• Team 'South Wind Capital Paula Trekker' members Cpl. Cara Streeter, Lanita Thrasher and Sandra Thrasher in Paulatuk.

We Walked to Tuk Ten Times

 March 5, 2020
Posted by NWT Recreation and Parks Association
Walking along Back Bay in Yellowknife. Photo by Vince Alfy.

Every year the NWTRPA hopes to inspire northerners to get out and get active in the wintertime. This year, Walk to Tuk celebrated its 10th anniversary—and it was the biggest, and best year yet!

For the 10th anniversary, we held a special community celebration in Zhatıé Kų́ę́ (Fort Providence) to start the challenge.

“Despite the weather being around -40°C, everyone got dressed and headed out for a walk from the school to the white and blue church, one of the most photographed historical buildings in the NWT,” wrote Stefanie Mikslovic, Active Communities Coordinator about the event.

A community group walk in Zhatıé Kų́ę́ (Fort Providence) in January 2020. Photo by Thorsten Gohl.

Walk to Tuk is the biggest and longest recreational physical activity event in the NWT; taking place for eight weeks during January and February, the darkest and coldest time of year. Walk to Tuk encourages community members, schools, and workplaces to form teams and together, conceptually walk the distance of the Big River from Zhatıé Kų́ę́ to Tuktuuyaqtuuq, a total of 1,658km. 

Altogether, the 433 participating teams logged a grand total of 757 674.2

Calculated in hours of exercise, Walk to Tuk participants collectively spent over 178,663 hours walking. On average, each participant accumulated 205 minutes of weekly exercise—far above the 150 minutes recommended by the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.

South Wind Capital Paula Trekkers Walk to Tuk, then sit and relax before walking back home from across the bay in Paulatuk. Photo by Angela Ruben.

We are proud of this northern-born event, largely because it offers a chance to connect communities and participants around the territory, and see the hard work done to keep our communities vibrant and healthy.

This year over 4,800 people from 30 NWT communities and beyond took part in the challenge. 

Kids snowshoeing in Enterprise during the after school program, putting in some Walk to Tuk time in the winter sunshine. Photo by Erin Porter.

We featured a variety of communities and participants this year who have awed us with their determination, spirit, and passion for northern health and active living.

  • Denise McDonald, who is a veteran Walk to Tuk participant and has joined every year since Walk to Tuk started. Read her story: Ten Years of Walking to Tuk
  • Team Louie Norwegian Lynx, which was the first team ever to participate in Walk to Tuk from Tthets’ek’ehdeli Got’ie (Jean Marie River), back in 2018. This year, Tthets’ek’ehdeli Got’ie had the most teams per capita in the NWT.
  • Angela Marie, member of Forest Management Trekkers from Hay River, who was inspired by Walk to Tuk to quit smoking.

Team Polar Express members #FrostyFaces from Inuvik. Photo submitted by Martina Israel.

Thank you to our sponsors for supporting us each step of the way!

Each year, Walk to Tuk is the recipient of generous donations from many sponsors who make this event possible. To help motivate our participants, Walk to Tuk offers handsome prizes such as team lunches, tablets or smartphones for team captains, flight passes, and of course—the coveted “I walked to Tuk” T-shirts.