Buncombe County Recreation Services has partnered with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation's Kids in Parks program to install a new TRACK Trail at Charles D. Owen Park in Swannanoa. Children and families are invited to hike the new TRACK Trail, which was installed in celebration with National Great Outdoors Month and with support from the Buncombe County Community Recreation Grant award.
The TRACK Trail follows the walking path around the ponds at Charles D. Owen Park and meanders along the Swannanoa River. The new trailhead sign, located between the ponds, provides four brochure-led activity guides that allow young hikers to learn about and connect with the natural features found along the trail. Activity guides are available in English y en español.
"We are excited to partner with Kids in Parks to offer the newest TRACK Trail at Charles D. Owen Park, linking this popular park with the other TRACK Trail sites in the region and throughout the country," said Josh O’Conner, Recreation Services Director for Buncombe County.
"Our national network of TRACK Trails started here in Buncombe County as a way to which introduce young people to the wonders of nature," said Jason Urroz, Director of Kids in Parks, a program of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. "With each of these trails, we hope to engage children in the joys of outdoor exploration as a way to improve their overall health and well-being, as well as develop stewards who will help protect these amazing public spaces in the future."
TRACK Trails are designed to turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled, discovery-packed adventure – 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 encourage continued participation in the program. Since the program’s inception in 2009, more than 1.5 million TRACK Trail adventures have been completed.