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BRP Foundation’s Kids In Parks program to open a TRACK Trail at Peaks of Otter

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The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s Kids in Parks program, in partnership with the National Park Service, celebrates June as the Great Outdoors Month by hosting the grand opening of a new TRACK Trail at Peaks of Otter at milepost 85 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at Peaks of Otter on Saturday, June 2 at 1 p.m. and will be followed by a ranger guided hike along the trail.

The Peaks of Otter TRACK Trail trailhead is located at the junction of the site’s Abbott Lake and Johnson Farm Trails, just below the Peaks of Otter Lodge’s parking lot near the Parkway. Both the Abbott Lake and Johnson Farm Trails have been designated as TRACK Trails, with a few of the program’s self-guided brochures being tailored specifically to the historic Johnson Farm.

The Abbott Lake Loop Trail is a short ¾-mile loop trail that encircles the lake, providing visitors with great vistas of the lake and Sharp Top Mountain. The Johnson Farm trail is a moderately strenuous 1.8 mile long loop trail that delivers visitors to the historic Johnson Farm, a living history farm with tour-able buildings and gardens.

Over the past few years, the Kids in Parks program has been installing a network of TRACK Trails to help get kids and families “un-plugged,” outdoors and actively engaged in nature, for their health and the health of our parks. Each TRACK Trail provides a series of self-guided, brochure-led adventures designed to turn an ordinary hike into a fun-filled adventure. And, kids who register their TRACK Trail adventures on the Kids in Parks website (www.kidsinparks.com) become members of the program’s Trail TRACKer Team and earn prizes (incentives) designed to make their next outdoor adventure more fun.

 “This new TRACK Trail at the Peaks of Otter will extend the reach of the Kids in Parks program into the northern regions of the Parkway, helping to create a new hub from which community TRACK Trails can be installed, creating a new network of trails in the region,” said Jason Urroz, Director of the Kids in Parks program.

 “The Peaks of Otter’s Johnson Farm TRACK Trail brochures are some of our first brochures to incorporate historical and cultural information,” Urroz said. “The site’s historic farm provided the perfect opportunity for us to connect today’s kids with what life was like in the Blue Ridge Mountains years ago.”

The Peaks of Otter is located at Milepost 84 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Bedford, VA. The address to the site’s Lodge is: 85554 Blue Ridge Parkway, Bedford, VA 24523. (540)586-1081.

About the Kids in Parks program:

Kids in Parks is a program of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and was formed through partnerships between the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. Working together with partners throughout the country, their mission is to promote children’s health and the health of our parks by engaging families in outdoor adventures that increase physical activity and foster a meaningful connection to the natural and cultural world.

The Kids in Parks TRACK Trails program provides kids and families with a network of self-guided hiking trails. Every TRACK Trail has a series of brochures designed to turn an ordinary walk in the woods into a fun-filled adventure. Furthermore, for every adventure kids register through the Kids in Parks website, www.kidsinparks.com, they earn Trail TRACKer Gear designed to make their next outdoor adventure more interactive and fun.