The Valpo Parks team is constantly coming up with fantastic new events to bring the community together and let people have some fun. Valpo Parks’ brand new event—its first annual Trails Fest—is another great addition to the team’s wonderful line-up of events. The three-day event kicked off on Friday, September 23 with a family fun ride and a bonfire to make some s’mores. It was a great opportunity for families to get out of the house and explore the outdoors.
Valpo Parks’ Creekside Trails opened up in 2019 with four and a half miles of trail. Since then, the trails have expanded to over 14 miles. Valpo Parks normally holds a simple Saturday bike race to celebrate the growth of the trails, but this year with the opening of Trailyard, a gorgeous new restaurant designed and built by Larson-Danielson Construction Company, the Valpo Parks team decided they wanted to go even bigger.
“With Trailyard opening we wanted to celebrate even more and figured that we might as well have a full weekend of things because there are so many ways to use the trail system. We want to celebrate all the hard work that’s gone into the trails and bring as many people out possible to celebrate Trailyard opening,” said Kevin Nuppnau, Assistant Director at Valpo Parks.
Nuppnau was grateful that he and his team were able to provide another exciting opportunity for the community and add to Valpo’s unmatched energy. He hopes that people not only come out and have a great time but also learn more about Valpo’s gorgeous trails.
“We hope that it brings new people to the trails whether they’re from Valpo and have never explored it or from out of town. We want to celebrate all the different ways to use the trail—you can bike, hike, run, or even just bring your dog out. We’ve even seen strollers out here recently which is cool,” said Nuppnau.
Nuppnau was so excited about this year’s Trails Fest and its success that he’s already thinking about the future.
“Our goal is to do an annual Trails Festival and each year kind of grow it in different ways. This first year of the festival is teaching us a lot and we’re having so much fun while we do it,” said Nuppnau.
Fun is the perfect way to describe the Trails Fest because there is a plethora of fun activities for everyone to enjoy.
On Saturday, there will be three different bike races: a 20k XC and E-Bike race, a 5k Kids race, and a 10k fat bike race. Throughout the day there will be live music and plenty of yard games to keep the kids entertained. On Sunday, there will be a trail running event bright and early at 8:30 a.m, a group hike and dog walk at 11 a.m, and a trail bike challenge competition at 2 p.m. As if the weekend isn’t action-packed enough, there will also be several bike-related vendors to cover all of your bike gear needs. Over 100 people have already signed up for the fun.
The first day of Trails Fest was an outstanding success, and with everything Valpo Parks has in store, the rest of the event is something that the community won’t want to miss out on. Valpo Parks urges everyone to come to check out the beautiful trails.
“It’s somewhat of a hidden gem, but we don’t want it to be hidden anymore. We want people to come out and find it and with the restaurant here there are even more reasons to come check things out,” said Nuppnau.
To learn more about Valpo Parks and its mission to bring the community together through fun new events, visit https://www.valpoparks.org/.