Nothing like a night hike with your furry friend

Hike with your puppy at the Howl at the Moon events with the Greene County Parks & Trails. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Hike with your puppy at the Howl at the Moon events with the Greene County Parks & Trails. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Monthly Howl at the Moon hikes begin May 26

Get ready for a full moon and a full night of fun for night owls and their furry companions.

Greene County Parks & Trails will host a dog-friendly Howl at the Moon Hike every month starting on May 26. The full moon will light the way and a GCP&T naturalist will lead the way for the monthly night hikes designed to be a “howling good time.”

“We usually have a really good turnout for our night hikes,” said Hanna Lamb, of GCP&T. “And people like to bring their dogs with them to the parks, so we’ve created these hikes to be dog-friendly.”

Dogs must be leashed at all times – not on a retractable leash – and their humans are responsible for any canine clean-ups.

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No dog? No problem. The one-hour guided moonlit hikes are designed to be enjoyable for everyone.

“The naturalists will be there to lead the hike and answer any questions,” Lamb said. “It’s a great way to get the heart pumping and enjoy the night.”

Beyond the fun and fitness, another benefit of many of the regularly scheduled GCP&T events is friendship.

“So many people have met and connected through our various groups, it’s really rewarding in that sense,” she said. “And, with these hikes, you many end up with some puppy pals at the end of the day.”

With thousands of acres and miles of trails, there is much to explore in the GCP&T system. The sights and sounds run the gamut from wetlands to waterfalls and grassy meadows to gardens. Each month, the hike will take place in a different park in Beavercreek, Cedarville or Xenia.

Sara Lee Arnovitz Nature Preserve will be the site of the first Howl at the Moon Hike. CONTRIBUTED
Sara Lee Arnovitz Nature Preserve will be the site of the first Howl at the Moon Hike. CONTRIBUTED

“It’s a great way to explore and take some time for yourself without feeling rushed,” Lamb said.

The group setting and canine companions make it an especially inviting event for individual hikers.

Lamb also said that for women hiking alone, a dog can give them a sense of security.

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Returning to group fitness has been met with some hesitation, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, outdoor events and recreation are among the safest activities with easy social distancing. And what could be more fun than a night hike with your favorite furry friend?

The hikes are free and advance registration is not required. For additional information, visit www.gcparkstrails.com.

Howl at the Moon Hikes

Discover the magic of night hiking with or without your canine companion.

May 26, 9-10 p.m. – Sara Lee Arnovitz Nature Preserve (Xenia)

June 24, 9-10 p.m. – Caesar Ford Park (Xenia)

July 23, 9-10 p.m. – Indian Mound Reserve Williamson Mound (Cedarville)

Aug. 22, 9-10 p.m. – Karohl Park (Beavercreek)

Sept. 20, 9-10 p.m. – James Ranch Park (Xenia)

Oct. 20, 9-10 p.m. – Russ Nature Reserve (Beavercreek)

Nov. 19, 9-10 p.m. – Indian Mound Reserve (Cedarville)

Dec. 18, 9-10 p.m. – Phillips Park (Beavercreek)

Contact this contributing writer at djuniewicz@gmail.com.

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