Get to know your local national park by spending time hiking or biking in Saratoga National Historical Park. This challenge is a fun way to explore your local national park, plus maintain and improve health.
Why was the Saratoga 100 Mile Challenge created?
Last year the National Park Service celebrated its 100th anniversary (1916–2016). With over 400 parks in the United States and U.S. territories, each site preserves different parts of America’s story. These parks belong to all of us, preserving this heritage for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Saratoga is looking forward to the next 100 years of stewardship and embracing the Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative, this program challenges anyone to hike or bike 100 miles in Saratoga National Historical Park from May 1 through October 31, 2017. Through this challenge people can enjoy the rich natural and cultural heritage of this local site as they explore their national parks, plus get some exercise too. This challenge is a celebration of parks and health!
Is there a fee to participate in this challenge?
There is no fee to take part in this challenge.
Who can participate in this challenge?
Any person can take part in this challenge, from beginners to advanced hikers and cyclists. Each individual is challenged to hike or bike 100 miles in Saratoga National Historical Park. Youth can participate in this challenge too, but every participant must hike or bike the 100 miles under their own power. Miles in a backpack carrier or stroller do not count toward challenge completion.
Can pet companions participate in this challenge?
Pets are great companions for enjoying the outdoors and are allowed in Saratoga National Historical Park. To complete this challenge, each participating pet must hike 100 miles in the park with their human companion, following park pet policies. To register your pet companion, simply include your pet’s name and animal type on your Challenge Log Form when you turn in your completed form. Keep track of the miles your pet hikes in the park along with your own miles. Pets who hike 100 miles with their human companion will receive a pet award.
Park pet policies: Respect all visitors to parks and protect site resources by following these park pet policies.
- Pets must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. Leashes protect pets from becoming lost, from hazardous wildlife encounters, and from scaring or threatening wildlife. Leashes also protect other visitors who may be afraid, allergic, or who do not want a pet approaching them.
- Pick up your pet’s excrement. It is unpleasant to encounter and degrades the park’s ecosystem.
- Bring extra water for your pet do drink on your hikes. Streams may contain bacteria or parasites such as Giardia that are harmful to you and your pet.
- As much as we love four-legged creatures, do not bring pets to public ranger programs; this avoids potential conflicts with other animals and respects other program participants.
Before you start this challenge
How do I register for this challenge?
To register, email your name and email address to: SARA_info@nps.gov. Every person participating in the challenge must register separately, even if a family or group uses the same email address.
The park will periodically send email messages with updates about this challenge, including news about upcoming hiking and biking events in the park, hiking and biking tips, and motivational thoughts. Your email address will not be shared with others.
Where do I get a copy of the Challenge Log Form?
You will receive a copy of the log when you register via e-mail as mentioned above. You can also pick up a copy of this form at the visitor center. Each participant must keep track of their individual miles hiked or biked in the park on a Challenge Log Form. Keep track of pet companion miles on your log form too.
When can I hike for this challenge?
Hike on trails, or bike on the paved auto tour road, in Saratoga National Historical Park any time between May 1 and October 31, 2017. Keep track of the miles you hike on the Challenge Log Form.
ALWAYS THINK SAFETY FIRST and be sure to practice Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics (www.lnt.org 1-800-332-4100) whenever you are outdoors. This helps to protect both you and park resources. Here are easy to follow guiding principles of Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics:
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
Where do I get a copy of the park trails map?
There are nearly 20 miles of trail in Saratoga National Historical Park that can be hiked for this challenge, biking is limited to our 10-mile paved auto tour road. Pick up a copy of the park trail maps at the visitor center. You can also find trails details and a digital copy of trail maps on the park website here
During this challenge
What modes of transportation are accepted to reach the 100 mile goal of this challenge?
A main point of this challenge is to get people into their national parks, and this program specifically focuses on the activities of hiking and biking. This would include the closely related trail activities of: walking, hiking, and trail running.
What miles count toward the 100 mile tally for this challenge?
With nearly 20 miles of trail at Saratoga National Historical Park, there are several options to accumulate your challenge miles. You can hike any combination of trails you like or hike the same trail repeatedly to reach the 100 mile goal – for those participants biking; you are limited to using the auto tour road. Participants are also able to combine their hiking miles with their biking miles if they wish. Keep track of all miles hiked or biked on your Challenge Log Form.
ALWAYS THINK SAFETY FIRST: if you walk along the paved auto tour road, be sure to do so safely. In areas where vehicular traffic is one-way, use the designated pedestrian lane. In areas where there is two-way traffic, walk to the side of the road against oncoming traffic and be sure to step clear of the road at the approach of any vehicle.
Smart device tools and APPs can help you track your miles for this challenge
Many people use a smart device with apps to keep track of their fitness activities (Endomondo, Runkeeper, MapMyRide, Fitbit, etc.). If you use one of these devices, remember you still need to log your trail miles on the Challenge Log Form.
One useful smart device APP that has a link to this challenge is Endomondo. Download this free APP from iTunes or Google Play and set up an account. Here is how you can find this challenge on Endomondo:
- Click here to go to their website.
- Search for this challenge by typing Saratoga NHP 100 Mile Challenge. Leave the available list of sports as the default setting “All Sports.”
How can I hike with others for this challenge?
You can choose to hike and ride trails on your own or with others. Exercising with others can often help keep people motivated to reach their goals. Here are some ways to connect with other challenge participants:
- Join a National Park Service ranger or volunteer for a scheduled guided hike throughout the year. If you are a registered challenge participant, you will receive emails about scheduled programs. These free programs will also be announced through local media outlets and social media.
- Invite friends and family to join you in this challenge.
- The challenge event partners may have special groups leading trail hikes throughout the year, so link in to these organizations’ social media outlets for updates on challenge news and activities.
- National Park Service – Saratoga National Historical Park:
- See if your local community, church, school, or other organization has a walking club. If not, perhaps you could start a group to help keep hikers and cyclists motivated.
How can I share my challenge experiences with others on social media?
Share photos, stories, and other reflections of your challenge experiences with others on social media. This is a fun way to stay motivated during this challenge, plus may inspire others as well.
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SaratogaNHP
- Hashtag through social media platforms above at: #SARA100mi. You can also catch up on National Park Service celebrations at: #findyourpark.
- Email photos and messages to: SARA_info@nps.gov
- Stop by the park visitor center to share stories of your Challenge experiences with a ranger.
After you complete 100 miles in the park for this challenge
What do I do when I complete 100 miles for this challenge?
Once you have completed your 100 miles of hiking or biking in the park, turn your completed Challenge Log Form in at the visitor center. The visitor center is open daily 9:00am – 5:00pm.
If you hiked with a pet companion, be sure to also mark the hikes competed by your pet companion on your Challenge Log Form. When your pet competes their 100 miles of hiking, they earn a separate pet award.
Are there awards for hiking 100 miles for this challenge?
Each participant that hikes 100 miles for this challenge between May 1 and October 31, 2017 will receive an award for their achievement. The first 100 people to complete 100 hiking or biking miles in the park will also receive an additional award. Pet companions that complete 100 miles will receive a pet award. But the real awards you’ll get for completing this challenge are the new experiences and memories you’ll gained while on these adventures in your local national park. Hopefully this challenge will inspire you to get out and explore more national parks; after all there are more than 400 throughout the country!
Can I still hike or bike in the local national park once I’ve completed 100 miles for this challenge?
You can hike or bike on these national park trails anytime, even after you’ve reached the 100 mile goal of this challenge. Park trails are there for everyone to enjoy, so continue this celebration of parks and health for a lifetime of experiences – just remember, grounds are open to pedestrian use sunrise to sunset. Happy hiking and cycling!
Additional questions about this challenge
Who do I contact if I have more questions about this challenge?
Stop by the visitor center, open daily 9:00am – 5:00pm, or call (518)670-2982