First Day of Autumn Trail Run Sunday at Gerber Park

A “Kids’ Challenge” has been added to expand the family appeal of the fall 5K trail run to will take place on the first day of fall Sunday, Sept. 22, near Blissfield. “First Day of Autumn Color Tour Trail Run” is a 5K run/walk to benefit the Miss River Raisin Festival Scholarship Program.

The event will take place on the Lenawee County championship cross country course at Gerber Hill Park, used by local high school athletes to determine the season’s best runners. In addition, a “Kids’ Challenge” will follow where children (and parents) may walk or run a non-competitive short course, collecting treats from costumed characters and scavenger hunt items in beautiful Gerber Hill Park.

“Over the years, parents and friends of high school athletes have told our local cross country coach that they would like a chance to run on this trail,” said organizer Marcia Loader, executive director of the Miss River Raisin Festival Scholarship Program. “It’s a lovely park and challenging run course and we’re hoping the autumn foliage will be putting on its annual show. And this is a wonderful opportunity for families to enjoy a picnic and family day at Gerber Hill Park.” Race day registration begins at noon and the 5K begins at 1 p.m. The 5K is open to all ages 6 and over. Medals will be given in several categories to the top two in each division as well as to the overall male and female winners. The Kids’ Challenge begins at 2:30 p.m. The fees will be $25 for 5K Run/Walk. Runners ages 6-15 pay only $15, and there is a $60 family rate for three or more from the same household. Limit two adults in a family. The Kids’ Challenge is $12 per child, although parents may accompany the child at no added charge. A downloadable registration form is available at or in The Advance Sept. 18.

“Miss River Raisin Festival Nicole Miller of Palmyra has a personal community service platform of ‘Building Blocks: Incentives for Preschool.’ We wanted to honor her love of children by adding a fall-fun component for children to this run as it is held in such a great Lenawee County park,” Loader added. “She has some special plans for children who come out for the day.”

Runners in the first Autumn Trail 5K at Gerber Park in 2012. (Advance File Photo)

Gerber Hill Park is located at 14360 Carroll Road, northeast of Blissfield. Take U.S. 223 east of Blissfield, turn north on Silberhorn Highway, which becomes Carroll Road and bears right (east). For details, please email Loader at