Feature

First Irons Oaks holiday trail walk a hit despite soggy conditions

A couple walks down the stairs at the Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center on Saturday, Dec. 23, during the first
Light Up Trail Walk. (Eric Crump photos and video/H-F Chronicle)

About 450 people signed up for the first Light Up Trail Walk at Irons Oaks Environmental Learning Center. Irons Oaks Manager Cheryl Vargo thought that was a pretty good response for the new holiday event.

She was even more impressed with the number of people who braved rain on one night and fog on another to walk the trails, view holiday lights and stop for a s’more or hot chocolate along the way.

“It’s just made to be a quiet holiday stroll,” Vargo said.

Ken Lambert, center, roasts a marshmallow to make a s’more with his children, Kaden, left, and Leigha.

From 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 21, 22 and 23, a lot of people showed up, including whole extended families. With those who registered at the gate, 618 people eventually signed up, although not all the preregistered people showed up, she said.

“We were hoping for a little snow, just a dusting,” Vargo said. “We got rain. It was OK. Everyone still had fun.”

Santa Claus greets visitors walking the decorated trails.

On Saturday, Dec. 23, fog gave the woods a spooky quality, according to Ken Lambert, who walked the slightly muddy trails with his wife, Latanya, and two children, Kaden and Leigha.

“It’s got a Halloween feeling,” he said, but he thought the event was interesting and different, possibly a new holiday tradition to enjoy.

Santa Claus was posted in a gazebo at the end of the trail, and many of the walkers on Saturday stopped to greet him.

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the decorated trail at Irons Oaks.

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