Meeting Time: 5:55 PM. Feel free to come a few minutes early to mix and mingle with other hikers.
Meeting Place: Edwin Warner Park Natchez Trace/Old Road Trailhead Cabin at the Woolwine Parking Lot (gravel parking lot to the right of the Nature Center).
Hike Distance: 2 1/2 miles with extra 1/2 mile option
Estimated Hike Time: 1 1/2 hours
Difficulty: Moderately easy, paved trails for Level 3 beginners. Some easy and moderate climbs around the Edwin Warner hills. Optional climb to the overlook.
Hike Leader: Kathryn Darden
Leashed dogs are welcomed.
Enjoy the scenery at Edwin Warner Park on the paved road that circles the park. This is a great beginner hike for people and dogs who can walk 2 1/2 miles at a steady pace with an optional loop to the scenic overlook.
We will hike the steeper way in from the Natchez Trace Trailhead and not the much steeper climb from Picnic Area 9. This is only an easy hike if you have already been walking regularly 2 1/2 miles on hilly roads or trails.
* This is a beginners hike because of the slower pace and paved road, but it is for moderately advanced beginners because we maintain a steady pace, there is a steady incline, it is a 2 1/2 - 3 mile walk and it includes a moderate climb soon after we enter the park followed by another moderate climb up to an overlook. Please do not come if you are not sure you can walk at least 2 1/2 miles without rest breaks.
If you are not sure you or your dog can hike 2 1/2 - 3 miles without rest breaks, try it in your neighborhood or local park to see if you are up to it. While we don't go full speed, we do keep a steady pace so the group can enjoy the many health benefits of hiking. This hike is not appropriate for those who are not in good physical shape, and even at our slower pace, it is not a slow stroll in the park. There is one rest stop where hikers can rest while the rest of the group climbs up to the overlook. If you are a fast walker, please note that you are signing up for a slower hike.
Photographers welcome. Our pace is slow enough to allow people to stop to take pictures and catch up with the group.
Dog walkers welcome IF they are well behaved and LEASHED AT ALL TIMES. Dog leashes should be 6 ft. long or less per park rules so dogs don't get in the way of joggers and bikers. The park appreciates dog walkers who carry litter bags for their pets. If your dog does not get along well with other dogs or strangers, this is not a good activity. If your dog is aggressive, not leashed or causes any other problems, you may be asked to leave or to move to the end of the hike where your dog won't disturb other hikers.
Children welcome IF they are well behaved and can keep up. Rowdy behavior, running in and out around hikers, fighting/mock fighting, throwing things, yelling and crying are not acceptable on a group hike where people have come to relax while hiking and enjoying nature. If your children are disruptive, you and your children may be asked to leave or to move to the end of the hike where your child/children won't disturb other hikers.
It will be daylight when we start and dark when we leave, so bring a flashlight if you want.
If you are familiar with the park and would act as a sweeper to walk at the end of the line and make sure everyone finishes without getting lost, let me (Kathryn) know in the comments below or tell me when you arrive.
If you RSVP, please give 12 hours notice if you must cancel.
THIS HIKE WILL BE CANCELED IN THE EVENT OF RAIN OR OMINOUS WEATHER IN THE BELLEVUE AREA 1/2 HOUR BEFORE HIKE TIME.
If you have not done a beginner group hike and are not sure what to expect, these might be helpful reading:
Beginner hikes: Top 10 tips for hiking newbies http://www.examiner.com/article/beginner-hikes-top-10-tips-for-hiking-newbies
Hiking 101: What is a beginner hike? http://www.examiner.com/article/hiking-101-what-is-a-beginner-hike
Top Three Things You Need to Know About Beginner Hiking http://voices.yahoo.com/top-three-things-know-beginner-hiking-12310663.html?cat=5