Our parks come alive

Ohio was once covered with forests from the lake shore to the state’s southernmost reaches, and this is the time of year whence all can get a feel for what that must have been like. Because no matter where you live there is a local, state or national park system in your neighborhood offering forests that can make you forget you’re in the middle of a metropolitan area. So pick a trail and take a hike. We promise, you’ll like it.

Trade in the stale air and treadmill to nowhere for some fresh O2 this summer. Here are a three options we bet won’t even feel like exercise.

Beach Volleyball
There’s a bunch of beach volleyball going on at Whiskey Island in the summertime. Cleveland Plays offers volleyball leagues seven days a week -- so you can fit it around your schedule. Games are at either 6, 7 or 8 p.m.and the leagues start in early July. They run for seven weeks and are followed by two weeks of playoffs (you didn’t think you would just play for fun did you?) Recreational, beginner teams canals take part, but it’s asked that you assemble your own six-person team.
2800 Whiskey Island; visit www.clevelandplays.com  for more information. Registration ends July 4th. The cost is $250 per six-person team. Looking to join a team? Email jsteel@clevelandplays.com

Hatha Yoga in the Garden
The Cleveland Botanical Garden will hold Thursday night yoga classes starting June 7.Taught by Marcia Camino, the classes will focus on increasing flexibility and strength, heightening self-awareness and relaxation, and take place in the Japanese Outdoor Garden. Please register in advance and bring a pillow, blanket or yoga mat. 
Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Blvd.; July 5, 12, 19, 26 and August 2, 9, & 16;5:45 - 7pm; $63 members, $77 nonmembers; register at www.cbgarden.org or call (216) 721-1600 ext. 143.

It’s official -- kickball isn’t just for kids. The World Adult Kickball Association has two new Northeast Ohio divisions in Shaker Heights and Painesville. Registration for the next season opens at the end of June and games will beginning early August.
Painesville Waterfront Division - games in Painesville Township Park, 1025 Hardy Road.
Shaker Heights Great Lakes Division - gambeson Courtland Oval. Registration is $65/person. Sign up online at

The Cleveland Metroparks offers golf daily at seven different public courses across Northeast Ohio. Tee times run from dawn to 6:30 p.m. up to five days in advance, and walk-on times are available at all but the Willoughby Hills and Brecksville courses.
Visit www.clemetparks.com and click the’golf’ link for course information. Call (440)232-7247 to reserve a tee time.
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