Walk your way to wellness: Opportunities abound in the region
By Kyra Mancine
As we bid farewell to summer, thoughts turn to cooler, crisp days, sweater weather and the sound of leaves crunching beneath our feet.
There is still plenty of time to enjoy all that nature has to offer — without worrying about bugs and sweltering temperatures.
Make the most of the season by venturing outside to explore. Here are some events that allow you to admire the leaves as they change color and get your heart rate up at the same time.
1. Working for Downtown (WFD) Buffalo Walk
Hours: 5:30 p.m. (registration at 5:15), Wednesday, Sept. 13
Meet at the Harbor Kayak rental kiosk (1 Naval Park Cove).
A representative from the Erie County Harbor Development will give a tour of the site and the history of the space and the projects in progress. Tours are free for WFD members, $10 for non-members. Reservations required. For more information, visit www.workingfordowntown.org/wfd-events/buffalo-walks/
2. Tifft Nature Preserve
1200 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo Hours:
Hours: guided Walks — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($2 donation), Thursdays in September and October.
This department of the Buffalo Museum of Science is located on 264 acres and dedicated to conservation and environmental education. They have five miles of nature trails open year-round (daylight hours). It’s a great place to observe local wildlife in natural habitats. For more information, visit www.tifft.org/tifft/
3. Reflective Walks
Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo
Hours: 10:45 to 11:30 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 3, Oct. 1 and Nov. 5.
All walks begin and end at the Hoyt Lake, Marcy Casino, Delaware Park. These free walks are a way to appreciate the beauty of the museum park district. The mission of the Wellness Institute is to create a healthy community. For more information, visit www.healthycommunitynetwork.com/home.html
4. Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve
93 Honorine Drive, Depew
Hours: Woods Walk (free, no registration required), Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sept. 16 (this is also the date for their Fall Festival), Oct. 7 and Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This Nature Preserve and Education Center is located on 292 acres and includes forests, ponds and wetlands. It also offers self-guided trail walking (a 2.8 mile loop open sunrise to sunset). The Education Center is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday 1 to 4:30 p.m.. For more information, visit http://reinsteinwoods.org/
5. Twilight Tower Tour
Roycroft Campus, 31 S. Grove St., East Aurora
Hours: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13.
Wear your walking shoes for this one! Climb up stairs to the top floors on the campus, including a visit to the triangular Ruskin Room of the Inn, the Chapel Round Tower and the Print Shop turret. No photos allowed. Tour is inside and outside. $30 fee. Reservations required. The Roycroft Campus provides educational programs, classes, lectures and events that promote and preserve the ideals of the arts and crafts movement. For more information, visit www.roycroftcampuscorporation.com/index.php
6. Crepuscular Hikes & Waterfall Walk
Knox Farm State Park, 437 Buffalo Road, East Aurora
• 6:30 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 6, Harvest Moon Hoopla
• Search for Nocturnal Creatures, Saturday, Sept. 23, from
• Woodland Waterfalls Walk, Saturday, Sept. 23, from 3 to 5:30 p.m.
For the twilight hikes, a flashlight is recommended. The waterfall hike includes a stop at the Hemlock Ravine above the falls for a picnic supper (bring a meal that can fit in a backpack). Knox Farm State Park is located on 633 acres and includes 400 acres of grasslands (pastures and hayfields), and 100 acres of woodlands, ponds and wetland areas. For information and registration call 716-549-1050 and visit https://parks.ny.gov/parks/163/details.aspx.
7. Night Lights, Griffis Sculpture Park
6902 Mill Valley Rd, East Otto
This 400-acre park near Ellicottville is home to over 250 sculptures — many of which you can climb up, in and on. It is one of the largest outdoor sculpture parks in the U.S. During Night Lights, you can take an unguided walk to music “where the trails and sculptures interact with creative lighting.” Go before the sun sets and walk the trails as well. The views are spectacular. It’s hilly, so good walking shoes are a must. Don’t forget your flashlight! Visit http://griffispark.org/ for dates (in Sept TBD) and admission fee details.