The air is crisp, the leaves are falling. It is October, the perfect time to take a walk on the tree-lined streets of Columbus.

To capitalize on the quintessential fall weather, Columbus health advocates are sponsoring a monthlong Walktober event designed to get residents outside and moving.

Nearly every day for the rest of the month, Reach Healthy Communities and other health-centered organizations in the community will host different themed walks throughout the city.

The effort is to highlight the large number of people who work downtown or at the Columbus Learning Center campuses or at Columbus Regional Hospital and the great sidewalks that are available in all those areas, said Laura Garrett, community initiatives lead for Reach Healthy Communities. “We’re hoping to get out and show people that and get them to continue walking throughout the year.”

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The month will feature walks for all ages and athletic abilities, Garrett said.

From Walk to School Day to Walk with A Doc to the weekly Walk ’n’ Learn sessions and more, each walk will cater to the varied interests of the city.

“It’s not all Healthy Communities,” Garrett said. “We really partnered with other organizations that had planned these events.”

White River Running Company, which specializes in shoes and athletics wear, is sponsoring several of the Walktober events, including three pub run/walks — which will end at 4th Street Bar and Grill — and a Walk ’n’ Wag event for walkers with dogs.

Brandi Legge, owner of White River Running Company, also will lead the first of the weekly Tuesday morning Walk ’n’ Learn programs.

“We just like to be involved in any type of physical activity,” Legge said.

Columbus Regional Health also is joining in Walktober activities by sponsoring a walk with Jim Bickel, hospital president and CEO, on Oct. 26.

“I personally am making continued efforts to incorporate healthy behaviors into my daily routine, so it is natural for me to sign on as a host for one of the walks,” Bickel said. “I know that I am not alone in trying to balance a busy work and home life and to find the time to carry out healthy behaviors, such as good nutrition and exercise.”

In addition to the walking events, representatives from the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute will be in Columbus on Oct. 14 and 15 to lead Walk to School Day and visit with local students.

All Walktober events are free, including Walkable and Livable Communities presentations, but some require registration.

For registration information, visit

How to find Walktober schedule

For a complete list of Walktober activities, visit and select the “Events” tab.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at or 812-379-5712.