Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

Quarantine and social distancing. These words have kept us cooped up in our houses, not able to see friends, or go to school. We now have to stay six feet from other people, and the only activities seem to be stocking up, and binging Netflix, and being bored. However, many people are forgetting one free activity that is still open: nature

Now is better than ever to go outside and enjoy the natural world. After being stuck in a house, fresh air and exercise is great. Participating in outdoor activities is socially distancing yourself and not spreading coronavirus. Some of these healthy and fun activities can be done in the Owensboro-Daviess County area, or at least not too far away.

Here are a few ideas of things you can do outdoors to satisfy your Physical Education NTIs and to get out of the house.

Ride Bikes

There are tons of state-of-the-art bike trails in Owensboro. The Greenbelt circles Owensboro and reaches many neighborhoods. It traverses through farmland, forests, Frederica, and freedom from corona. For more experienced bikers who want to experience hills and challenging trails, the Rudy Mine Trails is for you. These are mountain biking trails adjacent to Ben Hawes State Park. There are a variety of trials with a variety of levels of difficulty. Lastly, the Joe Ford Nature Center has neat trails as well. This is located near downtown and is a quiet forest where you can birdwatch and look for animals.

Hiking

Daviess County has some incredible hiking trails. My personal favorite is Panther Creek. This West Daviess County park has a multitude of trails that have swinging bridges, wooden covered bridges, and even a fire tower you can climb up. There is lots of wildlife that can be seen and as spring is starting, now is the perfect time. Yellow Creek is very similar to Panther Creek but on the East side. It has many similar trails but what makes it different is the Pioneer Village. This is a “town” from the mid 1800s that has been maintained so people can see and experience how people lived long ago. Ben Hawes State Park is also a great place to hike. The trails are not as kept up but that adds to fun trying to climb through branches and such. There is also a soapbox derby racing hill that is also fun to run down. Near West Louisville there is the Mount St. Joseph’s Convent, which is a quiet, peaceful area to walk around and think. I think this area is great because you can meditate and explore an area by yourself. Lastly, the botanical gardens are a neat place to hike around. There are a variety of exhibits to walk around and plenty to learn.

Kayaking/Canoeing

There are not many places in Daviess County that are open for the public to go watersporting. If you have a friend with a river or a pond, that is your ticket. This sport is really healthy and will give you a strenuous workout. I would not recommend doing this in the Ohio River because it is disgusting. Panther Creek is open to kayaking and small lakes such as Windy Hollow and Carpenter’s Lake. Although Daviess County does not have many public places for kayaking and canoeing, the surrounding counties have many. Places such as the Green River in Mclean County, Pond River in McLean County, and Rough River Lake in Grayson County.

Frisbee Golf

A unique way to spend your time quarantined is frisbee golfing. This is a frisbee game sort of like golf. There are two main courses in Owensboro: Yellow Creek and Panther Creek. You can go with friends and stay six feet apart enjoying the good weather. You do not have to have special frisbees to have fun playing this game.

Tennis

Tennis is a sport that does not involve touching other players so it is perfect for this time of quarantine. There are nine outdoor courts next to Shifley Park that are never full. Also, there are nine courts at Moreland Park. Because KHSAA has cancelled all sports, including tennis, now is the perfect time to leave the house and play, because all courts are available. Anybody can play this sport and it can be done at all levels.

Skateboarding/Scootering

Although this is not my cup of tea, it is for many. Chautauqua Park has a great skate park that can be shredded up. There are rails, ramps, inclines, and other skaters. It can be fun to hang out and social distance.

Fishing

Fishing is a very fun activity that requires no skill and is fun. Owensboro has a plethora of ponds and lakes that can be fished in. Some of my favorites include Jack C. Fisher and Windy Hollow. Jack C. Fisher is on the East side and has a few lakes to choose from. Windy Hollow is in the county and has huge fish. One of the “most famous” in Daviess County is Carpenter’s Lake. This big lake has really good fishing and has lots of wildlife. You can catch a wide variety of fish. There are tons of other lakes in Daviess County all over the place such as Brookhill Neighborhood, Lake Forest, Diamond Lake, The Summit, etc.

If none of this outdoor activity interests you, I have failed. There is some amazing nature in our county that deserves to be explored. If you are unable to go to any of these spots, go outside and give your dog a walk. Or climb a tree. Just go outside and breathe the fresh air. It will both boost your mood and get you in shape. If you do decide to participate in any of these activities, please take a picture and send it to @digitaldevil on social media for the yearbook.

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