Skip to main content

Logo for N.C. Cooperative Extension N.C. Cooperative Extension Homepage

Trail Blazers Club

Image of kids campingWe are very excited to build upon the successes of the Junior Rangers Club and Science of Survival Activities with the Trail Blazers Club. Catawba County is surrounded by some of the most incredible outdoor areas in North Carolina including our own county parks.

Club objectives:

  • Get youth and their families familiar with parks in our area
  • Get youth and their families more active
  • Develop useful skills for the enjoyment of the outdoors
  • Consider taking a team to the state WHEP and/or Forestry Competition  

Walking in nature has proven health benefits! In fact, did you know that doctors in Scotland prescribe walks in nature? Come out and hike with us – you will feel great!

Image of kids with flint bars

Participants in the Hiking and Outdoors club practicing with a flint bar.

Time: 4th Monday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. (except May – see schedule) and 4 Saturday adventures to nearby state parks.

Recommended Age: 8 or older with parental accompaniment required!

Image of hikersImage of kids outdoors



Feb 25 Riverbend Park
March 25 Baker’s Mt Park
April 22 Riverbend Park
May 20, since May 27 is Memorial Day Baker’s Mt Park
June 24 Riverbend Park
July 22 Baker’s Mt Park
Aug 26 Riverbend Park
Sept 23 Baker’s Mt Park
Oct 28 Riverbend Park

Each session we will spend approximately 15 minutes doing club formalities – call to session, 4-H pledge, current and/or future business. We will hike different loops (at least 1 mile) at the park each time. We will meet at the small classroom for our sessions at Riverbend (just across the parking lot from the ranger station) and outside the ranger station for our sessions at Baker’s Mountain.

4-H club participants hiking

Getting active with 4-H clubs

We also have 4 Saturday hiking adventures planned for visiting nearby state parks. We will meet at the visitor center or bath house for each park location at 10 a.m. on the designated date. Bring your lunch and other suggested day pack items (see below).



April 13 South Mountain State Park Visitor Center
May 25 Lake James State Park Bath House
July 27 Lake Norman State Park Visitor Center
Sept 28 Crowder’s Mountain State Park Visitor Center

Each participant will have a card to mark distances hiked, nature items identified, skill presented, skill learned (able to do skill on different occasion), and skill mastered (able to teach skill). Examples of skills include fire craft, knots, shelter building, and other related skills from the Science of Survival series.

We encourage all participants to consider bringing a day pack for the hike with the following items:

  • warm layer (not cotton)
  • rain gear
  • water bottle
  • snacks
  • small first aid kit (if you have one – we will also have these on hand)
  • compass (if you have one – we will also have these on hand)

Image of River Bend Park signImage of outdoor deckImage of Bakers Mountain Park sign