Trail Mix, a local nonprofit organization, is sponsoring a series of hikes to promote exercise in celebration of the 10th anniversary of National Trails Day.
Hikes for Health runs Saturdays from May 11 to June 1 on local trails, ending in a trail repair work day and a picnic.
"Regular exercise such as walking or hiking improves mental well being and lowers stress levels," said Betty Seguin of Trail Mix. "Exercise helps control high blood pressure and cholesterol, and can reduce the chances of obesity, diabetes, certain types of cancer, heart disease, and stroke."
Each Saturday, two trails will be featured, staffed by Southeast Alaska Guidance Association workers from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Participants who record their hikes in official log books are eligible for prizes for oldest and youngest hikers, and for the most trails hiked between May 11 and June 1. The log books contain brief trail descriptions, a coloring page, and a Trail Bingo game (bingo winners can enter a prize drawing).
"These hikes are suitable for individuals of all abilities," Seguin said. "They are family oriented and kid friendly. Hikers can begin the hike any time during the day, and take as long as needed to complete the hike. Those who cannot hike the trails on Saturday can hike another day instead."
Log books can be picked up at the trailheads on Saturdays, or at the Juneau Ranger District office on Old Dairy Road weekdays.
The hikes lead up to the National Trails Day picnic and awards ceremony at 4 p.m. June 1 at the Auke Village Recreation Area. The picnic is a salad potluck, with prizes for the best healthy salads (fruit salads, vegetables, tossed salads, pasta salads, potato salads, miscellaneous salads) Picnickers also can bring other potluck dishes. Beverages will be available and Hike for Health awards and appreciation awards will be presented.
National Trails Day is sponsored nationally by American Hiking Society and locally by Trail Mix and SAGA.
Also on June 1, Trail Mix and SAGA will sponsor a community volunteer work day on the Treadwell Ditch Trail. Call 790-6406 or visit the Trail Mix Web site www.juneautrails.org for more information. Volunteers should bring water, lunch, work gloves, and rain gear.
The Hike for Health schedule is:
May 11: Moraine Trail, 1.5 mile loop; Treadwell Historic Mine Trail, less than 2-mile loop.
May 18: Kaxhdighoowu Heen Dei, 2.1 miles one way; Treadwell Ditch, Blueberry Hills to Eagle Creek, about 2 miles one way.
May 25: Auke Nu Trail, 3 miles one way; Dan Moeller Trail, 3 miles one way.
June 1: Windfall Lake Trail, 4 miles one way to cabin; Perseverance Trail, 3 miles one way to end, or Granite Creek Basin 3.5 miles one way.
Juneau Parks and Recreation Wednesday and Saturday hikes can also be logged. Wednesday hikes are for adults only. Call 586-0428 for hike schedules.