Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is fast approaching. For many, including me, the holiday means - time to get outside. Happily, I can think of lots of ways to spend my summer outdoors in Pennsylvania's American Region. Here are a few of my favorite outdoor activities, all great ways to reconnect with nature.
Here goes -
Camping – Spending the night outside and hearing the sounds of nature relaxes me. I enjoy this rustic way of living, at least for a few days, like cooking over an open fire or on a camp stove. Pennsylvania's American Region is fortunate to be home to beautiful French Creek State Park with camping facilities, a swimming pool, lake boating, disc golf, mountain biking and many more forms of outdoor entertainment. Other family friendly campgrounds include Robin Hill Camping Resort and Blue Rocks Family Campground.
Outdoor dining – There’s just something about enjoying a good meal outside, paired with a local wine or beer, that satisfies my soul. There are lots of local restaurants offering outdoor seating; way too many to list in one blog post. Sometimes I combine outdoor dining with entertainment like Music Under the Stars, held on Thursday nights in the summer at Bear Creek Mountain Resort. It's a great way to dine while relaxing to music. A popular alternative is Berks Arts Council's Free Bandshell Concert Series, Friday evenings in July, in Reading City Park. Pack a picnic dinner, lawn chairs, the kids, and you're set for a wonderful evening of dining under the stars.
Get Outdoors Day at Blue Marsh Lake is June 10 from 10 am – 3 pm. The annual event promotes healthy outdoor recreation for families with demonstrations and free events featuring fishing, mountain biking, a fun run, orienteering, hiking, even outdoor safety with Smokey the Bear and Bobber the Water Dog. It's a terrific way for young and old to try something new in a safe environment with experts providing help and advice, plus it's free.
There are so many places for outdoor adventure in Pennsylvania's Americana Region. The Greater Reading Trails System offers over 125 miles of trails and is recognized internationally among mountain bikers. Members of Berks Area Mountain Biking Association keep the trails in top-notch shape for the enjoyment of hikers and bikers alike. It's always fun to hike to the lookouts at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, especially when the raptors are migrating. Nolde Forest offers lots of guided walks, sometimes with dogs - always fun for both of us. And Berks County Parks and Recreation puts together tons of interesting events that include everything from kayaking classes to kids camps and more.
What's your favorite way to spend your summer outdoors in Pennsylvania's Americana Region?