Allison and Vanessa Torline walk along the Heritage Trail on Wednesday. There will be a “Kick off the Summer on the Heritage Trail” celebration from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Cragmont and First streets. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Allison and Vanessa Torline walk along the Heritage Trail on Wednesday. There will be a “Kick off the Summer on the Heritage Trail” celebration from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Cragmont and First streets. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Madison residents have watched over the years as the Heritage Trail grew from a trash heap into a scenic downtown attraction filled with wildlife and well-maintained walking paths.

Now, with the groundwork in place, the Heritage Trail Conservancy is introducing free outdoor-recreation programming and educational opportunities for its visitors.

One of the biggest events will be a multi-faceted exercise challenge, which will include 12 opportunities in June to either hike, run, walk and do yoga on the trail.

Participating in four of the 12 events will earn visitors a certificate and a chance to win prizes. All abilities, ages, parents with strollers and well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome. 

No advance registration is needed.

Hikes, runs, and walks will be held on several different days and times, weather permitting. 

Yoga and hiking will be June 10, 17, 24 at 8:15 a.m. and then June 12, 19, and 26 at 5:30 p.m. Walk and runs will be June 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 8:15 a.m. and again June 11 and 25 at 5:30 p.m.

Becky Staab, the program coordinator for the Heritage Trail, started the yoga programs last year before she was involved with the conservancy. Then she met Bob Greene, the trail's director, who told her the trail needed to establish programs for its visitors.

"We decided that not everyone wants to do yoga and hiking; they just want to walk it," Staab said, adding that some visitors simply like to experience the trail with others.

Participants should meet at the trailhead at Vernon Street and Vaughn Drive for all dates and activities. Yoga and hiking will start promptly at the listed times. Visitors can bring a beach towel or yoga mat, though all yoga portions of the event will not require a mat. 

For more information about the challenge, contact Staab at (812) 701-0284.

Also on the Trail

Heritage Trail Conservancy

Safety Committee

Heritage Trail Conservancy will kick off the season with a Heritage Trail Conservancy Safety Committee free cookout. The safety committee is made up of area law enforcement and first responders.

The cookout is Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Parking will be at the trailhead at Vernon Street and Vaughn Drive, though the actual cookout will be held at the corner of Cragmont and West First streets.



Active Living Workshop

The Active Living Workshop will be June 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. The workshop is intended to see that communities - such as Madison - are built for all ages and abilities, and to begin planning and designing environments that will encourage residents to be active in their daily lives. The workshop is in partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health. 

The public is invited to give input during the meeting, which will be held at the Old Market on Main. For more information, contact Andrew Forrester community@madison-in.gov or (812) 265-8300.



Full-Moon Flashlight Hike

Members of the HTC Safety Committee will host a full-moon flashlight hike June 13, which is also Friday the 13th, weather permitting.

The hike is open to all ages and is free.

Visitors must bring their own flashlights, and small children must be accompanied by adults.

Hikers can meet at the trailhead at 8:45 p.m.  The hike begins promptly at 9 p.m. 

For more information, contact Staab at (812) 701-0284.

In addition to the scheduled activities, HTC also will host a hike for all abilities Sept. 22 at 5:30 p.m. and a Madison Mud Run, which has yet to be scheduled.