It turns out this fun-run of sorts is tied to the Friends of Erie MetroParks’s “Go Take a Hike” affair that annually highlights different parks in the area.
“We haven’t been at Castalia Quarry for five years, and the last time it was raining,” said Friends of Erie Metroparks President Joyce Deering, a Perkins Township resident.
“Castalia Quarry is the second most popular park in the park system. And what’s unique this year is rather than just having ‘Go Take A Hike,’ we’re having a 5k run at the same time. So we want to attract some younger people, more families. It’s kind of unique having two things at one time.”
Normally, “Go Take a Hike” invites hikers of various abilities to join guides on 1- to 2-mile exploration jaunts around that year’s park location. As for the idea of adding a 5k run, Deering said it was a no-brainer.
“They did have one out at Edison Woods, and it was very well received,” Deering said. “We have some people on our committee who run 5k runs and to my knowledge they never had one at Castalia Quarry. So it was kind of natural to expand, not just the hikers but why not have people run also?”
She added there are prizes in the 5k run for overall male and female, as well as for the top three in each age category –13 & under, 14-19, 20-29, 30-39 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70 & over. Registration opens up an hour before the 5k run starts at 2:30 p.m. at the quarry.
As for “Go Take a Hike,” attendees can enjoy a nature scavenger hunt, historical hay ride, kids activities, Bubble-Rama, complimentary refreshments and musical entertainment by Skunk Cabbage and Vacationland Bands.
“‘Take a Hike’ marks a culmination of work and concentrated effort on Castalia Quarry,” Deering said. “We’ve been working on the extension of a trail. We have new signage. We also raised over $10,000 for a new deck and boardwalk off the parking lot. We’ll have a ribbon cutting there at 2:30 p.m.”
Overall, it’s a kickoff to the fall hiking program that encourages participants to visit the Erie Metroparks’ various trails.
“We’ve been doing this for 10 years, and we have a good following,” Deering said. “You get a brochure the day of the kickoff, and once you fulfilled eight, with all of the hikes that are possible in the Metroparks for the fall, you can turn it in and get a hiking stick. And if you’ve done it before we have a medallion for every year you actually do the hikes.”
In the past the “Take a Hike” event has drawn anywhere between 300 -400 people, but the “Run the Rock” 5k run could increase that number.
Deering said, “It’s to get people outside and show them why the parks are unique.”
Castalia Quarry MetroParks is located off Route 101 southwest of Castalia.