All Trails Challenge: Storied Journeys

Conservation // August 10, 2022

Need some inspiration for your 2022 All Trails Challenge journey? Read these testimonials from previous challengers.

You may already be aware that the All Trails Challenge is a way for you to hike, bike, run, and ride your way through the 50+ miles of trails in Wissahickon Valley Park – and support a unique urban green space as you do.

However, you may still be on the fence about participating. It may seem extremely daunting or too challenging. While this challenge is not a race, but a chance for you to take in every inch of beauty on the trails the Wissahickon has to offer, we understand it can seem like an impossible feat.

To get you inspired, here are some stories from previous ATC challengers on why they participated in the ATC:

At the end of July 2021 my closest friend died. I had spent a year and a half helping him through various health crises, including the last three months when he was bedridden. It is not hyperbole to say I was wrecked. I signed up for the ATC because I had done it in 2020, and because I needed to get out of the house. On August 31st — one month to the day after he died — I went into the woods on my own.

In 2020, most of my ATC hikes were with my son; a few were with my husband, and a few were solo. In 2021, they were almost all solo. Being alone in the woods gave me time to think, time to talk to my friend (more precisely, to myself, but saying what I needed to but couldn’t say to him), time to process my overwhelming grief.

I did a lot of short hikes rather than the fewer long ones we did in 2020, sometimes going out a few times a week. I needed that time under the trees, beside the water.

It sounds like such a cliché, but the Wissahickon healed me. By the end of my 50 miles, I had regained some (though far from all) equilibrium, and I could cope with the world again.


In March of 2021, I had major knee surgery to reconstruct my left ACL that I ruptured in a skiing accident. My recovery from surgery was painful, difficult, and laden with setbacks. 

When I’m healthy, I’m an avid runner, hiker, rock climber, and general outdoor enthusiast. Being a resident of Manayunk and Wissahickon park goer, I knew the ATC would be a great way to aid my recovery. 

The ATC offered me the opportunity to get back into the park at my own pace and achieve something great, all the while raising money for the organization that keeps Wissahickon Park running.


You can have any reason to participate in the All Trails Challenge…the only thing we ask is that you enjoy your time in the park as you do it. Stay tuned for details on how to sign up.

Interested in becoming an All Trails Challenge sponsor? Contact Maeve Pollack at for information about our sponsorship opportunities.