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Metro Newsroom

Mayor Says to ‘Take a Hike’

Thursday October 6, 2005

Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike set for Oct. 29 at Jefferson Memorial Forest

Mayor Jerry Abramson is encouraging Louisville residents to “take a hike” on Oct. 29 at the first Mayor’s 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.
“Many may not know that the Jefferson Memorial Forest is one of the most spectacular natural settings in our hometown, or in this region, for that matter,” Abramson said. “The Mayor’s Hike gives folks an opportunity to get out and be healthy in some truly beautiful surroundings.”

Forest officials project that fall foliage will be at peak color in late October. With more than 5,600 acres, Jefferson Memorial Forest is the nation’s largest municipal urban forest.

The hike will run from 10 a.m. to 2 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 4½ miles, and have terrain varying from relatively flat to rugged. Wheelchair accessible trails are available.

Trail “captains” will be available to assist individuals as necessary along the routes. To further assist hikers stay on track, the trails will be flagged with biodegradable tape of varying colors and hikers will be given a bracelet matching the color of the trail they select.

The staging area also will feature a health-fair atmosphere with nutritional snacks, music and several informational booths (opening at 9 a.m.) providing tips on hiking safety, trail etiquette and other healthy-living information. Free children’s activities such as pumpkin painting, face painting and hayrides will be provided throughout the day, and families are also invited to reserve a campsite for the evening. Beginning at 8 p.m. forest staff will entertain visitors with stories, songs and s’mores around a roaring campfire.
“We’ve had tremendous success with our previous Hike & Bike events, and now we’re focusing purely on hiking and on showcasing one of our community’s natural gems. 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.”

One of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown goals is to increase by 10 percent the number of people engaging in at least 30 minutes of physical activity three days a week. The American Hiking Society reports that in 2002, almost one-third of Americans - 73.3 million people - went hiking. When hiking at a comfortable two-mile-per hour pace, a person weighing 150 pounds will burn 240 calories in an hour.
For more information:

- Visit the Jefferson Memorial Forest website.
- Visit Louisville Metro's official website.
- Call MetroCall at 311
If You Go:
Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike participants should arrive at Jefferson Memorial Forest between 9 and 10 a.m. Booths with hiking and trail information a open at 9 a.m., and the hike will begin 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. 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:
Wlk 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.