The annual Hike-A-Thon kicked off another year Saturday, September 27. This event houses a lot of organizations, which try and show their greener side to the crowd.
The Hike-A-Thon hosted the Audubon Society and Rumpke. Rumpke’s booth was giving away free wildflower seeds and magnets, and other booths were giving away free wild cherry seeds. I happily nabbed a young ginkgo tree from a booth that had free plants. The Girl Scouts had a booth informing visitors about the uses for many native plants—I discovered that cut-up hedge apples from Osage orange trees are actually spider repellants, and it is a smart idea to place them around your house’s exterior if you have a spider problem.
If you want to attend next year’s Hike-A-Thon, here are a few things to know.
- Bring cash. While many things are given out for free, some booths have lovely items for sale, often at killer deals. Moon co-op was selling very cute tee shirts for $5, but only accepted cash as payment.
- Bring water and wear layers. Given the time of year, days start off chilly, but come noon it is quite warm outside. Have a light jacket or sweater to stay warm while you need to, and be prepared to fight thirst once it does get hot out. I did spy some water bottles in the Hike-A-Thon’s booths, but no water fountains.
- Bring a bag for all the freebies.
- Wear good walking shoes. There is a lot of gorgeous nature around, and the Hike-A-Thon, by having a third party donate money for every mile its attendants walk, encourages you to walk all of it. It is both charitable and pleasant to spend a long time hiking at this event.
- Be sure you know where you’re going as you head off to the Hike-A-Thon. The Hike-A-Thon is 0.7 miles down the hill beside Cook Field, so if you take a morning stroll to it, it shouldn’t take that long to walk or bike. The parking lot gets very crowded, although not impossible—so, if you have to drive, carpool!
- Bring your friends, date, and/or leash-bound pet! The Hike-A-Thon is a good place for people and animals alike to enjoy each other’s company.
- Don’t forget a camera! The scenery will not disappoint.