Take the Trails Challenge - Free Parking on June 7

May 30, 2014 in News

S onoma County Regional Parks launches its first "Trails Challenge" with free day-use parking at 15 parks on National Trails Day, Saturday, June 7. The Trails Challenge invites you to hike five or more trails featured in the Trails Challenge guidebook anytime before Nov. 30. Tell us a little about your hikes when you're done and you can get a free Trails Challenge water bottle or other gift and be entered into drawings for Regional Park memberships.

T o kick off the Trails Challenge, Regional Parks is waiving the $7 parking fee at Spring Lake, Hood Mountain, Gualala Point, Sonoma Valley, Crane Creek and 10 other parks on National Trails Day. Created by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day celebrates the role of trails in healthy communities with special events on the first Saturday of June.

I f you're new to the parks, the Sonoma County Trails Challenge is an opportunity to get comfortable on the trails and discover the benefits of outdoor recreation. If you're already a hiker, the Trails Challenge is another way to keep active and learn a little more about the county parks. Free and designed for all fitness levels, the Trails Challenge is a self-guided program to complete on your schedule. Hike on your own, with your dog, with family, with friends or with co-workers. (Cyclists and equestrians are invited to take the Trails Challenge too.)  

Health professionals agree that adopting a walking routine is one of the simplest, most effective changes we can make to improve our health. Walking at least 30 minutes a day can help with weight loss, lessen risks for diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and certain cancers and improve moods and sleep. In addition, studies show that people who exercise outdoors are more likely to feel satisfied with their workout and more likely to repeat it. 

The Regional Parks have hiking options for all abilities on more than 140 miles of trails. The new trails guide rates featured hikes by intensity - easy, moderate or strenuous - and offers tips on how to use the trails, key facts about the parks, detailed trail notes, maps, and driving directions.  

  To participate in the Trails Challenge:

  1. Go to sonomacountyparks.org and download the trails guide. (Limited print editions will be available at Regional Parks' main office at 2300 County Center Drive in Santa Rosa and at staffed entrances of Spring Lake and Ragle parks.)  
  2.   Review the guidebook and select five hikes to complete before Nov. 30.
  3. When you finish all five, fill out and submit the trails log available at sonomacountyparks.org.
  4. Receive your Trails Challenge water bottle or other free gift (while supplies last) and be entered into drawings for park memberships.
  5. If you're having fun, don't stop at five hikes. Pick another five trails and complete the Trails Challenge again.

  The Trails Challenge is sponsored by Regional Parks and Sonoma County Health Services. For more details, go to the Trails Challenge page at sonomacountyparks.org or call Regional Parks at (707) 565-2041.

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