LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It’s time for hikers, bikers and paddlers to get on the move again. The annual Mayor’s Hike, Bike and Paddle is returning for the 36th year. It’s an event that promotes healthy living and being active. 

What You Need To Know

  • The 36th annual event will take place at the Louisville Community Boathouse

  • Bikers will go throughout the longest bike course yet of 18.2 miles

  • Paddlers will cross five miles on the Ohio River

  • Hikers will conquer the Big Four Bridge, Kennedy Bridge or the Belle of Louisville Wharf


Labor Day weekend is coming to a close, but not before another Louisville favorite event happens. The Mayor’s 36th annual Hike, Bike and Paddle returns on Monday. Doctors at UofL Health want to emphasize caution with late summer exercise patterns.

“So the biggest thing from our end is being mindful of hydration and being mindful of how long you’re out in the heat,” said Dr. Jordan Hilgefort with UofL.

Dr. Hilgefort serves as a UofL Health faculty member within the Family & Geriatric Medicine division and an Assistant Professor Primary Care of Primary Care Sports Medicine at the University of Louisville. He says it’s best to think of the hike bike and paddle similar to training for a marathon. Starting things like hydration days before is crucial. People that routinely take part in exercise will know the signs of their body better than people that don’t exercise often but it’s best to watch your limits if you are either  one of those exercisers. 

“I kind of caution patients to use the 10% rule, meaning don’t increase the level, the frequency or the duration of your activity more than 10% in a week’s time. And that helps guard against using some of those muscles, tendons in a fashion where your body isn’t able to withstand,” said Hilgefort.

For people attending the annual event, hikers will cross the Big Four Bridge, bikers will go through the longest bike course yet at 18.2 miles. Paddlers will have to go five miles across the Ohio River and for that reason Hilgefort says signs of heat exhaustion can present itself in many ways.

“Fatigue, muscle pains and even advancing towards things like dizziness and people get to a point where they’re not sweating when it’s hot out. Those are bigger red flags or symptoms. It all progresses along a spectrum,” said Hilgefort.

Dr. Hilgefort ultimately recommends listening to your body and knowing where crews are in case of a medical emergency. The Hike, Bike and Paddle event will kick off at 8 a.m. at the Louisville Community Boathouse. You can view the route maps for hiking, biking and paddling here.