Summer’s Calling

Plenty of healthy activities happening around Queen City

By Catherine Miller

Buffalo’s outdoor scene is bustling as the weather finally turns warm.

Take one look at Canalside, with its water bikes and paddleboard rentals, and you will find a plethora of new outdoor activities beckoning you to join in.

So, why not?

Not only is biking, kayaking and strolling the walkways throughout Buffalo’s new park-like thoroughfares great fun, but it’s also great for you.

Research shows that 30 minutes of physical activity a day can lower your heart rate, improve your cardiovascular system, and lower your risk for heart disease. It’s as easy as a walk in the park — and Buffalo has many to choose from.

The walkway at the Outer Harbor on Fuhrman Boulevard is a two-mile stretch that begins at Wilkeson Pointe and continues through beautiful waterfront views. It’s a perfect place to stroll, bike or jog, bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the view from the point after you wander the walkway

There are slides for the kids and volleyball courts to utilize. For those that enjoy both the Outer Harbor and Canalside, the Queen City Ferry is ready to take you from one area to the other, along with your bike if you are so equipped, for $1 each way.

For those that want to kayak off the beaten path, there is Elevator Alley Kayak with water access at Mutual Riverfront Park in the Old First Ward. Elevator Alley boasts an easy inlet to the easily maneuvered Buffalo River. You can rent a kayak, book a lesson or take a guided history tour on the water. Kayaking is a fun, easy way to enjoy life on the water while burning a few calories.

If you haven’t taken a walk into Delaware Park lately, you may be overdue for this serene change of pace. Flowers are just coming into bloom in the rose garden and this highlight of the Buffalo Olmstead Parks has just added a welcome addition. The Terrace at Delaware Park, a new restaurant at the Marcy Casino, has recently opened its doors and is the perfect resting spot after a long winding trek through the parkway.

Just hangin’ out

Not only will you find outdoor activities at the parks and waterfronts of Buffalo, but new hangout spots have added in ways to get fit while you fraternize.  Larkinville, home of Food Truck Tuesdays and live music each Wednesday, offers free yoga classes on Mondays and cardio kickboxing on Thursday, sponsored by Independent Health and the YMCA of Buffalo Niagara.

The best part about these fitness in the parks programs is that no registration is necessary. Just show up at the time listed on the Independent Health website and have fun in the sun with other fit-minded outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to the scheduled classes, Larkinville also has pickleball courts ready and waiting anytime you stop by.

What is pickleball you ask? Think of it as tennis with a large paddle and a wiffleball, and is fun for all ages. While you’re waiting, grab a hula-hoop and get your groove on.

For bicyclists in the area, the Slow Roll of Buffalo is back and has more scheduled events than years past. This social bicycling group meets weekly to take a leisurely trek through the streets of Buffalo and then join together at the end of its tour to enjoy the summer weather with friends and often food and beverages.

This year’s starting points will include the Buffalo History Museum, Buffalo Riverworks, Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls, and Murphy Brown’s Craft Beer Emporium in Clarence. Dates, places and further information can be found on the Slow Roll Buffalo’s website.

So there you have it — by foot or by bike, or by boat if you like — there are many ways you can enjoy the summer sunshine in Buffalo and improve your health while you are at it. To get the most out of your exercise, find something fun that you can do regularly, change up the routine to keep it interesting, and enjoy the Buffalo scenery as well as health benefits.