Tom Stienstra of that newspaper which we do not name on this blog writes about the East Bay Trails Challenge organized by the East Bay Regional Parks District

This is how it works: You register for the Trails Challenge by calling (888) 327-2757, ext. 2, or by logging on to For $13, you get a T-shirt and trails booklet. As you complete trails, you log them in a register, and when five are complete, you send in your trail log and receive a commemorative pin and “special surprise.”

Tom says if you haven’t got one of these challenges in your neck of the woods, you oughta go ahead and start one of your own. (This would give you an excuse to start that local hiking blog you keep meaning to get around to.)

I saw one of these things in Ohio somewhere last year but the hikes were apparently all designed for people who don’t actually hike — none were more than a couple miles (though maybe the scenery’s really great. It is Ohio after all.)