Fall officially began on Sept. 22, and trees are beginning to change color as cooler weather arrives. It's a perfect time to take part in the Strolling Jim Memorial Trail Ride, now in its 15th year.
The ride begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in Wartrace. An average of 500 riders attend each year, according to organizer Pimental.
The $15 entry fee includes lunch -- Tony Smith's famous chili -- along with hot dogs and an array of desserts freshly baked by Pimental's wife and daughter. A live bluegrass band will perform for the lunch crowd.
Many families use the day-long event as an opportunity to bond while riding through the picturesque Bedford County countryside.
The mostly wooded trail through local farmland will provide views of emus, llamas, cattle, horses, streams and a picturesque lake. The terrain is easy, and Pimental recommends bringing a camera along.
"Once you come, you're hooked," Pimental said.
It's a family-oriented event, Pimental likes to stress -- and at $15 a rider, the best value, he says, of any fall trail ride held locally.
A 12-month Coggins test is required for all entrants, and the organizers ask that a red tail ribbon be tied to any horse that is known to kick or be aggressive.
Proceeds from the event go to benefit local families who are struggling with personal or medical issues.
Parking is available at the Wartrace horse show grounds. The ride begins at 10 a.m. and lunch is served at noon before riders return to the trail for the afternoon.
For more information, call Pimental at (931) 580-2426.