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    Mayor Jerry Abramson is encouraging Louisville residents to “hit the trail” on Saturday, October 18 at the fourthMayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike at Jefferson Memorial Forest. The free event is part of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement, designed to encourage healthy behavior including better nutrition and increased physical activity.

    “The hike allows folks to enjoy the beauty of one of our outstanding natural attractions, the Jefferson Memorial Forest,”Abramson said. “Hiking is an excellent way to exercise, especially with a group, because it doesn’t require any special abilities or equipment. This is an event that is accessible to all skill and fitness levels.”

    With more than 6,000 acres, Jefferson  Forest is the nation’s largest municipal urban forest. The forest features more than 35 miles of marked hiking trails.

    The hike will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Horine Section of the forest, located at 12304 Holsclaw Hill Road in the southern portion of Louisville Metro. Five 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. Stroller and wheelchair accessible trails are available.

     Metro Parks crews have worked to clear the Horine section of the Forest of debris following the Sept. 14 wind event, so hiking conditions will be favorable.Forest officials will provide a number of guided hikes, including children’s hikes and other hikes describing various forest features. All hikers will be provided maps that identify the trails.

    Before and after the hike, the event area will feature children’s activities, hayrides, music and several information booths providing tips on hiking safety, trail etiquette and other healthy-living information. In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about a master planning process that will ultimately link the Forest to the Louisville Loop bike trail. For more information on the master plan, click

     here.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.If You Go:

    Mayor’s Health Hometown Hike
    Jefferson Memorial Forest12304 Holsclaw Hill Road
    10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

    • Hiking and trail information booths open at 10 a.m
    • Hikers should arrive between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Hiking begins at 11 a.m.
    • The first 500 participants will receive a free Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike t-shirt.

    From downtown Louisville, take I-65 south to I-265/Gene Snyder Freeway west. From I-265, exit at New Cut Road. Turn left, go about one mile (street becomesWest Manslick Road), and turn right onto Mitchell Hill Road. At the Forest’s entry sign, turn left onto Holsclaw Hill Road. As you reach the top of a long hill, you’ll see an entrance to the Forest’s Horine Section on the right. Follow signs to parking area.

    Hiking Tips: Plan ahead and prepare - Whenever you hike, you should familiarize yourself with the type of terrain and possible weather conditions you might encounter. You should also carry a map, water, snacks, and a small first aid kit. Let someone know where you are going and when you will return.Stay on trails - Walk single file and avoid shortcuts. Walk through mud and puddles to avoid widening the trail. Pay attention to trail junctures and know where you are on your map.Help keep your parks clean and safe - Dispose of waste properly. Take a zip locking plastic bag along to carry wrappers, cans, or other garbage to an appropriate receptacle. Practice "negative trace" by picking up trash left by others. Report trail or structure damage to park personnel.Leave nature in nature - Avoid moving rocks, picking plants, and disturbing cultural and historical artifacts. Take pictures instead; it allows others to enjoy the same experience you did.Respect wildlife - Do not try to attract or approach wildlife. Never feed animals human food as this disrupts their natural food cycle. Keep pets on a leash. Guidebooks to common animals and plants of the Forest are available in the Welcome Center.Be considerate of other visitors - Keep voices/noises from getting intrusively loud. Obey any posted trail rules including rights of way.

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