WISCONSIN — Emily Ford just made history for becoming the first known Black person and woman to hike Wisconsin’s 1,200-mile Ice Age Trail in the winter.

The Minnesota native hiked for 66 days and just recently ended her 10-week journey in the first week of March. Ford hopes her story will encourage others to get outdoors and understand that hiking is for anyone.

“I came from a mixed race family, and as I got older into the sport, I learned there is not really many people that look like me out there," said Ford. "For me, I’m like whatever, but I know for a lot of other people that is a really scary situation. So, my main message is anyone can be out there. In my mind, anybody can hike." 

Ford said she endured just about every part of a Wisconsin winter along her journey.  She's also grateful for all of the people who provided her with "trail magic," such as fresh fruits, vegetables to handwritten notes along her journey.

Ford is a Duluth, Minnesota native.