Spending time outdoors is a great way to stay active and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, we also strongly encourage you to follow the health recommendations outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – including social distancing of six feet apart.
With the kids home from school and your own working-from-home regimens, you’re probably itching for some fresh air – and we don’t blame you! Luckily, there are plenty of ways you and your family can enjoy the outdoors in Mahoning County, while still keeping an appropriate social distance.
Take a Hike
Depending on the trail you choose, hiking can be either a relaxing or invigorating outdoor activity, suited for all ages. Hikes and walks are known to lower stress levels, improve mood and improve health. In the Youngstown area, you’ll find miles of both paved and wilderness hiking trails. In Mill Creek MetroParks alone, there are 45 miles of trails for you to explore. For an easy and scenic 0.25-mile loop, hike the Lily Pond Circle Trail. For a more difficult hike, opt for the 1.5-mile East Cohasset Trail. In Lake Milton State Park, visitors can hike the 1.25-mile paved nature trail. And, at Boardman Park, try the ADA-accessible 4-mile North Trail. For more details about popular area trails, take a look at our online Outdoor Recreation Guide.
Ride Your Bike
Bike rides are another great way to relax, unwind and explore the outdoors, by yourself or with family. For a 10.6-mile paved ride, head out on the Mill Creek MetroParks Bikeway. This trail is part of the larger 100-mile Great Ohio Lake to River Greenway and has parking available along the route. Other popular bike trails in Mill Creek include the 2-mile East Cohasset Hike & Bike Trail, the 1.75-mile East Newport Hike & Bike Trail and the 1.5-mile East Golf Hike & Bike Trail. The 10-mile asphalt Stavich Bike Trail is the only bicycle trail in the United States that takes cyclists through two states and three different townships. You can start the trail at Broad Street and Coit Road in Struthers. For those of you that prefer the (bike) path less-traveled, take your mountain bike to the Lake Milton Mountain Bike Trail. This trail is approximately 4 miles long, with tight turns and punchy climbs, and is ridden as an out-and-back. For more information about area bike trails, download our Outdoor Recreation Guide.
With the weather warming up, it’s nearly time to dig out your fishing poles and take a fishing trip to one of Mahoning County’s beautiful lakes. Lake Milton and Berlin Lake are each equipped with several boat launching sites and are open to recreational fishing.
Perfect Your Golf Swing
Like fishing, golf is a sport that can be just as enjoyable played alone as it is with other people. The North & South Courses at Mill Creek Golf Course have reopened with adjusted operating hours and mandated guidelines. Kennsington Golf Club is open seven days a week from 6am (Early Bird Special) to dusk. Individual carts are available now for safe social distancing and full-length golf cart cab dividers will be installed by May 23. Knoll Run Golf Course is asking golfers to call ahead for bookings and their outdoor patio will open on May 15. For current updates on all area golf courses, please visit their respective websites.
Try Disc Golf
Disc golf is widely popular in the Youngstown area and can be enjoyed free of charge at local parks, by all age levels. The only expense to new disc golfers are the discs themselves. Beginners can get started with a single multi-purpose disc for around $10 or purchase a starter kit of multiple discs for around $25. Discs are available for purchase at certain outdoor recreation stores. Once you have your discs, play on one of our four local courses:
- MetroParks Farm Disc Golf Course – 9-hole learn-to-play course and an 18-hole championship course set among wooded areas, meadow and pond landscapes
- Boardman Park – 18-hole course that runs through both open space and woods
- Austintown Township – 18-hole course with holes ranging from 161 to 488 feet
- Wick Park – 9-hole, par 31 course through the mature trees of historic Wick Park
As we adapt to these uncertain times, take time to enjoy the outdoors, alone or with your family. For more information about Youngstown’s beautiful parks and other outdoor attractions, visit our Facebook page or our website.