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Metro Parks Newsroom

Mayor Says to ‘Take a Hike!’

Wednesday October 18, 2006

Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike set for Oct. 21 at Jefferson Memorial Forest

Logo for hikes at Jefferson Memorial ForestMayor Jerry Abramson is encouraging Louisville residents to “take a hike” on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Mayor’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 provides the opportunity for folks to be physically active and healthy while enjoying the beauty of our community’s true natural gems, the Memorial Forest,” Abramson said.  “Hiking is one of the best forms of exercise because it doesn’t require any special ability or equipment and there’s low risk of injury.”

Jefferson Memorial Forest logoForest officials project that fall foliage will be near peak color.  With more than 6,000 acres, Jefferson Memorial Forest is the nation’s largest municipal urban forest.  Through the mayor’s City of Parks initiative, more than 400 acres recently were added to the forest.

The hike will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 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 5 miles, and have terrain varying from relatively flat to rugged.  Stroller and wheelchair accessible trails are available.

Forest officials will provide a number of guided hikes, including children’s hikes and other hikes describing various forest aspects.  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 informational booths providing tips on hiking safety, trail etiquette and other healthy-living information.

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 Forest, 12304 Holsclaw Hill Road
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The first 500 participants will receive a free t-shirt and compass keychain

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 becomes West 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/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 - Please 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/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.