Gyms can be boring. So what better time to exercise outdoors while the weather stays warm and dry? Both Santa Clara and Alameda county park systems offer a healthy trails challenge.
Changing up your routine every few months is a good idea–and this is a great way to do it. There are different types of trails depending on if you decide to walk, hike, bike or bring a companion in a wheelchair or stroller.
For Santa Clara County Parks, pick five out of 22 featured trails and write an evaluation on them.
Two trails are located in Milpitas’ and are ranked as moderate-level trails:
• The Spring Valley/Los Coches Ridge trail is 2.3 miles and good for a hike/jog, equestrians, school-age children and fit seniors.
• The Tularcitos/Calera Creek/Agua Caliente Trail is 3.4 miles and good for a hike/jog, mountain biking, equestrian, dogs, school-age children and fit seniors.
The most popular trails are:
• – Slough Loop Trail (easy)
• Uvas Canyon – Waterfall Loop Trail (easy)
• – Los Gatos Creek Trail Miles Ave. to Vasona Dam (easy)
• Almaden Quicksilver – Wood Road/Castillero/Mine hill (moderate)
To register for the second annual Santa Clara County Parks Healthy Trails, click here. You'll get a guidebook (updated this year) on where to go.
Anyone can register: children, wheelchair users, organized groups, companies, schools. There are also trails for dogs as well. Dates for Healthy ‘Tails: for dogs on a leash and Stroller Hikes can be found on the calendar online.
Once you complete the challenge, a bonus gift will be on its way to you!
For East Bay Regional Parks:
There are two versions of the Alameda Creek Regional Trail, paved and unpaved.
Paved trail runs from Niles Canyon to the bay with access from Fremont, Union City and Newark. Its suggested use is for bicyclists, runners and hikers. Markers are installed at ½ mile intervals. The south bank has access to Coyote Hills Regional Park and by adding the 3.5 mile loop qualifies it for a marathon run.
Unpaved trail starts at the Niles Canyon staging area through Isherwood, Niles, Union City Blvd to the Bay. This route provides access to the Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area.
Register for the East Bay Regional Parks Trails Challenge 2011 and create a new user registration. You'll receive access to the trail booklet, instructions for receiving a free Trails Challenge shirt and links to the hike routes on Google Maps. There's even a Trail Challenge app for Android and iPhones. Self-paced and self-guided, your goal is to complete five trails or 26.2 miles.
Relax. You have until December 1 to complete and submit your Trail Log. Bonus pins will also be mailed out in the fall for those who complete the challenge.
The program is free and is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente for the seventh consecutive year. As of early September, about 8,800 participants had registered. For more information, visit http://www.ebparks.org/trailschallenge.
The Santa Clara County Parks' Healthy Trails Program is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente San Jose and Santa Clara County Public Health Department Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Division.