Warmer weather means Berks County residents are invited to participate in the third annual Berks Trail Challenge. Presented with Be Well Berks, an initiative of the Community Wellness Department of Reading Hospital, the challenge promotes a free form of exercise to individuals, groups, and/or clubs throughout the region. In 2019, 775 people participated in the challenge.
“The Berks Trail Challenge encourages people in our community to get outdoors and enjoy a mindful leisure activity, while exploring the various beautiful parks and trails Berks County has to offer,” said Desha Dickson, Associate Vice President, Community Wellness, Reading Hospital. “Because COVID-19 remains in our community, we strongly recommend individuals wear a facemask and practice social distancing, while also following trail safety guidelines.”
The Berks Trail Challenge began on Monday, May 4 and will continue through Saturday, October 31. Participants can register at BeWellBerks.org and print out a challenge card as well as directions to each location for each participant, or family, to record trail visits. The challenge card lists eight different trails with the difficulty level and terrain of each. The trails range in length from two to six miles long.
“The challenge is to visit as many of the trails as possible and record a unique symbol on the challenge card. You can find the unique symbols at main park information stands and near original trail markers,” said Dickson. Completed challenge cards must be received prior to Friday, November 6 to be entered in a drawing to win a prize. Completed challenge cards may be submitted anytime throughout the challenge. Forty random winners will be selected and announced on Friday, November 13.
Reading Hospital developed the first Berks Trail Challenge in 2018 as a response to the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment report, which identified a need for Berks County residents to participate in increased physical activity to improve health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Participants are encouraged to take pictures of their trail outings and post them using the hashtag #BerksTrailChallenge and tagging any of the Reading Hospital – Tower Health social media platforms including Facebook at facebook.com/readinghospital; on Instagram, @readinghospital; and on Twitter, @ReadingHosp.