Keep exploring the outdoors this fall by taking on one of these challenges created by local park systems
Even though summer is unofficially over, you and your family can still enjoy being outdoors. If you’re having difficulty convincing them to go back outside after a summer of doing so, though, try signing your family up for one of these challenges created by some of our local parks.
The Cincinnati Nature Center has created the Hike For Your Health Challenge to encourage visitors to tackle the 17 trails located in Rowe Woods and Long Branch Farm & Trails. Those who wish to participate should stop by the Rowe Visitor Center and purchase a passport for $4. After you and your family complete a trail, get your passport stamped at the Visitor Center. Those who complete all 17 trails will receive a Trailblazer prize.
Great Parks of Hamilton County has created a challenge perfect for budding naturalists. Called the Nature Quest, participants are encouraged to use the Seek by iNaturalist app to take photos of wildlife, plants and fungi in the parks or even your yard. Those who identify 15 organisms in a class earn a badge. While it’s free to participate, those who want the physical badges will need to email Great Parks a screenshot of the Seek app showing what you’ve found to receive a link to purchase the badge. If you collect 10 badges, you can earn the master naturalist trophy.
For those who want to get out of the Greater Cincinnati area, Five Rivers Metroparks in Dayton has also created a challenge called the Metroparks Trails Challenge. Those who want to tackle the challenge can download the brochure for free. The trail log lists 25 trails, their starting and end points, length and trail type. Once you complete a trail, check it off and move on to another one. All participants should mail their brochure in by Oct. 4 to be eligible for a prize. Each completed trail is one entry in a raffle to win a $100 gift card. Those who complete 18 or more trails will win a Challenge sticker and be entered for a chance to win a free T-shirt.