Friday, January 15, 2010

East Bay Regional Park District’s 2010 Trails-To-Fitness Trails Challenge

The East Bay Regional Park District’s seventeenth annual Trails Challenge is now accepting registrations for 2010. This self-guided hiking program grew to nearly 8,000 participants in 2009, and even more are expected to sign up this year. In celebration of the Park District’s 75th Anniversary the “Challenge” will be free this year thanks to a partnership with Kaiser Permanente heath maintenance organization.
The Trails Challenge is a self-guided hiking program that gives participants an incentive to visit regional parks new to them, while promoting good health and conditioning through enjoyable outdoor exercise.
Participants who register for the Trails Challenge will receive a free t-shirt and online access to the 2010 trail booklet. The booklet includes detailed trail descriptions, including driving directions, to ten parks and 30 of the most popular trails in the Regional Parks. Each park includes three hikes ranging from easy to challenging. There are trails open to hikers, bicyclists and equestrians, and many are wheelchair accessible.
To register, you must have an e-mail address as further instructions will be e-mailed. If you signed up last year, please use your same login and password as the system will recognize your e-mail address.  There is an option to have your login and/or password e-mailed to you if you forgot either. 
An e-mail confirmation will provide registration instructions on how to download the guidebook and order a free, organic, Trails Challenge t-shirt (t-shirts are limited to two per household while supplies last). Please allow five to ten business days for an e-mail on how to download the booklet. T-shirts can be picked up after February 3, 2010 at one of six visitor centers for free. There is also an option to have your t-shirt mailed to you if you pay postage and handling via the Trails Challenge online store.  The website information will walk you through this registration process.
New this year is a web feature linked to Google maps. Participants can get exact driving directions from their home and also view where the trails are within the parks. In a move towards “going green,” participants are encouraged to print out only portions of the booklet they need, though complete hard copies will be available for $5 each.  Besides the specific trail information, the booklet contains general park district information and tips for new trail users. All information is available online at the time of registration.
To complete the actual challenge, participants are asked to hike five of the trails and send in their log after doing so. They will receive a commemorative pin mailed to them. As in past challenges, the honor system applies here. Nobody is checking to make sure participants hiked the trails.
Parks in the 2010 Trails Challenge include the following: Alameda Creek Regional Trail, Briones Regional Park, Contra Loma Regional Park and the Delta De Anza Trail, Del Valle Regional Park, Diablo Foothills and Castle Rock, Iron Horse Regional Trail, Lake Chabot Regional Park, Miller Knox Regional Shoreline Park, Mission Peak Regional Preserve, and Wildcat Canyon Regional on the above map and it becomes active to view information about specific trails...

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