Time for some fun outdoor pursuits

Published 9:09 pm Thursday, August 23, 2012

There are two times of year when the weather especially lends itself to outdoor pursuits: fall and spring.

Depending on the year, that window of opportunity may be narrower or wider. It seems like this fall it could be wider, the way temperatures have dropped already.

Summer may yet open the furnace door and blast us with some heat, but let’s consider we’re on the edge of a rare chance to leave climate-controlled interiors behind before the cold confines us again.

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Last Saturday, while my wife was at work, I went to a sporting goods warehouse to peruse the camping and outdoor recreation gear.

If it weren’t for the fact that she had the SUV and my sedan has no roof racks, I may well have surprised her by coming home with an assortment of kayaks, tents, propane stoves, camp cots, trekking poles, binoculars, GPS devices and other vital necessities.

While overnight camping is a fine pastime, for those who prefer the comforts of home, there are plenty of outdoor options within Suffolk city limits.

How many readers have hiked the 4-½ miles along Washington Ditch in the Great Dismal Swamp to Lake Drummond?

It’s an easy-walking smooth, flat — albeit dead straight — track the entire way, and on arriving at the lake’s glassy surface, you might be lucky enough to see some otter frolic where its waters meet those of the ditch.
Fishing is another option, and a great place to do it is Bennett’s Creek Park, where several species were biting off the pier late last Friday.

Bennett’s Creek Park is also a great place to partake of some disc golf, to take the extended family for a picnic, play tennis, skate, or even to hear some live music, in the case of tonight’s TGIF concert.

Fishing is also available at Sleepy Hole Park, where visitors can also play volleyball and teach children about gardening, among other things.

Outdoor activities are also available at Lone Star Lakes and Lake Meade. Lone Star offers a horse trail, archery range, model airplane flying field, fishing and canoe rentals.

And there are other ways to enjoy the outdoors. If you have a dog, what better time of the year to get out and walk it? There are running clubs to be joined, golf to be played, garden beds to be cultivated, farmers’ markets to be visited and roads to be bicycled.

Get on out there while you can. Soon enough, leaving the sofa won’t seem like such an inviting proposition.