Park District’s Free “Trails Challenge” Program Gets People Outdoors, Improves Health By EBRPD Public Affairs
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the East Bay Regional Park District’s signature outdoor activity program, Trails Challenge. Launched in 1993 to get East Bay residents moving outdoors and exploring their trails, the program makes it easy for hikers of all abilities to get to know and love their Regional Parks. Trails Challenge is a free program supported through financial contributions from the East Bay Regional Park District, Kaiser Permanente, and the Regional Parks Foundation. “The 2017 Trails Challenge was great,” said Hayward resident and 2017 participant Diane Petersen. “I've been hiking at the same park forever (Mission Peak) and Trails Challenge got me out to other amazing parks in the region.”
“My pups especially liked the Trails Challenge because they got to go to new parks with new sniffs!” added Petersen, who plans on taking on the 2018 challenge with her canine hiking companions. To complete the 2018 Trails Challenge, participants need to hike a marathon’s length of trails (26.2 miles) or at least five of the 20 designated hikes in the Trails Challenge guidebook.
“Trails Challenge is about people getting outdoors and connecting with nature,” said Interpretive and Recreation Services Manager David Zuckermann. “Hiking is one of the best ways people can enjoy our Regional Parks.” Each year, a new Trails Challenge guidebook highlights 20 different trails throughout the parks. From shorelines to ridgetops, there is something for everyone. A handy matrix helps readers choose from easy, medium or challenging hikes, and to identify trails accessible to wheelchair users, and those that allow dogs, bikes or horses.
“The Trails Challenge guidebook was especially helpful,” said Petersen. “The guidebook allowed me to pick a hike with a level of difficulty that matched how I felt that day. Participation in Trails Challenge is easy – simply visit EBParks.org/TrailsChallenge to download the guidebook and get started. No online registration is required. Free printed guidebooks and T-shirts are also available at participating Visitor Centers while supplies last.
Participants who complete the challenge and turn in their log by December 1st receive a commemorative Trails Challenge pin.
This year, all 20 featured trails are featured on the FREE mobile app AllTrails. To use the app, participants should download the app, sign-up, and login, then go to https://www.alltrails.com/lists/trails-challenge-2018, click on “Copy to my lists”, and then click "Continue in App". The featured trails will show under 'Lists' in 'Plan'.
The 2018 featured hikes are located in the following parks:
* Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve, Antioch
* Briones Regional Park, Martinez
* Contra Loma Regional Park, Antioch
* Crown Memorial State Beach, Alameda
* Cull Canyon Regional Recreation Area, Castro Valley
* Del Valle Regional Park, Livermore
* Diablo Foothills Regional Park, Alamo
* Dublin Hills Regional Park, Dublin
* Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Parks, Hayward
* Lake Chabot Regional Park, Castro Valley
* Las Trampas Regional Wilderness, Alamo
* Morgan Territory Regional Preserve, East Contra Costa County
* Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, Richmond
* Point Isabel Regional Shoreline, Richmond
* Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Oakland
* Sunol Regional Wilderness, Sunol
* Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley/Orinda Hills
* Vargas Plateau Regional Park, Fremont
* Waterbird Regional Preserve, Martinez
* Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, Richmond
The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 121,000 acres in 73 parks including over1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.
Dave Mason, Public Information Supervisor