Gorge Aprés Gorge: Thanksgiving Weekend Tradition Supports Nature-Based & Intergenerational Engagement

Gorge Aprés Gorge: Best Little Walk/Run in the Hilltowns

The Sunday morning following your Thanksgiving dinner gorge, rise and shine to join friends and neighbors for the 13th annual Gorge Aprés Gorge run/walk at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield, MA. Community members are invited to embrace winter by being outside with friends and neighbors in a three mile out and back run/walk/bike/snowshoe/ski along the beautiful Westfield River. It’s a free event and all are welcomed! It’s a family affair. 5K at 9:30am. Family walk at 11am.

For the past 13 years, families have gathered together at the Chesterfield Gorge on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to walk, run, and socialize at a community potluck. The Gorge après Gorge Family Fun Walk and 5k run was started by organizers Leslie Charles and Tanya Rapinchuk, as a way to escape from the stress that can accompany the holidays and to get outside and appreciate nature with your friends, family, and neighbors. Charles explains, “I believe community and getting to know each other is the best way forward for humanity. It’s a homegrown event to really benefit everybody. It invites anyone and everyone to join in for a walk or run. It’s a total labor of love inspired by the desire to share the outdoors with our community, make new friends, and gather together.”

It began with just a few dozen people, and has grown over the years as word has spread about this wonderful family-oriented event.

“I have attended every Gorge Aprés Gorge these past 13 years,” says Hilltown Families Founder and West Chesterfield resident, Sienna Wildfield. “The Chesterfield Gorge, the Westfield River, and families from around the region make this event as special part of our community tradition. It offer a way we can support a sense of place through engagement with these amazing community treasures!”

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Gorge Aprés Gorge: Best Little Walk/Run in the Hilltowns

Gorge Aprés Gorge: A Run in the Woods

The Sunday morning following your Thanksgiving dinner gorge, rise and shine to join friends and neighbors for the 10th annual Gorge Aprés Gorge run/walk at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield, MA. Community members are invited to embrace winter by being outside with friends and neighbors in a three mile out and back run/walk/bike/snowshoe/ski along the beautiful Westfield River. It’s a free event and all are welcomed! It’s a family affair. 5K at 9am.

It was a simple yet wonderful idea: reconnecting with friends and neighbors, on a brisk walk in the beauty of the outdoors, was the perfect antidote for the stresses and overindulgences of the holidays.

Evidently it was an idea that had legs, because this year on Sunday, December 1st, 2013, the community-organized “Gorge après Gorge” celebrates the 10th anniversary of its free, family fun walk, and the 4th anniversary of its 5k trail run at the Trustees’ Chesterfield Gorge.

Leslie Anne Charles, one of the event founders, described it as “a grass-roots, seat-of-my-pants type of event,” which turned out to be very successful. “Most people who come one year make it to the following year’s event.” A fun fresh air event that initially began with a few dozen folks has now blossomed, as word of mouth to new friends has spread.

The “best little run in the Hilltowns” will kick off at 9AM and follow a well-marked course – the dirt fire road – which is a slightly hilly out and back along the wild and scenic Westfield River, starting and ending at The Trustees’ Chesterfield Gorge. Hot chocolate, coffee, and tea will be waiting at the finish line (And you’re invited to bring your own treats to share.)… Read the rest of this entry »

Win an Entry: Gorge aprés Gorge 5K!

7th Annual Gorge aprés Gorge
Sunday, November 28th, 2010
Chesterfield Gorge, West Chesterfield

Leslie Charles of Chesterfield, MA writes: "Join us for the 7th annual Gorge aprés Gorge. We decided to add a run to it this year, so join the run and then hang around for the family fun run/walk. For both, we start at the Chesterfield Gorge and run the rough fire road out for 1.5 miles then back, following the beautiful Westfield River. If you have never been, this event is a must! The road can be muddy/icy and a bit rocky. (But easy enough for bikes and jogging strollers). After: complimentary hot chocolate/tea/coffee. Bring some treats and join the fun!" (Photo credit: Leslie Charles)

For the past seven year, families have gathered at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield on the Sunday following Thanksgiving for the annual Gorge aprés Gorge, a FREE community walk/run. New this year is a 5K run to benefit the Trustees of Reservation, and Hilltown Families has two entries and two mugs to giveaway to one lucky reader! Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, 11/24/10 @ 7pm (EST). More details below.

ABOUT THE GORGE APRES GORGE

Hilltown mother Leslie Charles of Chesterfield, MA has organized the event for the past seven years, a tradition she brought with her from the West Coast when she moved to Western MA with her family. The inaugural Gorge aprés Gorge was in 2004, and in the years that followed was supported by the Chesterfield Cultural Council. Join by organizer Tanya Rapinchuck of Worthington, MA this community walk/run and grown from a small group of participating families living in the Hilltowns to a community-wide event with families from the Pioneer Valley and Berkshires joining in the fun. Children who have participated since they were babies look forward to the Gorge aprés Gorge as it has become part of their yearly celebration of life in the Hilltowns.

New this year is an exciting 5K run ($10) to raise funds for the Trustees of Reservation, starting at 9am. This is timed race with unique top finisher awards (you won’t want to miss these awards!).

The free family fun walk/run begins at 10am.  Please leave the dogs at home and bring your own mug.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win two entries and two mugs for the Gorge aprés Gorge 5k on Sunday, November 28th (9am) at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield, MA is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

  1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 11/25/10 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win you should still go!  Pre-register for the 5K at active.com, or contact Tanya Rapinchuk: 238-5595 tanya@SacredbirthMidwifery.com.  The commumity walk/run is free and open to all.  No need to pre-register.  Just pack up the family and join in the fun at 10am!

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