NORRISTOWN, PA – Montgomery County announced today the return of the Montco Trail Challenge for its seventh year. This annual family-friendly program encourages participants to track their visits to select Montgomery County trails to earn awards for completing visits to five, ten, or fifteen participating trails.
In 2021, the Montco Trail Challenge saw more than 2,000 participants ranging in age from 2 months old to 80 years old. The program draws people from the surrounding region representing Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, Chester, Philadelphia, and Delaware counties.
“In Montgomery County we have prioritized building and expanding our trail network to increase access to high quality recreational opportunities right here in our backyard,” said Valerie A. Arkoosh, MD, MPH, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “The Montco Trail Challenge provides a family-friendly activity that is fun, healthy, and free for everyone to participate. We encourage residents to sign up and make a plan to get out on the trails this year!”
A kickoff event for the 2022 Montco Trail Challenge is scheduled for this Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Trail Junction Center off the Schuylkill River Trail in Norristown. The public is invited to attend this event to visit with area organizations and to receive a free children’s bike helmet while supplies last! The event will also feature a pop-up StoryWalk® and a Farm Explorer truck and smoothie bike provided by Greener Partners. The Trail Junction Center is located at 75 E Lafayette St, Norristown, PA 19401. Parking is available at the SEPTA garage on Lafayette Street. Event flyers are available in English and Spanish.
“Every year I look forward to taking part in the Trail Challenge, and I encourage everyone to sign up for this year’s event,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence, Jr., Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners. “Whether you are a lifelong resident or a first time visitor, we look forward to seeing you out on the trails!”
The 2021 Montco Trail Challenge survey showed that 92% of respondents visited a new park or trail, and 83% learned something new about their community. The Trail Challenge also encouraged participants to get active, with 85% of survey takers said they walked more, 23% biked more, and 14% ran more. Overall, 82% of survey respondents said they improved their physical health, and 91% improved their mental health.
The Montco Trail Challenge will include a few new features this year. The full length of the Wissahickon Green Ribbon Trail will be featured, offering users ten additional miles of natural trail to explore. Additionally, a third “Free Space” has been added where participants can write in any park, trail, or historic site of their choosing. Find a full list of trails and map for the 2022 Montco Trail Challenge, click here.
To participate, people can track their progress on a trail card and submit their entries online or drop their completed card at the five dropbox locations in the county. Participant awards will be mailed in December after the 2022 Trail Challenge. All entries must be received by December 4, 2022.
Participants are encouraged to use social media to post pictures, recognitions, and encourage their friends to participate and use the hashtag #MontcoTrailChallenge.
The Montco Trail Challenge is a partnership between the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, Planning Commission, Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites, and the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. It is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.
About Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites
Montgomery County Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites offer wonderful opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy various natural resources, participate in educational and recreational opportunities, and appreciate our historic past. Whether you are a bike enthusiast, a lover of antiques, or just want a quiet space for a family picnic, there is something for you throughout our facilities.
Montgomery County owns and/or manages more than 6,000 acres of public open space which includes nine parks, five historic sites, and almost 100 miles of regional trails. These areas include over 125 historic and non-historic structures, playgrounds, a fish ladder, a working historic canal lock, a wildlife center, and an archives/artifact collection of over 53,000 pieces. Our parks, trails, and historic sites combined are enjoyed by over 3 million visitors each year. Park lands include fishing opportunities, environmental education programs, hiking, boat rentals, pavilions, and more. To learn more, click here.
Media Contact: Kelly Cofrancisco, email@example.com