Then & Now: Fall Hiking Spree

Christy Counterman, Marketing Assistant

Bert Szabo (left) hands out hiking spree rewards at Goodyear Heights | 1967

The first Fall Hiking Spree lasted just two months, from October 1 to November 30, 1964. That inaugural year, 1,530 area residents each completed seven hikes in six parks for a total of 9.8 miles to earn the inaugural hiking staff.

The park district handed out Fall Hiking Spree certificates | 1965

Fast forward to 2020, when park visitors could choose eight hikes or more from a list of 12 trails to complete the 57th annual Fall Hiking Spree. Approximately 17,000 hikers rose to the challenge and collected rewards, shattering previous records. Tens of thousands of people have enjoyed autumn by participating in the Fall Hiking Spree between 1964 and today.

Are you a “heritage hiker?” If you completed the spree within the first decade of the event, or if you’ve hiked for 50 years or more — even if they are not consecutive years — we’d like to meet you (and your hiking staff) and share a special reward with you.

For more stories like this, check out Green Islands Magazine, a bi-monthly publication from Summit Metro Parks. Summit County residents can sign up to receive the publication at home free of charge.

Summit Metro Parks manages 14,000 acres, 16 parks and more than 150 miles of trails. Find more at www.summitmetroparks.org.