...an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the beautiful surroundings...
Kathryn A. Kahler
Pedal, paddle or make like a pedestrian. Just be sure to take time this summer to enjoy a day trip or weekend in Wisconsin's great outdoors. Stretch those apathetic muscles or simply watch in awe as others paint the summer sky with colorful kites and balloons. You can choose to compete or just go along for the ride, but whatever you do, don't forget to have fun.
Lace up your Nikes and head to Stevens Point Saturday, June 4, for the Walk Wisconsin Marathon on the beautiful Green Circle Trail. This is not a competitive race but one that encourages walkers of all ages and levels of ability, from the full (26.2 miles), half and quarter marathons to one devoted to just kids. The $25 registration fee ($35 after May 31) covers the cost of a finisher's medallion, sport sack, T-shirt, refreshments and finish-line picnic, with any extra used for other local wellness oriented activities. Register online at www.walkwisconsin.com or call (800) 236-4636.
Strap your canoe or kayak to the car and set the GPS for Nelson Lake in Hayward on Saturday, June 4. That's where you'll join other paddlers just after sunrise for the Banderdinker Fiddles, Food & Fun Paddle. The name is the first clue – this is not a serious race, but an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, a little food and live music on the water around Big Island. There's a $23 registration fee and let the organizers know if you need to rent a kayak. Call (715) 558-3040, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Banderdinker Fiddles, Food & Fun Paddle for more information.
Kids and kids-at-heart will love the 10th Annual Outta Sight Kite Flight on June 4 to 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Kennedy Park on Kenosha's beautiful lakefront. The event features free family kite-flying, giant kites of Yves Laforest, professional kite-flying teams and a Grand Launch of 500 kites at noon. Call (414) 305- 3145 or visit Gift of Wings.com and click on "Events" for information.
Walk the grounds and soak in the history of Door County's fabled lighthouses at the 18th Annual Door County Lighthouse Festival, Friday through Sunday, June 10 to 12. Tickets (available from the Door County Maritime Museum) range from $4 for self-guided tours of mainland lighthouses to around $70 for narrated trolley tours that include lunch. Boat excursions, dinner cruises, shipwreck tours and other guided cruises to island lighthouses also are available for varying prices. For more information call (920) 743- 5958 or visit Door County Maritime Museum to buy tickets.
Book a date with Dad on Father's Day weekend (June 17-18) for the Monroe Balloon Rally at the Green County Fairgrounds. Hot air balloons will take flight on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., depending on weather. Admission is free with a small charge for parking. Call (608) 313-4869 or visit Monroe Balloon Rally for more information.
You'll need your bike, but leave the stopwatch at home (this is a ride, not a race) for the Superior Vistas Bike Tour, Saturday, June 25. Novice and experienced bikers will enjoy views of Lake Superior while riding paved roads past farmland, forests, lakes and gently rolling hills. Registration begins at 7 a.m. at Thompson's West End Park in Washburn. Fees are $20 (individuals) and $45 (families) by June 14, and $25/$55 after June 14. Call (800) 284-9484 or visit Superior Vistas Bike Tour for more information.
Float the Flambeau by canoe or kayak on Saturday, July 2, from Holt's Landing to Hines Park. Events include geocaching, canoe and kayak races, a “Rapids Challenge” and obstacle course for teams and individuals, a fishing contest and visits to logging camps of the past. Rentals are available by reservation. Plans are still evolving so contact the Park Falls Area Chamber of Commerce (877) 762-2703, email email@example.com, or visit Park Falls Wisconsin for more information and to pre-register.