Timpanogos Cave National Monument in Utah is one of 22 national parks across the country that has received a 2013 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation to promote an active, healthy lifestyle.
Now in its fifth year, the Active Trails program supports hands-on projects that encourage the public to lead healthy lives by actively engaging in trail work, special events and community activities that help restore, protect and/or create land and water trails across the country.
New this summer, the “Hiking Your Way to Fitness and Fun” project is a collaborative effort between Timpanogos Cave National Monument and the American Fork City Fitness Center to encourage outdoor recreation and fitness for the local community.
A kick-off event will be held at the Timpanogos Cave National Monument Visitor Center on Saturday, June 8th, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Participants will be given a welcome kit as they sign up, consisting of a water bottle, lanyard with safety-tag, healthy snacks and an opportunity to converse and plan with park rangers and a personal trainer.
Members are encouraged to record their progress at the visitor center, or in exercise journals throughout the summer. In September, fitness awards will be given to the individuals with the most miles hiked or time spent exercising.
“Many park neighbors already hike the cave trail regularly as part of a fitness program, and this grant – made possible through private donations - allows us to reach out to many more people and help them realize that hiking our trails can be a fun and safe way to get outside and get in shape," said Timpanogos Superintendent Jim Ireland. " Whether hiking the trails, picnicking at Swinging Bridge or simply enjoying time along the river, there is more to the monument than just a tour through the caves.”
Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted nearly $1.7 million through its Active Trails program. Through those years, Active Trails has engaged more than 4,700 volunteers and 131 project partners who combined have contributed more than 21,000 hours to help promote, refurbish or build national park trails that were ultimately enjoyed by 304,000 visitors.
“Through the Active Trails program, we are able to help national parks across the country in their efforts to maintain and enhance the 17,000 miles of land and water trails that we currently have,” said Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “These grants also help national parks create new trails and encourage healthy lifestyles by offering opportunities for the public to be active in their national parks.”