Blue Zones Project emphasizing health and wellness; facilitating county site assessment.
Uniontown, PA – With the Fayette Living Well Coalition helping to bring the Blue Zones Project to Fayette County, the emphasis is all about living well and living healthy this fall. There is plenty of time to get out and about to enjoy the crisp, colorful southwestern Pennsylvania autumn and the many outdoor events and activities that have earned this month’s Faces and Places designation.
It all kicks off next week as experts from the Blue Zones Project will visit Penn State Fayette, the Eberly Campus on Oct. 4 and 5 for a site assessment to determine the community’s preparedness for the program. Blue Zones Project is a community well-being initiative designed to help residents lower their risks of illness and diseases so that they can live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.
The public is invited to attend a Keynote Presentation on Monday, Oct. 4 at 6:00 p.m., as well as a Community Transformation Presentation on Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 9:30 a.m. To learn how you can participate in the upcoming Blue Zones Project Site Assessment, visit https://go.bluezonesproject.com/fayetteco.
The Blue Zones Project is all about encouraging physical wellness. One way to get the blood pumping while enjoying nature is to take part in the Yough River Trail Council/Bud Murphy’s Fall Foliage Ride/Walk at noon on Oct. 10. The day begins at Connellsville’s Yough River Trail and offers two challenge bike rides and a challenge walk. It also offers a picnic lunch at 3 p.m., provided by the Connellsville Lions Club, along with prizes for completing one of the challenge events.
“We set up a person at Camp Carmel and somebody at the (Uniontown) KOA,” Yough River Trail Council President Ted Kovall said. “If you ride to one of those locations, you get a ticket. You bring it back, and you’re eligible for gift cards.”
The Connellsville to Camp Carmel leg is a 7.8-mile ride, while the ride to the KOA campground near Adelaide is shorter.
Kovall said the challenge walk ends up a couple of miles away, at Ridge Boulevard, and the process to qualify for a gift card drawing is the same.
The Fayette Living Well Coalition’s own Fayette Walks continue at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 13 with a “Glorious Autumn” event in the beautiful mountains at Jumonville. Walkers will begin the event together before splitting off into one of two options. One path will take walkers up the trail to the famed Jumonville cross, while a more low-key option will allow walkers to set a slower pace to the Great Meadow.
Haunting will commence in downtown Uniontown with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce’s historic ghost tours Oct. 22-23. Participants will gather for a ghostly good walk, stepping back in time when wealth and power ruled Uniontown. Walkers will learn the storied history and hear of its gravest moments and most ghostly individuals. Tours depart from Store Square every 15 minutes from 7:00-10:00 p.m. Call 724-437-4571 for information and reservations.
Ohiopyle State Park is always a prime choice, both for taking in fall foliage and for getting in a solid workout. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website, the park offers 79 miles of trails, with numerous hiking trails for all fitness levels. Experienced hikers in good physical condition might tackle the 3.4-mile Baughman Trail or the Beech or Great Gorge trails, both just over 2.5 miles long. Those who prefer an easier journey might select the Sproul Trails, five interconnecting loops totaling 3.7 miles of fairly easy hiking, or one of the trails on the Ferncliff Peninsula, a 100-acre peninsula that was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1973 and a State Park Natural Area in 1992.
For those seeking to combine some kid-friendly autumn entertainment with their exercise, Duda’s Farm near Brownsville is a good option. Kids can enjoy traditional fall activities, like a hayride and bonfires, while also getting a workout by running around the farm’s pumpkin patch or winding their way through its large and small corn mazes. Duda’s also features an animal barn, swings, double-barrel shotgun slides and a corn pit, which is similar to a sand box.
Finally, for those who enjoy raising their heart rates with a good scare, Rich Farms in Smithfield might be the answer. The farm has something for everyone and can give visitors a solid workout to go with its thrills and chills.
“We have multiple activities that take place here,” Director of Entertainment Jonica Yauger said, explaining that Rich’s offers daytime activities for children and nighttime frights that are more adult-oriented.
Rich Farms offers a pumpkin patch, hayrides, and a nature park with animals. Its Kids Day at the Farm also has its own, separate website.
“There’s tons of stuff for kids to do over there,” Yauger said. “Of course, at nighttime, we swing over to the other side of the property, which hosts Fright Farm. We’re really excited to be back at full capacity this year.”
Yauger said Rich’s Fright Farm offers the “Fest-Evil Midway” this year, with numerous activities, games and escape rooms to keep visitors busy while they wait for their turn in the main attraction: the haunted house.
Though a tour through a haunted house might not seem like a typical exercise regimen, Yauger said at Rich’s Fright Farm, your heart rate will go up one way or the other.
“You’re riding for a mile through the countryside at the farm, but once you get to the house, it’s all on foot,” she said. “You have to actually walk through the corn field to return to the festival area. It’s quite a hike.”
The opportunities to explore Fayette County this fall are endless. Supporting your overall health and wellbeing while taking in all the fun is just a bonus.
To learn more about Fayette County, visit www.FayetteCountyPA.org.
Editor's Note: Photos attached (Yough River Trail; BZP Site Assessment)
This communication, among other initiatives, is funded through the 2016 Fayette County Local Share Account (LSA) in cooperation with the Fayette County Board of Commissioners, Fayette Chamber of Commerce, The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Fayette, The Redstone Foundation and other partners. This funding has been designated for the continued promotion and marketing of Fayette County, PA.
For more information, contact Kristi Rooker Kassimer, Public Relations Specialist, at 412-691-0262, email@example.com or Jamie Rankin, Journalist, at 724-434-4486, firstname.lastname@example.org.