Interactive activities for kids have been installed along a 1.3-mile section of trail at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville, which has officially joined the network of Kids in Parks TRACK Trails.
“The TRACK Trail provides an educational experience for families that can be accomplished at their own pace,” said Jonathan Marchal, the arboretum youth education manager. “Opportunities for kids to explore their natural world and get their hands dirty are essential, and that’s what the TRACK Trail provides.”
Kids hike with the help of Turtle Tales, which lets them experience the trail from the point of view of Shelly, an eastern box turtle.
A grand opening for the trail will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 22. There will be a pond exploration, scavenger hunt for soil invertebrates, backyard bird watching advice, butterfly hunt and a tour of the EcoLab classroom.
There are several other kids’ TRACK Trails in the region, developed by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation with funding from a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation grant.
Brochures with suggested adventures and activities are available for each trail, and children can earn prizes for TRACKing their hikes in online nature journals on the Kids in Parks website.