Explore Park will be filled with bluegrass music, barbecue, outdoor games, ice cream, yoga sessions and massages on Sunday — but you have to hike to it all.
The fifth annual Hike For Hospice invites folks to trample the trails through the woods of Explore Park to help raise money for Good Samaritan Hospice. Last year, more than 400 hikers raised $20,000 for the nonprofit’s bereavement and grief counseling programs.
The afternoon event offers easy and moderate hikes toward the Roanoke River, where most of the activities happen near the park’s historic area of rebuilt farm structures. Golf carts are available for people who can’t hike but want to participate.
“You have to get your hike in before you get to the main event area,” said Mary Hodges, development director for Good Samaritan Hospice. She said her organization hopes to attract 500 hikers this year.
When they arrive at the festivities, hikers can replenish themselves with barbecue from Blue Ridge Catering and ice cream from the Freedom First truck, and then, if they choose, head out on a guided group hike that will prove a little more rigorous. Face painting, jumbo Jenga and cornhole are all part of the outdoor activities.
Online pre-registration has ended, but hikers can register Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Twin Creeks Brewing Company at 111 Pollard St. in Vinton and receive a discount. Early registration is $25 per person, and $30 on Sunday. Many hikers register as teams, Hodges said, which costs $25 per person on the day of the hike. Early registrants can pick up their hiking packets at Walkabout Outfitters’ location near Valley View Mall on Saturday.
Sunday is also Grandparents Day, so the event features a family photo booth, where grandparents and their grandkids can commemorate their hike through the woods together. For more information, go online at http://hikeforhospiceva.com.