Montgomery County Board of Commissioners announced the 6th Annual Montco Trail Challenge would return for its sixth year from May 1, 2021 to December 1, 2021. This annual family-friendly program allows participants to track their visits to select Montgomery County trails. They can earn an award for completing visits to five, ten, or fifteen participating trails.
Last year, the Challenge saw more than 1,600 participants. The program draws people from the surrounding region representing Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, ChesteΩr, Philadelphia, and Delaware Counties. The age range is 2 months old to 79 years old.
“Moreover, we’re thrilled to see the Montco Trail Challenge here for another season,” said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “This program gives families something fun, healthy, and free to do right in their community.”
The Trail Challenge survey showed that 94% of respondents visited a new park or trail. 89% learned something new about their community. The Trail Challenge encouraged participants to get active. 89% of survey takers said they walked more, 33% biked more, and 15% ran more.
Most importantly, 88% of survey respondents said they improved their physical health. 96% improved their mental health.
“Participating in the trail challenge allows our residents and visitors a fun and interactive way to rediscover Montco parks and trails,” said Kenneth E. Lawrence, Jr., Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners. “Getting outdoors is vital to our physical and mental health. We encourage everyone to visit these natural resources right here in Montgomery County. I plan to register and complete the Trail Challenge for the fifth consecutive year. Every year I appreciate our parks and trails more.”
Because the Schuylkill River East Trail is a new trail for the Trail Challenge for 2021, the Challenge will include a few new features this year.
Perkiomen Creek will debut as the first water trail. Norristown Farm Park will have a new interactive educational feature, StoryWalk®. It places a children’s story along the trail inside the park.
To participate, people can track their progress on a trail card. They can submit their entries online or drop their completed card at the five dropbox locations in the county. December 10, 2021, is the deadline for entries.
Furthermore, the Montco Trail Challenge is a partnership. It’s between the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, Planning Commission, Parks, Trails, and Historic Sites, and the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant provides the funding.
Finally, Montgomery County manages more than 6,000 acres of public open space. It includes nine parks, five historic sites, and over sixty miles of regional trails. 2 million visitors each year enjoy Montgomery County parks, trails, and historic sites combined.