Feeling fortunate to have nature trails in their Folsom backyard, mother-daughter duo Shari Ord and Emma Berkstresser, 10, were delighted when they came across one lined with painted rocks in their neighborhood.
In the spirit of expressing creativity and connecting with others, Folsom residents—adults and children alike—have joined in to paint rocks in order to spread messages of hope and joy during the pandemic. Designed rocks are placed along the trails, most notably in the Lexington Hills and Broadstone neighborhoods, as a museumlike pathway. An estimated 2,000 rocks are on display.
“The trails are a reminder that when times feel gloomy, there is always a bright side and a way to bring happiness to others,” says Ord.
Created by unidentified community members, including someone only known as Bautista, the Painted Rock Trails, as they’re known, showcase a variety of design themes, including school spirit, pop culture, kid-friendly characters, messages to family and friends, and more.
The Painted Rock Trails are separate from a larger global movement known as Kindness Rocks—rock painting, hiding and finding to bring happiness. Kindness Rocks has existed in Folsom (and other local communities) since June 2018, according to the Rocks of Folsom Facebook page.
“What started as an expression of hope and positivity has become a heartwarming display of neighbors’ talents and creativity,” says Folsom resident Erin Kielty of the Lexington Hills trail. “We’ve loved seeing the Painted Rock Trail grow and witnessing the joy it’s brought the community.”
As we continue to stay safe together, enjoy a walk along the Painted Rock Trails—and if you’re feeling a spark of creativity, leave a masterpiece behind to spread joy of your own.
You can find the Painted Rock Trails between Wellfleet Circle and Prewett Drive in Lexington Hills, and on Walden Drive between Rundgren Way and Clarksville Road in Broadstone.