No cash for a vacation? Too strapped for that new video game console? Relax! Bet you didn’t even know the Miami Valley offers lots to do that will let you escape from the rest of the world for a while – all within 20 minutes of driving or less! Five Rivers MetroParks has offered its visitors miles of recreational trails, acres of gardens and forests, and sprawling river corridors for years, but residents haven’t always taken advantage of these amazing – and free – facilities.
Outdoor recreation offers plenty of interesting, engaging and enjoyable ways to use the outdoors for pleasure. Hard-core recreation enthusiasts have plenty to choose from, and so do families looking for fun places to spend an afternoon together or seniors with limited mobility. People are getting out, getting healthy and having fun. And so can you!
New to outdoor recreation? Many activities require no equipment at all, such as walking or a game of hide-and-seek. Enjoy hundreds of miles of hiking trails that wind their way through your favorite MetroParks. Those who are ready to take their recreational experience to the next level have even more facilities to choose from, such as the MetroParks Mountain Biking Area (MoMBA), the 22-mile Twin Valley Trail backpacking experience, or the region’s extensive network of water trails.
If you’re just starting out, you can take advantage of several options to get you on the right track to a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle. Consider joining a club or meet-up group. Members can share tips and techniques as well as pointers on acquiring gear. You could also get started with a buddy. The best part is when you want to engage in your new hobby at one of your Five Rivers MetroParks, independent use of the facilities is free, so you can enjoy your new activity as often as you like at no additional cost.
One of the best ways to learn more about an outdoor activity and potentially start off on the right path toward your active, healthy lifestyle is to check out GearFest Presented by Subaru Oct. 1-2 at Eastwood MetroPark. Watch live demonstrations or even try out an activity, such as kayaking, disc golf or fly fishing. If you love it, you can head over to the vendors who can hook you up with the gear you need to enjoy your new hobby. Local recreation clubs also will be on hand to lend insight and talent. If you try an activity that you discover isn’t exactly your “thing,” you’re not out anything; admission and parking are free at this event!
This weekend is jam-packed with outdoor adventure and live entertainment, such as the Friday night Yakima Beer Garden and live music presented by WYSO. Too much to take in just one weekend? We understand. Further development in your new favorite outdoor activity awaits through the Five Rivers MetroParks Outdoor Recreation Department. Visit metroparks.org/recreation to learn more about progressive programs that will give you the skills you need to confidently enjoy the outdoors. You can also try something new through a variety of “Try It” programs aimed at beginners.
Get the lowdown on this weekend’s action-packed demos, hard-hitting competitions, enjoyable hands-on activities, invaluable exhibitors and exciting entertainment when you visit www.metroparks.org/GearFest.