About Kids in Parks

“Engaging kids and families in outdoor recreation to foster lifelong wellness and meaningful connections to public lands.”

What is Kids in Parks?

Kids in Parks has created a national network of trails that engage kids and families in activities that get them outdoors and connected to nature. Each of the program’s TRACK Trails provide visitors with engaging, self-guided activities designed to turn their visit into a fun and exciting adventure. 

Families can explore nature by hiking, biking, geocaching, paddling, playing disc golf, and even playing e-Adventures in their own backyard! By TRACKing their adventures, kids create an online journal that allows them to track places visited, log miles completed, see badges earned, and receive prizes in the mail.

Sign up today and begin a lifetime of adventure in the great outdoors!

Friends on a TRACK Trail




Kids in Parks, thanks to donations and grants, is a FREE program for children and families. Please consider a donation to the program and join us in cultivating lifelong wellness and meaningful connections to nature for the next generation.


The Need for Kids in Parks

Today’s families are more plugged into screens and less plugged into nature than ever before. These lifestyle choices are having devastating impacts on health outcomes of our children, families, and communities. However, there’s a potential solution.

Numerous studies have shown that spending time outdoors increases physical, mental, and social health, and is an indicator for future health. Likewise, parks benefit when people use them. Finding ways to create stronger connections between children and parks cultivates current and future stewards who understand the value and appeal of public lands. 

Kids in Parks is a proven program that gets families outside. Over the past decade, kids have completed more than 1-million adventures, hiked more than 1-million miles, spent 500,000 hours outdoors, and burned more than 150-million calories on TRACK Trails. These outings are helping improve the overall health of kids, families, communities, and parks!

Mother and child looking at Nature's Hide & Seek Brochure

Program History

It all began with a vision in 2008 to improve the health of children and the health of parks by making existing trails more attractive and fun for novice users. At that time, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, National Park Service and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation joined together to formally link the health of children to the health of parks by creating a strong network of trails and partners in the communities on and along the Blue Ridge Parkway, establishing Kids in Parks.

The regional program was so successful that parks across the country rapidly embraced Kids in Parks TRACK Trails. Today, there are more than 250 TRACK Trails in 12 states, Washington DC, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nations. 

As one of the only health related nature programs in the country with data demonstrating results, the program has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, recognized by the White House with a “Let’s Move! Champion of Change” award, and reviewed favorably as a practice-tested  intervention by the Center for Training and Research Translation — a program funded by the Center for Disease Control. After only a few years, the Kids in Parks program is now supported by a strong partnership of private and public groups investing together for the health of our parks and our children.