Spring Has Sprung – Time to Get Moving
Tired of being cooped up for the past four months, mug of hot coffee in hand, waiting for that first sign of Spring? Wait no more! April is here and with it comes fair weather, warm temps and the opportunity to brush off those sneakers and get moving.
The Mahoning Valley offers plenty of opportunities to get our and get going. Bike, walking and running trails a-wait. Nature walks, hiking excursions, group sports – all are available to people ready to enjoy the spring-time weather and get ready for an action-packed summer.
It’s hard to beat the jewel of the area – Mill Creek Metroparks – and what they have to offer. Visit their website at www.millcreekmetroparks.com and sign up for their monthly email detailing everything from bird-watching events to kayaking trips. If a person just took advantage of the opportunities this one park offers throughout the year, there would be no need for a costly health club membership.
While Mill Creek has a great deal to offer, don’t miss out on the other parks and nature areas in the Mahoning Valley region. There are numerous small community parks where biking, walking and running venues await. The Austintown Township Park (6000 Kirk Rd., Austintown – 330-799-6989) is a wonderful smaller park that offers everything from a metered walking trail and nature trails to the unique Braille trail; a guided trail for the visually impaired.
After a long day of yard work, why not grab a fishing pole and head to Mosquito Lake State Park (1439 State Route 305, Cortland – 330-637-2856, park office). Dip your line into the park’s 7,000+ acre lake and see what you can reel in. There is also a campground here for those who want to spend the night, as well as miles of hiking and bridle trails.
If biking is your forte, then Y-Town and its surrounding communities aim to please. The neighboring county of Columbiana offers the Little Beaver Greenway Trail; 11 miles of paved space created from the former Erie Lackawanna Railroad line. Glorious views of the wild and scenic Little Beaver Creek can be enjoyed while traveling this trail that runs from Lisbon to Leetonia.
The 10 mile Stavich Bike Trail runs through Mahoning and Lawrence (PA) counties beginning in Struthers and Lowellville, Ohio and traversing through to New Castle, PA. Those who use this trail will get to view the revitalized and now thriving Mahoning River.
Parking for the MetroParks Bikeway of Mahoning County can be had at the MetroPark’s Farm (a wonderful place to visit, as well) or at the Kirk Rd. Trailhead in Austintown. This newer trail runs from Western Reserve Rd. to the border of Trumbull County.
And if all this information about biking has inspired you to take on this activity full-force, consider joining the Out-Spokin’ Wheelman Bicycle Club; a recreational cycling club with members from Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, and Lawrence counties. With more than 500 members making up this group, those who join will not only get the benefit of numerous biking excursions (both on and off-road), members also enjoy hiking, canoeing, and in the winter – cross-country skiing, sledding and skating. Visit the club’s website at www.outspokinwheelmen.com for more details. Be sure to read the club’s info-filled monthly newsletter “Fresh Air” to get the lowdown on all the great biking opportunities this group offers.