Walking through winter

01/08/2014 12:00 AM

01/06/2014 11:55 AM

Winter Walk started as a way to introduce Mansfield’s newest park, but has turned into an annual stroll for many residents.

“It was created to open Town Park,” said Angie Henley, the city’s special events & cultural arts coordinator. “I don’t think they expected it to be so popular. We have continued it because people come out no matter weather.”

The park, located at 500 N. Main St., opened in 2006, but 200-300 people (more during good weather) still come out to wander down the Walnut Creek Linear Trail.

The Saturday stroll starts at Katherine Rose Memorial Park, 303 N. Walnut Creek Drive, at 9 a.m. with the first 100 participants receiving a free t-shirt. From there, people can choose how far they want to go. For a full 5-kilometer walk, they can take the trail to McKnight Park East, then back to Rose Park and onto to Town Park. For a shorter walk, people can wander the mile trail from Rose Park straight to Town Park.

“Some diehards will run it,” Henley said, but most take their time and do the full 5k. Dogs on leashes, strollers, bicycles and scooters are welcome, too.

Council member Cory Hoffman and his family have made the Winter Walk several times and will likely do so again this weekend, he said.

“It’s a great way to get out and utilize the trail system,” Hoffman said. “It’s an upbeat event and a great way to get some exercise and see the neighbors.”

Once participants get to Town Park, there will be plenty of activities to keep them busy. At 10 a.m., Cook Children’s Medical Center will give safety tips on how to install car seats, the Mansfield Police Department will talk about bike safety at 10:30 a.m., Cook Children’s will discuss sports injuries at 11 a.m. and the hospital’s nutrition department will talk about what to eat at 11:30 a.m.

Plus, there will be face painting, wellness checks by the Mansfield Fire Department and the Mansfield school district’s nutrition department and a lot of vendors will be on hand. There will also be giveaways celebrating the city’s newest park, the Oliver Nature Park, set to open Jan. 25.

New this year will be a chance to create a new friend at Cook Children’s Build-A-Bear Workshop. Children and adults can build their own bear or design one and donate it to the patients at the hospital. Cost go from $20 and up.

Council member Cory Hoffman and his family have made the Winter Walk several times and will likely do so again this weekend, he said.

“It’s a great way to get out and utilize the trail system,” Hoffman said. “It’s an upbeat event and a great way to get some exercise and see the neighbors.”

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