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Pull on your hiking boots and pack plenty of water. Mayor Greg Fischer is about to take you on an outdoor adventure, and it happens this Saturday morning, Oct. 18.

The 10th annual Mayor’s Fall Hike and Outdoor Adventure at Jefferson Memorial Forest is a free event that offers up a variety of trails for all sorts of purposes, from hiking to family activities.

Specifically, attendees can get in on free children’s activities, free pumpkins and hay rides, canoe and kayak demonstrations and alpine tower climbs. Forest staff and volunteers will introduce visitors to native plant gardens, animal exhibits and an education pond.

Activities for children are provided in the Nature Explore area. Climb the 52-foot Alpine Tower, try your hand at archery, join an expert on a guided hike, or take advantage of a canoeing demonstration on Mitchell Hill Lake.

The main event is the Fall Trail Run, a 5K run/walk that begins at 8 a.m. and is the third leg in the four-part KentuckyOne Health Four De Lis Classic Series. Individuals can register starting at 7 a.m., and the registration fee is $35.

If you work up an appetite, brunch items such as fruit, coffee, hot chocolate, barbecue sandwiches, eggs, sausage and biscuits and gravy will be available for purchase as part of a fundraiser, sponsored by Wilderness Louisville Inc. Proceeds will be used to construct shelters to support the forest’s environmental education program.

Non-5K activities begin at 10 a.m., and the event ends at 2 p.m. Jefferson Memorial Forest is one of the nation’s largest municipal urban forests with more than 6,500 acres; the Mayor’s Fall Hike and Outdoor Adventure will be held in the Horine section of the forest, located at 12304 Holsclaw Hill Road.

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 (the 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 the hill, the entrance to the Horine Section is on the right. Follow the signs to the parking area.

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies.Email Kevin at [email protected]