michelle.
The 4-mile trail run follows the Graham Lakes Trail Loop at Bald Mountain and is chip-timed, whereas the 2-mile hike is solely recreational and follows the Heart Lake Trail Loop.
The event also includes several raffles with prizes from local businesses and age group prizes for the trail race. Footprints in the Forest usually attracts around 100 people, split between hikers and runners, usually raising anywhere from $500 to $1,500 in scholarships for future teachers.
“The feedback makes it all worthwhile and kind of reaffirms our resolve that we are doing something good and to do it again the next year,” Michelle said.
Registration for Footsteps in the Forest is currently $20, but will rise to $23 on September 18 and will be $30 on race day.  T-shirts are guaranteed for all pre-registrations.
For more details or to register for the event, visit footprintsintheforest.org.

Runners and walkers can participate in the 'Footprints in the Forest' race, which benefits a scholarship for students who want to become teachers.
Runners and walkers can participate in the ‘Footprints in the Forest’ race, which benefits a scholarship for students who want to become teachers.