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Metro Newsroom

Mayor’s annual Healthy Hometown Hike takes place Oct. 17

Thursday October 1, 2009

First 500 participants to receive free t-shirt;
new hike for senior citizens added

The fifth annual Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike takes place at Jefferson Memorial Forest on Saturday, October 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to getting some fresh air and outdoor exercise during the hike, visitors have the opportunity to decorate pumpkins to take home, enjoy a hay ride, and trek through the forest at the height of fall color.

The hike is part of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement, encouraging better health and fitness by highlighting opportunities for increased physical activity. The event is free to the public and the first 500 participants receive a free t-shirt. Mayor Jerry Abramson will kick off the event before the hiking and festivities begin.

“We’re excited to host the Healthy Hometown Hike once again, and hope that Louisville residents of all ages come out to enjoy the beautiful backdrop at the Forest,” Abramson said.  “We expect the trees in the Forest to begin showing their fall colors in time for this hike.”

Forest volunteer trail rangers and staff will lead hikes for all different skill levels, including a hike for senior citizens that’s new this year.

Volunteer naturalists will lead special children’s hikes to the Environmental Education Center, where families can view exhibits and meet animals up close, while learning interesting facts about these and other animals that call the forest home. There will be a variety of informational booths offering resources for health, eating right, and living green.

The hike takes place in the Horine Section of the forest, located at 12304 Holsclaw Hill Road in the southern part 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 rugged to relatively flat – including one that’s suitable for pushing strollers.

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.

At more than 6,100 acres, the Jefferson Memorial Forest is the nation’s largest municipally-operated forest. More information is available online at, or by phone at 502/368-5404.

If You Go:
Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike
Jefferson Memorial Forest’s Horine Section, 12304 Holsclaw Hill Road
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

  • Information booths open and hiking begins at 10 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 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.

General 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.