The Fall Hiking Spree is big.
The annual event, staged by Metro Parks, Serving Summit County, typically draws 50,000 people into the parks.
That's like everyone living in Cuyahoga Falls deciding to hit the trails at least once.
Or everyone in Barberton, Fairlawn, Munroe Falls and Coventry Township.
It's a lot of people.
Typically, about 12,650 people will complete the fall spree.
The 46th annual event gets under way Tuesday, although eager hikers can get a head start Sunday.
The park district will hold a spree kickoff from 1 to 3 p.m. at Deep Lock Quarry Metro Park off Riverview Road in Peninsula. You can hike your first trail, pickup spree forms and maps and purchase a spree T-shirt with one of the park's mascots: Sunflower, the chickadee.
To complete the spree, hikers must cover eight of 13 designated trails before Nov. 30.
The trails are:
-- Bike & Hike, from Barlow Road in Hudson south to Sullivan Road and back, 2.4 miles, rated easy.
-- Schumacher, Cascade Valley park, 1.2 miles, moderate.
-- Quarry, Deep Lock Quarry, 1.2 miles, moderate.
-- Redwing, Firestone, 1.1 miles, easy.
-- Parcours, Goodyear Heights, 1.8 miles, strenuous.
-- Glens, Gorge, 1.8 miles, moderate.
-- Spring Hollow, Hampton Hills, 1.6 miles, strenuous.
-- Buttonbush, Liberty Park, 1.6 miles, easy.
-- Indian Spring, Munroe Falls, 2.2 miles, moderate.
-- Deer Run, O'Neil Woods, 1.8 miles, strenuous.
-- Parcours, Sand Run, 1.4 miles, strenuous.
-- Chippewa, Silver Creek, 2 miles, moderate.
-- Towpath Trail, from Big Bend area north to Portage Path and back, 1.6 miles, easy.
A 14th option is the Hiker's Choice trail. It can be any trail in the metro park system.
The park district is offering something new this year: audio tours.
The five audio tours, offered in partnership with radio station 91.3 the Summit, will highlight the unique history and natural features of select spree trails.
Participants can download each and listen at home or listen on an MP3 player while hiking. Go to the park district's Web site for details.
Forms are available at the park district offices, 975 Treaty Line Road, Akron. They are also available at all Acme Fresh Markets in Summit County and online at http://www.summitmetroparks.org.
You can get park directions at the Web site, too.
First-time hikers earn a hiking staff; veteran hikers get a shield to attach to the staff. The rewards are free for Summit County residents. The fee for others is $10 for first-time hikers and $5 for veterans.
For information, call 330-865-8065 or 330-867-5511.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or email@example.com.