Bridge walkers take advantage of weather

Joshua Vissers/Daily Mining Gazette Walkers on the 4.5-mile route were treated to sunny and warm weather as they crossed the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.

HOUGHTON — Participants at the 15th annual Labor Day Bridge Walk were treated to sunny and warm weather on Monday morning as they crossed the Portage Lake Lift Bridge twice along the 4.5-mile walking route. Starting from Kestner Waterfront Park, the route followed the canal to the bridge, weaved a loop through Hancock, crossed the bridge again and went up to Michigan Technological University’s campus, and back to the park. Volunteers from U.P. Health System-Portage were along the route to guide around 120 walkers and runners.

“It’s a beautiful day,” said Brandi Rivest, who traveled from Laurium to participate in the walk.

Jasper, 6, and his mother Susanna came out as a way to celebrate the beauty of the community with other members of it. Jasper wore his new school shoes, to break them in before his first day of class on Tuesday.

“We just like to be active and healthy,” Susanna said.

The bridge walk in Houghton first began when the Michigan Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness reached out to encourage communities to have a local fitness walk mirroring the bridge walk over the Mackinac Bridge.

“Lucky for us, we have a bridge that we can utilize,” Angela Luskin said.

Luskin is the Health and Fitness Manager at U.P. Health System-Portage, and has been planning the walks since the beginning in cooperation with the cities of Houghton and Hancock.

“It was one of the first events I did,” she said.

The walk is organized to be non-competitive, and includes several points for people to turn back early if they aren’t up for the entire route. Water and healthy snacks were available for people when they returned to Kestner Waterfront Park.