Jennings County’s peaceful hills and valleys will bustle with activity Saturday and July 3 as hundreds of runners and mountain bike competitors will again participate in a Do INdiana Off-road (DINO) series of outdoor sporting events at Muscatatuck Park.
The DINO Challenge Festival will include trail runs, mountain bike trail races, rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, camping and information sessions throughout the weekend.
“DINO has held this event here for about 15 years now, and I can tell you this is a good, all-around family activity as well as a sporting event,” said Muscatatuck Park Director Greg Martin.
The DINO series of mountain bike and trail running events has been held at different sites around Indiana since 1990. DINO conducts more than 20 events every year.
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“DINO likes to come here because we have 17 miles of developed trails, and there is something for everyone at about every level of skill,” said Martin. “Also, most of our trails are easily visible at different points along the trail, which makes it more enjoyable for spectators.”
The weekend’s events will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday with registration for the 5K and 15K runs. The runs will begin at 9 and follow scenic park trails.
Registration for Saturday’s mountain biking events begins at 10 a.m. Races will begin at 11:30 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m.
“There are some very competitive events in mountain biking. In fact, there will be a couple of races for the state championship, and the winners will go on to national competition, Martin said.
“But there are also events that help young riders learn how to ride. During the weekend, there will be bike events for every age and every level of ability. There will also be biking experts available throughout the weekend to help with questions about mountain biking,” Martin added.
July 3 competitive events include DINO mountain trail bike races for Base, Junior, Sport, Clydesdale, Intro and Expert classes. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the races will start at 10.
Rock climbing demonstrations and competitive events will be offered both days.
Canoes and kayaks are available to rent. Kayak trips along the Muscatatuck River are available for $20 per person at 4 and 6 p.m. Saturday.
Entry to the park is free, but there are registration fees to compete in the running and mountain bike races, a fee for camping sites and a $2 cost to park.
For more information about the DINO Challenge Festival on Saturday and July 3, call Muscatatuck Park at 812-346-2953, call Brian at DINO at 317-336-7553 or go online at dinoseries.com/mtb-race-muscaatuck-county/