Dan Taylor has seen his hometown of Fenton from the vantage point of every street.
That’s because he walked every street in town last year, from the middle of June to early September, equipped with a map he picked up from city hall.
Altogether, Taylor walked about 170 miles, losing 28 pounds in the process and gaining a new appreciation of the city he has lived in for more than 40 years. “I could’ve walked to our cottage on Hubbard Lake,” he added with a smile.
While winter weather has kept him indoors, he’s already making plans for getting back out there this spring and walking Fenton again. “I’m anxious to get out there and walk again,” he said. “It’s hard in the winter because it gets dark so early.”
The city of Fenton boasts about 60 miles of streets and sidewalks. He started on Caroline Street and walked to several destinations, including State Road Elementary where his wife, Cynthia, works. One of his favorite routes was Oak Street and Pine Street, because of the inclines.
While Taylor, 61, embarked on his city walks with the primary motivation of losing weight, his daily hikes ended up meaning so much more to him than tightening the notches on his belt. He experienced first-hand the pride he has always felt for Fenton.
“I have always, always liked Fenton,” said Taylor, who grew up in north Flint. “Fenton has always been a great place to live.”
With 42 years of barbering under his belt, Taylor said he has seen a lot of kids grow up and say, “I can’t wait to move away from Fenton.” “Now they’re coming back with their own kids,” he said.
After a story about Taylor was published in the Times on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, he admits he became somewhat of a local celebrity. “Nobody can ever tell me that people in this city don’t read the local newspaper. After my story, people came up to me all the time and said, ‘Hey, I saw you in the paper.’”
Taylor presented his positive findings about the city at a Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 Fenton City work session, describing his experience to the Fenton City Council.
“Oak Street does not have any oak trees on it,” he said, in a story written by Times Reporter Hannah Ball that ran Sept. 8, 2019. “I didn’t get attacked by any dogs. There’s a lot of American flags that fly in the city of Fenton. I think we live in a very unique city and I’m really proud to say I’m a resident of Fenton.”
How to tour
your own city
• Enlist others to join you.
• Link multiple events together
to make a whole day adventure.
• Get physical — use your own
momentum to get around the city.
• Explore hiking, biking and walking trails around your city.
• As you walk or bike, stop in at new bars, restaurants and shops to find a new favorite.
• Take pictures to document your time.
• Try new things — paddle- boarding, biking, urban hiking,