As the sunny weather continues to fill our weeks, many of us are looking for ways to get outside and enjoy the outdoors safely and responsibly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order, you still can get outside for relaxation, exercise and recreation as long as you maintain 6 feet of distance from people who don’t live with you. Here are 10 ways to enjoy the Grand River while practicing safe social distancing and following Stay Home, Stay Safe.
1. Go for a walk or run
Taking a walk with members of your household, going for a solo jog or walking your pet are great ways to take in the views of the Grand River and the parks along its banks with little to no contact with commonly touched surfaces.
Photo by Jim Kuzdal
2. Go for a bike ride
The Grand Rapids Riverwalk on the west side of the Grand River and Grand River Edges Trail on the east side are great ways to connect with the river by bike.
Many downtown streets have designated bike lanes to help you navigate to your destination safely. For tips on safe riding, check out the League of American Bicyclists’ Rules of the Road.
3. Go bird watching
Bird watching is a great solo activity that can keep you busy for hours. You don’t need much equipment to get started. The National Audubon Society recommends a pair of binoculars, notebook and an easy-to-use identification app or book. Learn about how to start birding on the National Audubon Society’s website.
4. Go hammocking
If you have a portable hammock, find a spot along the river that isn’t crowded and relax to the sounds of the water. Riverside Park at 2001 Monroe Ave. NE has many ideal hammocking trees along the river’s banks.
Photo by Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.
5. Go fishing
Remember to remain 6 feet apart from others outside your household. For more information, visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website.
6. Go boating or kayaking
Boating, including motorized boating, kayaking and canoeing fall within the outdoor recreational activities permitted under Stay Home, Stay Safe. Riverside Park at 2001 Monroe Ave. NE has two public boat launches. Remain 6 feet from other visitors and wait to launch if the area is congested.
7. Fly a kite
Breezy spring days are great for kite flying. Find an open space free of trees and power lines and let your kite soar. If you don’t have a kite, you can build one out of common household materials using this online guide from PBS Kids.
8. Photograph nature
You don’t need an expensive camera to get started – you can use your smartphone. Many modern smartphones have advance settings to take professional-looking photos fairly easily. Check out this phone photography guide to get started.
9. Practice yoga in open spaces
Find an open area away from other visitors to re-energize and re-center your body and mind. Outdoor exercise has been linked to improved mood and mental well-being. You can find a beginner-friendly yoga routine here.
10. Learn about the Grand River at home
You don’t have to leave your home to learn about the Grand River. Explore Our River’s Story to learn about the historical uses of the river and the people who first called it home. You can also download coloring pages, dot-to-dots and trivia questions on our Kids and Students resources page.