This weekend my husband and I signed up for the Santa Clara County Parks for Life Challenge! We are so lucky in that our home sits in the middle of six county parks all within 15 minutes of our place! We take advantage of them all the time – from walking our dogs at Harvey Bear to riding our bikes on the Coyote Creek bike trail – we do love our county parks.
The Parks for Life Challenge though was new to me. It wasn’t until I met Tricia and Ashley on my Team and Training triathlon team that I heard of this great adventure. The Parks for Life Challenge is a social media game, filled with over 340 adventures. Each adventure is worth points, as you complete each adventure (in any order and as many as you want) you snap a photo of a team member holding the team flag (created on the web site).
The goal of the game is to get more people outside and enjoying county parks. Santa Clara County has 28 parks and this game will be getting us out and exploring more of our parks. Not just the ones in our backyard. And an added bonus? There are prizes! Every good game has prizes, right? Well, all along their are time sensitive challenges called benchmarks that if completed enter you into a drawing for prizes. Then at the end of the game there are even more prizes! Great prizes! REI camping and hiking gear. Really cool stuff!
Awesome stuff, huh?
I was able to get some inside scoop from Tricia and Ashley on how they got started in last year’s challenge and a few tip for us newbies to the game. Here is what they shared with me.
Parks For Life Challenge
What prompted you to join this last year? We were looking for a way to lose weight and get in shape for my son’s wedding. Ashley was trying to find a par course in our area. She was Googling par courses (which she never actually found) when she ran across the Santa Clara County Parks for Life Challenge. It sounded like fun so we went out on our first hike and really enjoyed it. It was a great way to add variety to our workouts and with 200 plus adventures we planned ahead which kept us committed. Funny side note: One of the last parks we went to Penitencia Creek County Park actually has a par course. The new QR F.I.T. Trail system is on the Martin Murphy Trail at Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch Park
What was a great take-away from your experience? We had a great time together. We had to do a lot a planning and strategizing to get in as many adventures as we did. We had a few days from hell and some funny adventures. We enlisted family and friends to help us along the way. We learned about great places to go in Santa Clara County that we never knew about. The County Park system has something for everyone. We went to all the 28 parks (many of the multiple times) they were all nice, clean and well maintained.
What do you hope to accomplish this year? This year we are just planning to do a few adventures to get us up off the couch as we have a few more months until the wedding. We will do some of the “Benchmark Challenges” where if you do the challenge by a certain time and date you will be entered in a drawing for a prize. We want to get family and friends to join in and have fun with us.
Any advice for the newbies? If they want a chance at winning then they need to do all the time sensitive adventures first because they can’t make those up later. Most of all have fun and enjoy the parks.
Good advice! With over 340 challenges this year, it takes a bit of strategizing and planning to help rack up points. But then again, just getting outdoors and exploring all of the parks is fun in of itself. Oh, but the prizes! I’d love some of that camping and hiking gear! I am happy to say that with the three day weekend Positively Outdoors (our team name) has moved up in the standings.
If you live in the area or love to visit Santa Clara County then visit The SCC Parks for Life Challenge. Create a team name, sign up, and print out a flag. Maybe we will see you on the trails! Happy hiking!
I picked up a summer schedule of park activities at Chitactac-Adams. So many fun things to do – from hiking, night time movies, free waterskiing lessons for the kids, kayaking, and guided tours. There really is something for everyone!