Getting the kids outside to play, hike and explore is one of the most readily-available antidotes to the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to a Buncombe County Community Recreation Grant award, families can now enjoy the great outdoors with their children on a new TRACK trail at Swannanoa’s Owen Park. Buncombe County Recreation Services partnered with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s “Kids in Parks” program to install the trail, which follows the park’s existing paths around the ponds and alongside the Swannanoa River.
The Owen Park trail is part of a national network of TRACK trails that are designed to turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled, discovery-packed adventure. The trailhead sign for the new TRACK trail is located between the two ponds at Owen Park, and features four activity guides that allow young hikers to learn about, and connect with, the natural features found along the trail. Each guide covers a different theme: Nature’s Hide & Seek, Animal Athletes, Pond Life and Types of Trees. The activity guides are available in both English and Spanish.
And the fun doesn’t stop when the trail ends. After their outing, kids can register their TRACK Trail adventures at KidsinParks.com to earn a series of prizes designed to make their next outdoor adventure more meaningful, and to encourage continued participation in the program. Since the program began in 2009, more than 1.5 million TRACK Trail adventures have been completed.