Alson Trailhead kid’s trail wins award

JENKINSVILLE – The Palmetto Trail’s Peak to Prosperity Passage  which includes the Alston trailhead in Jenkinsville, was honored recently by the Kids in Parks Advisory Committee for hosting one of the most heavily used TRACK Trails in the program.

Kids in Parks developed the TRACK Trails concept that start at Alston trailhead to encourage families to “unplug” and connect to nature. The trails help fight childhood obesity and provide a number of other benefits.

The TRACK Trails, offer several adventures for kids specific to the site, including one that features the area’s railroad history and the story of a doctor who used the railroad trestle (now an important part of the passage as a way to reach his patients on the other side of the river.

Since last year, the TRACK Trail usage at the Alston Trailhead has increased by 38%.

Kids in Parks reports that “combined, the Alston trailhead participants hiked the distance from Greenville to Charleston an estimated 19.2 times in 2021 and 26.9 times since the TRACK Trail opened. Participants have also spent 3.8 months outdoors on the TRACK Trail.

The TRACK Trails provide self-guided brochures and signs, enhancing the outdoor experience.  Kids can track their activity through an online nature journal, noting how many trails they’ve visited and how many miles they’ve hiked.  Kids who register their activity can also earn prizes.

According to Kids in Parks, the benefits of outdoor play for children are dramatic and long lasting. From studies that show increased brain activity and higher SAT scores when children play in natural settings, to research that links a lower incidence of bullying, ADHD, and depression in kids that play outside, there is evidence that children benefit from spending time in nature.

“I’ve been happily surprised by how popular the TRACK Trail is,” said Palmetto Trail Executive Director Mary Roe. “Over half the registered users of the Palmetto Trail’s Peak to Prosperity Passage come to hike specifically because of the TRACK Trail.

Every TRACK Trail has a series of brochures designed to turn an ordinary walk in the woods into a fun-filled adventure. Kids can register every adventure through the Kids in Parks website, www.kidsinparks.com, and earn Trail TRACKer Gear designed to make their next outdoor adventure more interactive and fun.

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