Our first outing, “Hangout at Hillendale” highlighting our favorite local park was quite a success! Our event was ideally located at Hillendale Park in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and featured mountain biking, hiking, hot dog and s’mores roasting, tent building, and hammock hanging. The weather was phenomenal, with the crisp fall breeze blowing orange and yellow leaves off the trees and the sun shining all afternoon. Shuttles transported participants from campus to the park to participate in the event, and the turnout for the event was great! Over 45 students and faculty members came out to Hillendale Park to hang out and experience all the park has to offer, including dozens of people who told us they had never been to the park before.

We situated our event right at the end of the parks’ mountain biking trails, and the demand to try out the beginner biking trails was amazing! We even had to go back to campus to grab more bikes because so many people wanted to give it a try. We’re proud to say that almost every person who attended the outing left with at least one ride under their belt. Some people even went back for second and third rides- in between hot cocoa breaks, of course. We knew our event was a huge success when people just walking by stopped to ask what was going on and decided to stay and enjoy the event with us! This event was so fun, not only to host but to be a part of as well. Everyone left with dirt in their boots and smiles on their faces. We are so excited to continue to provide these types of opportunities to our students and faculty throughout the rest of the school year!

Two JMU students “hanging out” during the event
More event participants roasting hot dogs