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Five August weekends, ideas for fun

Fish where you can keep 'em.
Fish where you can keep 'em.
Kathy Martin (www.kathyamartin.com) Newlin Grist Mill Park

Are you aware that August of 2014 has a wonderful five full weekend days? Yep, August 2014 has five Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The next time we will have five full weekends in a month won’t be until May of 2015. While this is far less extreme than the urban myth of not happening for 823 years, it still is the perfect month to take advantage of five summer weekends. To help you plan some fun activities that are especially ideal for warm summer days, five suggestions are shared for added variety to your weekend plans. The focus of these five, are to encourage fresh air, outdoor exercise that does not need to be too strenuous, and, unique places in the Greater Philadelphia region that is sure to be memorable. It is so important that we well use our August down time, before you know it we will be in the midst of the bustle and fuss that usually arrives with the month of September. So take five, or just one, of these suggestions for a try and plan plenty of fun for this August.

Fish where you can keep 'em.
Fish where you can keep 'em. Kathy Martin (www.kathyamartin.com) Newlin Grist Mill Park

Fish where you can keep 'em.

The Newlin Grist Mill Park is an historic landmark, authentic working mill and lovely park. While in fishing season it offers fishing poles and well-stocked ponds of sizeable trout near to the waterfalls and original water system that has helped to turn the 16-foot mill wheel for many a year. Step back in time as you fish from provided cane poles on a pristine setting dotted with woodlands, streams and preserved black smith shop. You will need to register, so arrive as early as you can. Pond fishing is available Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Unlike fresh water concerns with so many of our nearby streams and waterways, at Newlin Grist Mill Park it is a requirement that you keep what you catch. Oh so rarely is there a complaint about this rule. Trout on.

Horseback riding lessons for fun
Horseback riding lessons for fun Kathy Martin (www.kathyamartin.com) Ridley Creek State Park

Horseback riding lessons for fun

The Hidden Valley Farm, located on the property of Ridley Creek State Park, offers riding lessons for beginners through advanced riders. Long engaged with all services for horses and horseback riders, the Hidden Valley Farm has provided country feel to the main entrance of Ridley Creek State Park. With seasoned school horses and an established facility, you can learn while enjoying the beautiful countryside. Whether this will be your first time a top a horse, or, an extra step to improve your ability, the staff is prepared to teach you the finer details. Individual or group lessons may be scheduled. If this is one of your bucket list items, here is a beautiful location to attain and enjoy. Go ahead, horse around.

Bike about Valley Forge
Bike about Valley Forge Kathy Martin (www.kathyamartin.com) Valley Forge National Park

Bike about Valley Forge

The grand parade of the Valley Forge National Historic Park can be wonderfully experienced on your own, or rented bike. Well paved trails, specific for biking or hiking, take you on a historic tour past monuments, woodlands, and grand vistas where you can see for miles. There are 18.2 miles of authorized bike trails which closely follow the driving self-tour routes. Fortunately, Valley Forge National Park has the vast space, and had the vision, to layout and to pave these as separate trails. Bring your own bike or rent a bike near to the general parking lots, near the Canteen Snack Bar. Bike on.

Take a walk in the wilds
Take a walk in the wilds Kathy Martin (www.kathyamartin.com)Stroud Preserve

Take a walk in the wilds

Within the Greater Philadelphia region are several natural land preserves that are open to public to freely visit from dawn until dusk. Owned and maintained by Natural Lands Trust the scenes and amenities vary greater but never disappoint outdoor and nature enthusiasts. There are several in our area with vast acreage, some with impressive vistas, streams, meadows, woodlands and wetlands, and fields. All are brimming with summer energy and life. While there is natural beauty to enjoy throughout the year, this is the season to enjoy the wildflowers and pollinators a buzz. Several give you the rare opportunity to envision our region as it once was, rolling fields and hillsides were you could see just vast countryside for miles. You still can. Walk on where it is still wild.

Step into the world of butterflies
Step into the world of butterflies Kathy Martin (www.kathyamartin.com) Tyler Arboretum

Step into the world of butterflies

The Butterfly House is located on the impressive grounds of the Tyler Arboretum. It is a screened-in enclosure, 1,400 square feet in size exclusively designed for this special exhibit. Within this outdoor screened room your favorite winged beauties flit and fly about their favorite colorful plants. This is a very unique opportunity to really be part of the world of butterflies, up close and personal. It also a great place to learn more about the native butterflies in our region, as well as, the native nectar plants that are crucial to their ability to thrive. This exhibit features a broad variety of native butterflies and extensive plantings with a personal exhibit guide to highlight this colorful space. Be free.