A family enjoys a 5k race hosted by Rockhopper Races in North Conway. (COURTESY PHOTO)

CONWAY — If you’re planning a summer getaway to the Mt. Washington Valley, plan to include the White Mountains Outdoor, Health and Wellness Fest in your vacation schedule.

Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, July 17 and 18, the festival will focus on sustainable outdoor recreation, health and wellness, and education.

Presented by White Mountains Community College and the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, it’s the goal of both organizations to bring awareness to the depth of resources the valley offers, for both outdoor recreation, and educational opportunities through the college.

One of the featured aspects of the event is the “Kickin’ Asphalt” 5k walk/run and 10k run, both presented by Rockhopper Races LLC, and guided hikes presented by Redline Guiding.

Families and individuals interested in participating in both events are encouraged to sign up early to reserve their spots.

Registration for both the “Kickin’ Asphalt” 5k walk/run and 10k run and guided hikes can be done through whitemountainsfest.com. Additional event information can be found there as well.

The “Kickin’ Asphalt” 5k walk/run and 10k run is a signature event for the fest’s kick-off on Saturday, July 17. Two races are offered in the form of a 5k run/walk and 10k run, which means there is opportunity for every kind of athlete and interest level to participate. The races start and finish in Schouler Park and take runners and walkers through side roads throughout North Conway.

The following day, avid hikers and those looking for new ways to enjoy the White Mountain National Forest can convene with Redline Guiding for a half-day or whole-day hike.

Those choosing to embark on the half-day hike can expect a distance of 3-5 miles, and a duration of three to four hours. The whole-day hike will take hikers a distance of 6-10 miles and last six to eight hours.

Whichever race or hike you choose, be sure to sign up early, as spots will go quickly.

Another noteworthy aspect of the White Mountains Outdoor, Health and Wellness Fest is the Vendor Square, taking place in Schouler Park on Saturday, July 17 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Acting as the hub of the event, the Vendor Square will feature outdoor yoga, demos and presentations, live music, food and more. Sponsored by White Mountains Community College, the Vendor Square aims to share the college’s passion for education and resources with its community.

Sponsors of the White Mountains Outdoor, Health and Wellness Fest include Memorial Hospital MaineHealth, Chalmers Insurance Group and Patriot Insurance Co., Profile Subaru, The Conway Daily Sun, Mt. Washington Radio Group and White Mountains TV.

For more information on the White Mountain Outdoor, Health and Wellness Fest, including an up-to-date schedule, go to whitemountainsfest.com.

To learn more about planning vacations to Mt Washington Valley, go to www.MtWashingtonValley.org. Get all the resources you need to plan a vacation to New Hampshire during any season at www.VisitNH.gov.

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