Local Getaways, Parks

The PixInParks Challenge: Offering fun times for the whole family


Looking to get outside?

The Santa Clara County Parks Department wants to make it easy for everyone to get outside by offering their second annual  #PixInParks Challenge.

What is the PixInParks Challenge?

Carrie Grisenti, the Parks Outdoor Recreational Coordinator for the County Parks Department describes the PixInParks challenge:  “It’s a really fun challenge where you are given a list of seven parks. You go out and find a specific destination, and you take a picture of yourself at this destination.”

After you take your picture, you then go on Instagram and post the picture.  In the caption, hashtag “PixInParks,” and tag the park that the picture was taken in.

“Once you have finished all seven trails,” Carrie says, “you go to our Parks Administration Office and pick up a shirt!”

7 Unique Hiking Trails

The PixInParks challenge features an array of beautiful trails to sample from a wide range of County parks. This year’s challenge invites you to hike:

  • Los Coches Ridge Trail, Ed Levin
  • Style Ranch Trail, Santa Teresa
  • Miller Nature Trail, Mt. Madonna
  • Mine Hill Trail, Almaden Quicksilver
  • Los Cerritos Trail, Calero
  • Town Springs Trail, Coyote Lake, Harvey Bear Ranch
  • Slough Loop Trail, Alviso Marina

How did PixInParks get started?

“PixInParks was developed from an older program called “Healthy Trails,” which was started in 2007,” Carrie says. “So we decided to freshen it up and make it new, and decided to try using social media platforms to get folks out there into our parks system.”

Each year, new trails

Since its first year in 2017, the Santa Clara County Parks Department picks new trails to be featured in the challenge, with this year’s trails ranging from beginner to intermediate level.

3 simple steps to complete the challenge

  1. Take a selfie or group photo at the destinations outlined on the Santa Clara County Parks Department website. (The photos of these destinations are also in our video!)
  2. Caption the photo on Instagram using #PixInParks and tag your location.
  3. Hike all 7 to get your free shirt!

Community member Bob Clark, the first person to complete the 2018 challenge

What’s great about the PixInParks challenge is they’re trying to get people out to enjoy the parks,” Bob says, “and so they’re selecting nice, pleasant walks that typically have a really nice view. And so it’s great to go there, hit the spot they’re given you, and just enjoy the time out in the wild.”

Avenza Maps help you stay on the trail

Avenza Maps, a free map application for smartphones, is available to use for the challenge.

“The Avenza Map app is a really cool feature that you can use with the maps that are being provided with the PixInParks,” Carrie says. “The specific maps that we use are geo-formatted, [and] if you download it onto your smartphone before you go out onto the trial, you can open up the app and actually see yourself on the map, at your location. If you veer off of the route, you know that you’re going the wrong direction, and you can find your way back to that route.”

So what are you waiting for? Go out and seek adventure!


Author: Madeline Merlic



Special thanks to Ron Horii and the Santa Clara County Parks Department for providing the photos used in this video.


March 13, 2018

3 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “The PixInParks Challenge: Offering fun times for the whole family”

  1. Deborah Cuascut says:

    Are trails ok for people with bad knees that are in their 60s with dogs?

    • Chuck says:

      The trails range from easy to moderate, according to regular users’ online reviews, but of course, only you know what you’re capable of doing. Generally, dogs must be leashed. It’s always best to read up on trails you’re not familiar with so you have a good idea of what you’re getting into. For sure, always tell someone where you’re going, when to expect you back, and bring plenty of water and some high-energy food.

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March 2018
Santa Clara County