The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Her Community -

Crisp fall weather brings about a sense of tra­di­tion and to­geth­er­ness lead­ing into the hol­i­days. How­ever, as the leaves start turn­ing and fall­ing here in cen­tral Arkansas, more peo­ple are head­ing out­doors to take in the cooler tem­per­a­tures.

Novem­ber in Hot Springs has many women lac­ing up their run­ning shoes and fine-tun­ing their moun­tain bikes in prepa­ra­tion for some of the best weather for out­door ac­tive life­styles.

In this is­sue, we’re high­light­ing the trail­blaz­ers who take the path less trav­eled and re­turn with the sto­ries that make ev­ery­one want to grab a day pack and seek out their next ad­ven­ture.

The “Nat­u­ral State” only re­cently landed on the radar of the moun­tain bik­ing com­mu­nity but, like any­thing we do here in Arkansas, it’s in a big way. The first sec­tion of the North­woods Trail is set to open on Nov. 17 and with that, moun­tain bik­ing en­thu­si­asts like Jona Parker are teem­ing with ex­cite­ment and an­tic­i­pa­tion.

Parker and her en­tire fam­ily are ded­i­cated moun­tain bik­ers and in­stru­men­tal to the de­vel­op­ment of the 44.6-mile project that may some­day reach from Hot Springs all the way to Lit­tle Rock. She sat down with HER this month to ed­u­cate us on all things moun­tain bik­ing and share why the sport is so near and dear to her heart.

Keep­ing in the spirit of fit­ness, the 37th an­nual Spa Run­ning Fes­ti­val also takes place on Nov. 17. The fes­ti­val in­cludes a 5K, 10K, and half-marathon race, mak­ing it the per­fect event for run­ners of all ex­pe­ri­ence lev­els.

This year, the fes­ti­val fea­tures United States Olympian, Amer­i­can-Marathon record holder, The New York Times best-sell­ing au­thor, and Univer­sity of Arkansas alumna Deena Kas­tor, as the race starter.

We’ve also in­cluded pro­files on a group of sis­ters who eat, sleep, and breathe vol­ley­ball, our new na­tional park su­per­in­ten­dent, an avid hiker who turned her pas­sion into profit, and other ex­tra­or­di­nary women in our com­mu­nity.

We hope these lo­cal women in­spire you to get out­side and en­joy all that fall in Hot Springs has to of­fer.

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