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Five rivers, 18 MetroParks to explore

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What started as a summer vacation pastime—fishing at Indian Lake with her dad—has turned into a passion for Paula Smith. Now, she’s president of the Miami Valley Fly Fishers club and often can be found catch-and-release fishing on local rivers. “Fishing is about the most relaxing thing you can do. There’s nothing like being out […]

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Old-school cooking

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1880s DIY food and farming at Carriage Hill MetroPark By Kristen Wicker Photo: Charlie Wiltrout (left) and Tom Trost recreate an 1880s maple sugaring campphoto: Laura Combs This is your great-grandma’s cooking class. Using authentic recipes from the 1880s—with instructions like “stir until ready,” measurements such as “a walnut-sized piece of butter,” ingredients such as […]

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Post-solstice safety

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Ranger tips to navigate the winterscapes By Kristen Wicker Photo: Hikers at Englewood MetroPark take in the view while taking a buddy out on the trail Winter doesn’t officially begin until the winter solstice at 5:44 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21—the day with the shortest period of daylight, when the noon sun is the lowest […]

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Urban legends

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Hiking with ghosts through Five Rivers MetroParks by Kristen Wicker Photo: Known by many names, the stone tower at Hills & Dales MetroPark was once rumored to be haunted. With its stunning colors and crisp temps, fall is an awesome time to get outdoorsy—and to explore the season’s spooky vibe by visiting some ghostly remnants […]

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Boots made for walking 110 miles

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A long journey to Midwest Outdoor Experience Kristen Wicker Photo: The Inspired Stunt Shows team takes BMX to new heights at Urban Outdoor Experience, Oct. 1-2 This fall, Mike Fanelli plans on attending his favorite local event in a style all his own. He’ll arrive on foot, fresh off the Buckeye Trail — and in […]

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Ain’t no mountain…

Monika Kaleps rides through MetroParks Mountain Biking Area (MoMBA), the area’s first fully sustainable mountain biking trail system; photo courtesy of Five Rivers MetroParks

One woman bikes over injury and fear By Kristen Wicker “MoMBA is always the same trail, but never the same ride.” Monika Kaleps knows what she’s talking about—she drives an hour from her home in the Columbus area to bike MoMBA, the MetroParks Mountain Biking Area, at least a few times each week, even in […]

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Human nature

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Discover Five Rivers MetroParks conservation areas By Kristen Wicker Photo: MetroParks staff members built the 1,800-foot boardwalk winding through Woodman Fen with recycled plastic; photo courtesy of MetroParks Human activity nearly destroyed Woodman Fen, but human intervention saved it. At one time common in southwest Ohio, fens have rich peat soils fed by underground water. […]

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Home away from home

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Camping closer to your backyard By Kristen Wicker Unplugging from electronics and plugging into nature was Baxter Foskuhl’s idea of getting wild during spring break. Foskuhl, a junior at Wright State University, hiked the Twin Valley Trail with a friend he’s known since elementary school during a respite from textbooks and lectures in late February. […]

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Easy rider

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Hand-picked cycling day trips during National Bike Month Kristen Wicker The Dayton region is home to more than 300 miles of bikeways—the nation’s largest paved trail network. But where to start? Five Rivers MetroParks staff share their favorite rides to get you rolling. Visit metroparks.org for maps, cycling programs and more info, including details about […]

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Dig it

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Turn your thumb green with MetroParks’ gardening programs Kristen Wicker For Carla and Scott Lachecki, who live in an urban Dayton neighborhood without much of a yard, renting a year-round community garden plot at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark allows them to grow their own produce and share the natural world with their 3-year-old granddaughter, June. “It’s […]

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And your bird can sing

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Celebrate the coming of spring with birding tips from the experts Kristen Wicker Birds in your local Five Rivers MetroParks are just like the proverbial canary in the coalmine. “We monitor bird populations year round, and it’s important we get good counts,” says Yvonne Dunphe, conservation volunteer coordinator for MetroParks. “Birds are a good indicator […]

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2016 Adventure Summit at Wright State

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Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy speaks on adversity Kristen Wicker If you love the outdoors, there’s an indoor event this week you can’t miss. Seriously. The Adventure Summit, held Feb. 12-13 at the Wright State University Student Union, provides inspiration and information for planning your next epic outdoor journey, whether that be a thru-hike on the […]

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Green earth, lean you

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The MetroParks guide to a healthier 2016 Kristen Wicker Photo: Explore the region’s paved trail network by cross-country skiing, which burns 700-900 calories an hour. An estimated 40 to 50 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions, most of them focused on improving our health. Regardless of whether you made a vow to get it […]

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Winter wonderland

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Make the most of the season outdoors Kristen Wicker Photo: Birding at Eastwood MetroPark is one of many outdoor activities to be enjoyed in the winter season Kelly Kingery’s favorite wintertime memory encapsulates the magic of the season. “I was cross country skiing with a friend at Possum Creek MetroPark and watching the snow fall […]

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Farm to prairie

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Project to create a pollinator prairie takes flight By Kristen Wicker Photo: Land near Germantown MetroPark will be transformed into a native Ohio prairie, similar to the one found at Huffman Prairie State Natural Landmark, with a focus on monarch habitat The creation of a special natural area just for birds, bees and butterflies—particularly monarchs—is […]

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Trail mix

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Take a hike in “Trail Town” Dayton By Kristen Wicker Photo: Local hiking enthusiast Andy Niekamp begins his through-hike of the Buckeye Trail at Deed’s Point From downtown Dayton, you can walk to North Dakota. Or Vermont. That’s because the Dayton region is home to a portion of the North Country Trail—a 4,600-mile National Scenic […]

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Springfield’s hidden gem

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Referred to as an American Folk Art site, I didn’t know what I expected on my journey to Springfield’s Hartman […]

Debate 7/17: Flag on the Play

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Q: Should persons with certain known behavioral tendencies such as suicide or violence be prohibited from owning guns? Legislatures across […]

Conspiracy Theorist 7/17: Hooray for Domino’s

Year after year, the same roads are torn up and road crews patch them. But they never really repair them. […]

On Your Marc 7/17: Good any day

First, a funny story. Larry Lee, the big tackle from Roth High School, for a number of reasons decided he […]

The Cult, Stone Temple Pilots, and Bush at Rose

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“Rock and roll never forgets,” the classic rock song goes, and Billy Duffy, guitarist and founding member of the British […]