ARMOLD: Contrary to popular belief, there's plenty to do in York County
After a cold, dreary start to the spring season, Mother Nature started making amends earlier this week with a wonderful taste of the weather to come.
That got me thinking about a complaint I sometimes hear in reference to the county we call home — "There's nothing to do."
I have to respectfully disagree.
In fact, by simply turning off the television, breaking the cemented bond between our palms and our smart phones and walking out the front door, you're opening up a world of opportunities.
Ones with little to no cost.
See, we're in a rather fortunate area when it comes to being able to enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. There's something for just about everyone.
For starters, our county contains three state parks, 11 more maintained by the county's Department of Parks & Recreation and numerous other township parks.
Many of them offer a good place to hike and a chance to take in some of the county's aesthetic landscapes. Not to mention all the other sports and games that can be enjoyed in those settings, from basketball to tennis to horse shoes.
Or, take it all in with a nice book, newspaper (hint, hint), magazine, or (sigh) a tablet.
The parks, along with the well-known Rail Trail, are also fantastic places to go biking or running.
Got a four-legged friend who wouldn't mind some fresh air? John Rudy Park's Canine Meadows could make for a great afternoon.
Prefer to tee it up? You're in luck. York County boasts an impressive 16 golf courses, with 11 open to the public. Those tracks blend a decent challenge with picturesque views of the rolling hills of the county's countryside.
Our county is also home to some tremendous fishing spots — ones that have state-wide notoriety, including Muddy Creek, Otter Creek and Fishing Creek, just to name a few.
If you tend to be the more aquatic type, a day on Lake Redman is a nice way to unwind. And, of course, there's the Susquehanna for more boating fun.
Kayaking is an awesome way to blend a good workout with the tranquility of the open water. Shank's Mare in Wrightsville along the Susquehanna is an excellent resource for everything related to the sport, from instruction to rentals to outfitting and much more.
Or, if you're adroit at both, go kayak fishing. For even more of a challenge, give stand-up paddle boarding a try.
Another interesting outdoor activity is geocaching. Simply put, participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches." This activity lends itself well to places such as public parks.
Getting out and getting active will no doubt enrich your life physically, but it will also make you sharper mentally. It'll give you a chance to relieve some stress, clear your mind and get away from it all for a little.
I've only scratched the surface of things to do, while trying to provide a variety of examples. You could create an entire section extolling the virtues of the local outdoor scene.
If I left out your favorite, I apologize, it's by no means any less worthy.
Since this is the sports section, I'm mostly sticking to more active ventures. However, there are also lots of other great ways to get out and enjoy nature and good company.
Now that there are no more excuses, and with Mother Nature finally cooperating, there's only the battle against Father Time.
It's admittedly tough, given the everyday demands of life, to try to get in as much outdoor enjoyment as you can.
Just remember, however, we'll be rounding the corner toward winter before we know it.
— Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org; @EADispatch on Twitter