The East Bay Regional Parks’ Trails Challenge is a great way to improve your fitness. This is the twentieth year that EBRPD has offered this fun and stimulating program, and nearly 10,000 people have participated every year.
Registration is now open and approximately 10 business days after you register, you will have access online to the maps and trail descriptions of this year’s featured trails. You will also be able to download the free mobile application onto your iPhone or Android Smartphone and bring the Guidebook in its digital format wherever you go.
The “challenge” is to complete either at least 26.2 miles or 5 of the 20 of featured trails. Participation is free for residents of Alameda and Contra Costa County as well as employees of Kaiser Permanente. The program offers some perks on top of the health benefits—free t-shirts (while they last) at the start and a free commemorative pin (while they last) if you complete the challenge. Non-residents can also sign up free.
The Trails Challenge operates on the honor-system. You keep track of the miles on the Trail Log provided online.
Here’s how to proceed:
Go to www.ebparks.org, to reach the home page and then scroll down to “2014 Trails Challenge: A free hiking program. Register now.” Click and you will be on the home page of the Regional Parks Foundation – the organization that runs the program and supports the parks.
Once on the Regional Parks Foundation page, once again click the “2014 Trails Challenge” button, and on the next page, you will find a menu of choices on the left side. If you are new to the program, or want a review of the program, select the “more about…,” or “healthy tips,” options. If you are an old hand at the process, click the “register now” option and begin the registration process. Read through the instructions, and then scroll far down the page. Take note that you should put the TOTAL number of adults in the square next to “Resident Adult” or “Non-resident” and that you will later be asked to list the individuals’ names.
After you have submitted your registration, you might want to spend some time additional time online looking at the maps and trails that exist throughout the district in order to familiarize yourself with your many options—especially since the trail challenge program suggests that you stick to the featured trails, but doesn’t require it. While you are waiting the week or so for the registration process to be completed, you might use that time to round up some hiking companions, find your supportive footwear, daypack, water bottle, and sunscreen and otherwise prepare for this year’s hikes.
The Trail Challenge is supported by a partnership between the East Bay Regional Park District, Kaiser Permanente and the Regional Parks Foundation.
You can also follow Susan Alcorn’s columns at backpack45.blogspot.com