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East Bay Parks opens 24th annual trails challenge

Hikers earn commemorative pins for finishing five trails or 26.2 miles

A trails challenge has kicked off in the East Bay, giving hikers the chance to earn a free commemorative pin for their efforts, East Bay Regional Park District officials said.

The 24th annual Trails Challenge started Jan. 1 and ends Dec. 1, and includes district trails in and around Pleasanton.

Hikers can earn a commemorative pin by completing a minimum of 26.2 miles of trails or by hiking five trails in the park district, according to district officials.

The challenge will run on the honor system and is free to East Bay residents. It is self-guided and self-paced. Registration is not required.

Participants can go to www.ebparks.org to get a PDF copy of this year's trail book or the books are available at participating park district visitor centers. Free T-shirts are also available at participating centers while supplies last.

Go to ebparks.org or call (888) EBPARKS and choose option 2 for a list of the participating visitor centers for T-shirts and guidebooks.

Participants turn in a logbook to show they have completed the challenge and are eligible for a pin, which also available while supplies last, district officials said.

The guidebook lists 20 trails that district officials want to highlight this year, which should make it easy to pick out a trail that's best suits each hiker.

Trails range in difficulty from easy to challenging.

Icons indicate whether hikers can take dogs with them, though most trails are open to hikers with dogs, according to park district officials.

Six of the highlighted trails are accessible to wheelchair users.

– Keith Burbank, Bay City News

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