Spring Forth Into Adventure

Photo: Randall L. Schieber

Cabin fever is real, especially in Central Ohio. But so is spring fever.

Use some of the following ideas to get you out of the house and into the great outdoors. Get inspired with everything from inventive group classes, local give-back opportunities and more unique and manageable bucket lists, to seeking out new destinations and trying novel activities. Here’s how to add variety to kickstart the spring thaw and venture beyond the ordinary.

Take an Outdoor Fitness Class

While many marquee outdoor fitness classes begin in late spring or early summer—like outdoor yoga at Easton’s Town Square and the Worthington Farmers Market, or hip-hop fitness at Columbus Commons—some are tough enough to deal with year-round weather in Central Ohio. The November Project Scioto Mile hosts outdoor fitness classes (think stair-running, burpees, pushups) every Wednesday year-round at 5:15 and 6:15 a.m. And if you thought goat yoga was too trendy or precious, you haven’t tried it with baby goats. Harrison Farm in Groveport hosts goat yoga beginning in April.

Make a Checklist

Spring is the perfect time to set an ambitious adventure goal to complete by the end of the year. Try paddling all five major Columbus waterways: Big Darby Creek, the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, Alum Creek, and Big Walnut Creek. Or visit all 20 Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks—that’s less than two per month. Or bike all eight Columbus Greenway Trails. Set a date, get a partner or group to join you, and you’ll be accountable to each other to make it happen.

Blue Hen Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park during spring Photo: NPS

Plant a Tree

What do a walk in the woods, a rope swing and a campfire have in common? They all require trees. And planting them is one way to help increase the forest canopy of Central Ohio and fight global warming. There are plenty of organizations in and around Columbus that provide volunteer tree-planting opportunities. Contact the City of Columbus or Green Columbus about volunteering to plant trees on Earth Day or any other time you’re ready to act outside with an eco-conscious foot forward.  

Catch the Spring Bird Migration

If you’re already a birder, you know that Ohio is a main flyway for migrating birds. If your specialty is identifying LBJs (little brown jobbers), it’s easy to learn the basics of birding in a way that will enhance your experience while hiking, camping or engaging in your main outdoor sport. Start at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center located in Scioto Audubon Metro Park near downtown Columbus, which offers a beginner bird walk every Saturday throughout the year at 10 a.m. (it’s free, but pre-registration is required). If you want to see large numbers of warblers plus large, showy birds like eagles and egrets, head north toward Lake Erie for Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. May is prime time for migrating birds.  

Hike to a Waterfall

Even the best-known Ohio waterfalls (think: Cedar Falls in the Hocking Hills or Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park) can dry up to a mere trickle by fall. Spring is the best time to check out waterfalls at their highest flows. Take a rain jacket if necessary, because it’s worth the visit in the spring. Locally, you can visit Hayden Falls and Indian Run Falls, both in Dublin. Just an hour southeast of Columbus, take a greatest-hits hike in the Hocking Hills where you will walk past Upper Falls, Lower Falls and Cedar Falls.

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.