Last updated: August 22. 2013 5:53PM - 198 Views

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NEW BREMEN — Don’t wait until spring to enjoy the great outdoors. Join in one or both of the winter hikes going on this weekend in the area.

In New Bremen, the first of four 5K hikes for the season starts at 1 p.m. Sunday from the Lockkeepers House at the corner of state Routes 66 and 274.

“It’s hard to find encouragement in the dead of winter to get out, but this hike allows you to join with others in a community hike, and encourage one another. It’s just beautiful outdoors at this time of year, and an outdoor hike helps the mind, it helps the body and it helps the spirit,” said Allison Brady, executive director of Heritage Trails Park District, one of the sponsors of the hikes.

“Last year we had 180 hikers there to encourage each other. You know, when you first head out, you think you can’t do it, and by the time you get back from the walk, you’re so happy,” Brady said.

Returnees can enjoy a warm beverage at the Lockkeepers House.

“All of our hikes are 5K, which means they’re 3.1 miles out and back along the Miami Erie Canal Corridor. That entire corridor is 26 miles long, and we’re dividing it into four segments for these four walks, which will be held the second Sunday of every month now through April,” Brady said.

But the walks are not only for humans. “If pets are on a leash, they can absolutely walk too. It might be a good excuse to get outdoors and give your pet a good walk,” Brady added.

Meanwhile in Lima, the Johnny Appleseed Park District will host a Winter Woods Walk at 9 a.m. Saturday at Heritage Park, 2092 Reed Road. That walk will last from 60 to 90 minutes. To register, call 419-221-1232 today.

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