Urban Treks Challenge

Welcome to the 3nd Annual Western New York Urban Treks Challenge brought to you by Outside Chronicles and the Black Rock Riverside Alliance (BRRAlliance). This challenge was created to get people out on our urban trails during our beautiful Buffalo summers.

The Western New York Urban Treks Challenge is designed to give people an opportunity to visit some of well-known and little-known urban parks. Along with hiking the trails, the trail material will educate participants on parks history and local flora and fauna to spot along the trail.

What’s Included in the Challenge

  • Challenge Packet – a PDF containing information to get you started, park descriptions, trailhead coordinates, maps, checklists, and more. 
  • Digital Maps – every location has a digital map you can import into the easy-to-use Avenza maps app.
  • NEW Challenge App – new in 2024 is an app to track your progress; the app works on iPhone, Android, or in a web browser.
  • Private Facebook Group – participants can join a private challenge Facebook group to ask questions, share photos, and meet your fellow trekkers.
  • Improved Physical & Mental Wellbeing – it’s a proven fact that getting outside in nature will improve your physical and mental fitness.
  • Give Back – a large portion of your challenge registration fee will be donated to organizations doing incredible work in WNY.

Giving Back

The WNY Urban Treks Challenge gives 100% of profits to organizations that promote stewardship of the outdoors, protect the lands we use for recreation, or provide outdoor education for all.  All profits from trekker registrations will be donated to the Black Rock Riverside Alliance.

The BRRAlliance is a not for profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for those that live and work in the northwest corner of Buffalo.  They also have been diligently working to educate, inform and engage residents in the Western New York region on the importance and benefits of planting to sustain pollinators and wildlife.

The WNY Urban Treks Challenge includes 16 treks, each with a unique landmark. The landmarks include; monuments, bridges, and trees.  Each park has a highlighted ‘Suggested Trail” that takes you past each Challenge Landmark. This year’s treks are:

  • Black Rock – Riverside Park
  • Buffalo State & Richardson Complex
  • Cazenovia Park
  • Circles & Parkways
  • Darwin Martin House
  • Delaware Park (Rumsey Woods)
  • Erie Basin Marina
  • Forest Lawn Cemetery
  • Martin Luther King (MLK) Park
  • Niawanda Park 
  • Ohio Street Parks
  • Outer Harbor
  • South Park
  • Symphony Circle
  • Tifft Nature Preserve
  • Unity Island

Challenge Rules

This year’s Challenge features 16 treks. Hikers need to earn 150 points to receive a finisher patch, sticker, and bragging rights.

  • Earn one-hundred fifty (150) points by completing challenges in our new app between June 21, 2024 and October 15, 2024, inclusive.
  • Points can be earned by hiking trails, completing tasks, and other fun challenges!

Use the information in the Challenge packet and app to earn 150 points. Treks are worth 10 points.  In addition to treksyou can earn points by completing fun challenges in the app. Get out there and find the landmarks! Follow fellow trekkers on the leaderboard and don’t forget to check out the My Badges sections to earn fun in-app badges.

For Independent Health, please use your Health Extras card like a credit card at checkout.

For Highmark WNY, you will need to use your personal credit/debit card and submit a Wellness Card Reimbursement Claim Form.  Claims can be submitted on the member website. Log in at myhighmark.com and click Manage under Spending Account Balance to access your personal dashboard. Then, select Claims and Claims Activity under the menu in the upper left corner to submit your claim.


What does the Hiking Challenge Packet contain?
When you register, you will get the complete Challenge rules, a description of this year’s Challenge beneficiaries, a map and description for every hike with links to a digital map to use with Avenza Maps, check out a few sample pages here.

How long and hard are the treks?
The treks are between 1.5-5 miles. All of the treks are on paved or gravel roads. Start with the shorter treks and you will quickly be tackling longer treks.

Is the challenge family friendly or good for young children?
There are many treks that are very doable with young kids, they will surprise you. All of the locations are also stroller friendly. Just make sure there is ice cream after the trek. Also make sure the young ones are properly hydrated and have some snacks for the trails. And remember, it is all about getting outside together. If you have a meltdown and don’t make it to the challenge landmark, no problem, it counts!

Are there any family discounts?
Yes, the family rate is $45 and entitles the family to up to 4 patches upon completion of the Challenge. Just select Family at registration. Families will only need to upload one group picture.

Although we want all family members to go on every trek, we understand that things happen and this may not always be possible. We ask that most family members be present on a majority of trails. And those family members that show up for every hike can hold the patch over the slackers, just kidding!

Do I need to register by June 21?
No, you can register anytime between June 21 and October 15, 2024. You need to earn 150 points by October 15, 2024 to earn a patch and sticker.

Are dogs welcome at the Challenge?
Absolutely. Please follow each parks’ rules when you bring your dog (i.e. they must be licensed, kept on a leash and you must clean up after them). We do not have a pet specific patch. You are more than welcome to register your pet as part of your family. Please note, some locations are not pet-friendly and are noted in the Challenge PDF.

Join the Adventure

Stay up to date with classes, events & challenges.