SHERIDAN — Tami Sorenson said all Trailfest-goers need to bring with them is a lawn chair, trail gear and their smiles.
Trailfest is a half-day event at Red Grade Trails for children and adults to celebrate the outdoors. Trailfest will kick off on at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with a Kids Scavenger Hunt.
Trailfest used to be called Biketoberfest, which led to some confusion about who was invited to participate, Sorenson said. People of all ages, abilities and all non-motorized modes of transportation are welcome this year, she said.
The event includes a raffle, runs, nature walks for children and adults, mountain yoga, free face painting, music, food and Black Tooth Brewing Company for adults. Trailfest will conclude at 1 p.m. with a raffle prize drawing.
Sorenson, trails manager at the Sheridan Community Land Trust, said this event is “a celebration of all things trails.”
Getting bodies moving
Asia Stockwell is leading a yoga class on the trails starting at 10 a.m. All levels of experience with yoga are welcome to join in.
Stockwell regularly teaches yoga at Purenergy Fitness and owns Maven Massage and Bodywork on Main Street. Stockwell’s approach to teaching yoga is to offer a little bit of everything so the practice is available to anyone, she said.
She combines her knowledge of anatomy and physiology with a bit of spiritual connection. Yoga addresses the needs of the mind, body and soul, Stockwell said.
She said interest in yoga, health and wellness is rising along with the number of young, successful entrepreneurs in Sheridan.
One of the great things about Trailfest is traveling up to the trailhead to see the view and the work the community has done to improve the trails, she said.
Stockwell said years of improvement to the Red Grade Trails make the site more accessible for people to experience the local outdoors.
Stockwell said practicing yoga outside has different benefits than practicing indoors, like absorbing the earth’s vibrations, breathing fresh air and being in the sunshine. She said Trailfest is also a great way to connect with people and get bodies moving.
“It’s like a play date for everybody,” she said.
Some people are hesitant to become involved in yoga because of their religious beliefs, but the key is to find an instructor who provides a safe and comfortable environment in which to practice based on your needs, she said.
Checking out wildlife
Red Grade Trails may be familiar to many locals, but there’s still time to check out Sheridan’s newest trail that connects to the Sheridan Pathway system before the weather turns.
Hidden Hoot opened July 2, a 4.5-mile loop at the far west edge of Sheridan. Bikers, runners and walkers can expect to see whitetail deer, mule deer, pheasant, song birds and frogs along the trail.
Lucky wildlife spotters might see antelope, eagles, hawks, ospreys and painted turtles, Chris Vrba, director of marketing and development at SCLT, said.
Vrba said trail-goers should be vigilant and prepared to encounter rattlesnakes, like on Soldier Ridge trails.
When preparing to hit the trails, comfortable shoes, protective gear appropriate for the chosen activity, water, a healthy snack, bug spray and sunscreen should be included in your gear, Vrba said.
“It’s good practice to let someone know where you plan to be and when you plan to be out; especially if you’re enjoying the forest solo…if you’re in the forest, bear spray is a must,” he said in an email.
Nature walks at Trailfest
Julie Rieder, scientist and educator with Science Kids, is leading a nature walk for children under 13 and their parents at 11:15 a.m. Saturday.
Rieder plans to take the group on Tinker Trail, a .2-mile loop, to look at the plants, insects, flowers and birds that compose the landscape. To start, she’ll have the children sit and listen to the soundscape — running water, birds chirping, feet shuffling and their own breath.
“Kids are amazing,” she said. “When you ask them to stop, sit and listen they can hear so many different things.”
Rieder said she is including a theme of ethnobotany in the nature walk. She intends to teach children about the historical and cultural uses of the plants that surround them.
Rieder said she hopes connecting children to their natural landscape through activities like the nature walk will inspire them to protect and preserve the outdoors as they grow up.
“If you love it, you save it,” she said.
Rieder said children naturally love being outdoors, while sometimes adults have experiences that make it more difficult to connect with their landscapes. Any person who is able to connect with their environment is more likely to preserve it, she said.
“It’s an easy thing to get people sparked and interested in the natural world,” she said.
Rieder encourages people of all ages to come out and explore Trailfest as summer comes to a close and children prepare to go back to school.