Last week we told you about the Freeport Trails Challenge, an easy way to get out into nature and get moving for low-impact athletes of all sizes. As it happened, Phoenix reader Jeff F. emailed to say that the prospect of winning a prize just for walking made it a snap to get his fourth-grader involved. Jeff writes, “... and he got really excited by the blue heron that lifted off as soon as we saw him and flew right over our heads. It was too fast to get a photo, but it proves that our neck of the woods can still be considered woodsy.” At press time, father and son only had one trail left to conquer before reaching the goal of all four.


In honor of families like theirs who may acclimate well to hikes that are less strenuous than enjoyable (and local), if you want to exercise while seeking your own wildlife-contact moment, meet ‘Ranger’ Rick Scala for a free, guided hike at the Falmouth Nature Preserve (178 Foreside Rd) on Sunday, October 1 at 11:30 a.m. As a representative of the Falmouth Land Trust, Scala will lead hikers on a route designed to accentuate the beauty and extensiveness of the ever-growing trail system and connected conserved open-space properties. If you’ve never been to the Preserve, this hike is an excellent introduction.


Still want to connect with nature, but prefer to remain in Portland? Well, walking through Deering Oaks and saying you went hiking would be a stretch, but as for literal stretching, try Twilight Yoga in the Park with yogi Ashley Flowers between Park Avenue and the splash pool at the Oaks, on Thursday, October 5 from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. The cost for this all-skill-levels journey to a deeper sense of connection with yourself and nature is $5 to $15 on a sliding scale. Flowers recommends that you wear more than one layer, as long as you’re not constricted in movement. Enjoy the end of the day in a way your body will thank you for. Twilight Yoga repeats every Thursday until November 2.

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