The Chemung County Health Department is kicking off its annual Gold Shoe Step It Up Challenge. 

Between May 1st and June 8, residents can go on a hunt for nearly 400 painted gold shoes, which have been hidden at local parks and trails throughout the County. 

There will be a culminating event on June 8 at 10 a.m. at the Tanglewood Nature Center. Anyone who finds the shoes will be eligible to win prizes such as a Fit Bit, Greek Peak passes, an Empire Pass, athletic gear, balls, bicycles, skating passes, and swim passes.

As an added incentive, everyone at the event on June 8 will receive free tickets to an Elmira Pioneers game.

Participants are encouraged to take an online health assessment when they register.

Those who do will receive an extra prize ticket.  Residents can also earn an extra ticket by participating in health screenings provided by Arnot Health on June 8. 

Residents can go to or click here  to register.

Shoes will be hidden at 13 local sites:

  • Tanglewood Nature Center
  • Big Flats Community Park
  • Sperr Park
  • Katy Leary Park
  • Boat Launches in Chemung County
  • Park Station
  • Holding Point, Horseheads
  • Sullivan Park, Thorne St. Horseheads
  • Chapel Park, Southport
  • Pirozzolo Park, West Elmira
  • Lackawanna Rail Trail, Elmira
  • Eldridge Park
  • Catherine Valley Trail, Millport

The Gold Shoe Step It Up Challenge is designed to improve overall health through a focus on better nutrition and increased physical activity at these local recreational areas. Weekly walks at local area parks will be scheduled and online walking logs will be provided.

According to the health department, Chemung County has higher rates of obesity for both adults and adolescents than New York State.  The heart attack, cerebrovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes hospitalization rates are all higher than NYS rates.  

The program is run by a collaboration of the Chemung County Health Department, Community Health Department at Arnot Health, YWCA of Elmira and the Twin Tiers, Tanglewood Nature Center, First Tee of Corning, and Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council.  They would like to thank the generous sponsors including the many local businesses who donate prizes each year, the staff and volunteers who help hide shoes, and our major sponsor, the Anderson Foundation.