The Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike and Outdoor Adventure takes place at Jefferson Memorial Forest next Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Louisville families are invited to come out and get their pumpkins, take a hay ride, and hike through the Forest at the height of fall color. This eighth annual hike is part of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement, encouraging better health and wellness by highlighting opportunities for increased physical activity.
The event is free to the public and the first 500 participants receive a long-sleeve T-shirt. Mayor Greg Fischer will kick off the event before the hiking and festivities begin.
Activities include the children’s nature exploration area, Alpine Tower climbs, pumpkin decorating for the kids, hayrides, archery, and canoe and kayaking demonstrations. There will also be a wide array of informational booths from local nature and hiking organizations promoting health, eating right, and living green. The volunteer trail team and Forest staff will lead hikes at various skill levels and introduce visitors to the native plant gardens, bird blind, and animal exhibits.
“This Fall Hike through our beautiful Jefferson Memorial Forest with leaves ablaze in color has become a yearly tradition for many people,” Fischer said. “And we continue adding ways for it to be both fun and healthy – with a new 5K run/walk the latest attraction.”
The new 5K race, sponsored by Quest Outdoors, begins at 9 a.m. Advance registration is available online through 5 p.m. October 18 at http://www.active.com/running/fairdale-ky/mayors-healthy-hometown-fall-h...  or participants may sign up on the day of the event, in the Horine Conference Center parking lot. Fee is $20.
At nearly 6,400 acres, the Forest offers many opportunities for individuals and families to enjoy and explore the outdoors. The Forest features more than 35 miles of marked hiking trails, primitive camping, fishing, and picnicking.
The hiking will be through the Horine Section of the forest, located at 12304 Holsclaw Hill Road in the southern portion of Louisville. Four of the Forest’s 13 trails will be featured, providing a range of options for hikers of all abilities. The trails range in length from one-fifth of a mile up to five miles, and have terrain varying from relatively flat to rugged.
One of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown goals is to increase the number of people engaging in at least 30 minutes of physical activity three days a week. When hiking at a comfortable two-mile-per hour pace, a person weighing 150 pounds will burn 240 calories in an hour.
The New Cut Road Trolley Hop, running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will provide trolley access from Iroquois Park to Jefferson Memorial Forest’s Welcome Center. Once at the center, visitors have just a short mile and a half hike up to the Horine Reservation, where the event activities take place.
The Mayor’s Hike is presented by Quest Outdoors and supported by Waste Management, Inc. and Cemex.
About the Jefferson Memorial Forest: Jefferson Memorial Forest is a woodland tribute to those Kentucky veterans who have served our nation during times of war. It offers a full range of recreational amenities, including weekend education and adventure programs, hiking trails, camping, fishing, horseback riding trails and picnic areas. For more information or to volunteer, go to www.memorialforest.com .