Pick up a marker and share what you love about the Hilltowns: that’s one way to earn a raffle ticket at the Gorge après Gorge! The 19th year of this fun, family-friendly, annual 5k trail run and walk is coming up the fall on Sunday, November 26th.
Gorge après Gorge runners and walkers love the Hilltowns because of…
This event is beloved by runners and walkers near and far, who come to the Chesterfield Gorge to enjoy all the cozy goodness the Hilltowns have to offer. The 5k and fun walk in Chesterfield, MA has local roots, started by a pair of friends who wanted to get their community outside and moving during a time when it’s all too tempting to spend the colder, darker days indoors.
Trees Rocks Water!
Along the 5k out-and-back course, participants are treated to dramatic views of the federally designated Wild and Scenic Westfield River as it spills through the Chesterfield Gorge. While the Gorge itself is conserved by HLT’s affiliates at The Trustees, Hilltown Land Trust conserves more than 35 properties in the Westfield River watershed. Runners and walkers do more than just enjoying the scenic beauty of the waterway: registration fees go towards taking care of land that keeps the river clean.
The Chesterfield General Store
At the finish line, volunteers hand participants one of the best-loved traditions of the Gorge après Gorge: an edible cookie medal, handmade by Greg Monette at the Chesterfield General Store right up the road. A trail runner himself, Greg has donated cookie medals for years, along with coffee for the post-race refreshments table. Along with the hand-knit and -crocheted hats awarded at the finish ceremony, the edible shortbread medals are a piece of the Gorge après Gorge that marks the cozy community feel year after year.
New places to explore
At the Hilltown Land Trust information booth, volunteers are busy helping runners and walkers learn how to stay involved with the land trust. Rae Ettenger, who worked with HLT for a semester as a Smith College Jandon Center for Activism fellow, created a wildlife track matching activity to help kids and grownups alike learn about the wildlife who live in the habitat we conserve. The info booth is also stocked with maps of nearby Hilltown Land Trust trails, so that Gorge après Gorge runners and walkers can find a new place to love.
You know a lot of people
Some value the Hilltowns as a place to get away from the hustle and bustle. For others, the tight-knit fabric of Hilltown communities is its own draw. For many, it’s a mix of both. The Gorge après Gorge is all about how people and nature can come together, no matter the November weather, for the coziest community day in the Hilltowns.
We hope you can join us this year at the Chesterfield Gorge on Sunday, November 26th for the 5k trail run or family fun walk! Registration for both is open on RunReg until noon on November 25th. We hope to see you there!