Originally Published: November 15, 2013 6 a.m.
PRESCOTT - The Highlands Center for Natural History has extended its 6th annual "Take a Hike!" fall hiking spree by two weeks so it now ends on Dec. 17.
Organized in partnership with Prescott National Forest, the Take a Hike! event encourages new hikers, avid hikers, families, and social groups to explore different areas of the forest by hiking on 12 trails of varying difficulty.
"With the recent government shutdown forcing closure of (parts of) the Prescott National Forest, we wanted to give the community an extra two weeks to complete the trails," Highlands Center Executive Director Dave Irvine, said.
Completed forms returned to the Highlands Center by Dec. 17 will be entered into a drawing for a $200 gift card from The Hike Shack store in Prescott.
Hikers completing at least eight trails also qualify for a specially designed medallion, and a discount on a wooden hiking stick to mount it on, available at the Highlands Center's Benson Family Nature Store. Credit Union West, The Hike Shack, Yavapai County, and the Prescott National Forest sponsor Take a Hike! this year.
A free packet complete with trail tips, trailhead directions, and trail maps is available at the Prescott National Forest office on 344 S. Cortez St. in Prescott and the Hike Shack at 104 N. Montezuma St. The Highlands Center Nature Store sells the map packets in color for $5. Or, download these resources at www.highlandscenter.org. "Whether you hike to energize your body, enrich your mind, enlighten your spirit or a combination of all three, this is a spectacular time of year to get out there," Irvine said.