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Published: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 @ 8:49 AM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— Winter is a time for walks.
It may not always seem that way as snow and slush piles up. However, wintertime hikes are when people can have some of the most quiet, most peaceful walks of the year and around Dayton, there are breathtaking hikes waiting for all levels of fitness.
Here are 10 great places in the Dayton area to take a hike:
❄️ Charleston Falls Preserve
2535 Ross Road, Tipp City
Between Tipp City and Huber Heights, this gem is perfect for folks with small children or those who are just looking for a two-mile stroll. The reason it is No. 1 is the waterfall. Go the day a hard-freeze hits just after a spell of warm temperatures and you’re sure to see a beautiful cascade of ice across the 37-foot tall rock wall.
❄️ Germantown MetroPark and Twin Creek MetroPark
7101 Conservancy Road, Germantown
9688 Eby Road, Germantown
This is cheating. These two MetroParks are so gigantic there could be a Top-10 list just within their boundaries. But now it’s time to get lost. Germantown MetroPark features 16 miles of trail. Nearby Twin Creek features 20. Just massive. Backpackers park at one and hike to the other. There is enough here that hikers could spend the whole winter exploring. Both hug the Twin Creek and are peppered with streams, so expect to get muddy. There are plenty of short spurs but to get the full experience bring a backpack with thermos of hot chocolate, extra socks, good binoculars and a sense of adventure. A day well spent.
❄️ Grant Park, Washington Township Park District
501 Normandy Ridge Lane, Centerville
The south suburbs are blessed with good walkabout space. Parks in Kettering, Centerville and the townships provide miles of good hikes, as does nearby Sugarcreek MetroPark. But this out-of-the way space is a great way to get lost in the middle of town. Park behind Normandy Elementary School, and head down the trail and over a short bridge. The path goes either side and the hike is hilly through woods and prairie. The full outer loop is about three miles. A spur also runs along Holes Creek one mile and back. Bring your dogs — keep them on the leash — and take them home muddy and tired.
❄️ Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm
1000 Aullwood Road, Englewood
Dayton’s own hidden treasure includes six miles of trails with vistas that include forest, prairie, marsh and pond. When Marie Aull donated her land in 1957, it became the National Audubon Society’s first nature center in the Midwest. Today it is considered the premier Audubon Center in the United States. Park at either the farm entrance on Frederick Pike or the Center entrance on Aullwood Road; a .8-mile path connects the two, and a network of short paths wind throughout the farm and woods.
❄️ Downtown Dayton
RiverScape MetroPark, 111 E. Monument Ave., to Island MetroPark, 101 E. Helena St.
Start and end in downtown. Take your time at RiverScape and read the signage; park planners put a lot of thought into this space. Take the Great Miami Bike Path to the east and north, cross over a pedestrian bridge, then up the bike path past Deeds Point to Helena Street and the start of the Island park. The paths keep going, mainly along the Great Miami, and can take hikers up to the Wegerzyn Garden MetroPark and beyond. Hikers back downtown can get warmed up at any of several downtown or near-downtown coffee shops, including Boston Stoker and Ghostlight Coffee.
❄️ Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum
118 Woodland Ave., Dayton
The Dunbars. The Wrights. The Deeds. Erma. They're all here. Park on-street in the University of Dayton neighborhood and walk in the main gates and be ready for a special walk. The cemetery is very much a working cemetery. But the outer perimeter of the 200-acre complex winds over hills and past the grave stones of generations of Daytonians. Some of the largest Sycamore trees in the region are here.
❄️ Cox Arboretum
6733 Springboro Pike, Miami Twp.
As an arboretum, this park is designed to shine in the spring, summer and fall. But give winter here its due. The three miles of paths through rolling woods are a perfect Sunday afternoon stroll. The observation tower is very striking and gives incredible views for the park below.
❄️ John Bryan State Park
South Gorge Trail, 3790 Ohio 370, Yellow Springs
The park has many paths, but this 1.2-mile south gorge trail is accessible only over a footbridge. Hikers have the southern banks of the Little Miami River all to themselves. The hike is a little strenuous and the return is also over a footbridge. Want more? Another mile of hiking through the park gets visitors to downtown Clifton for the Christmas lights.
❄️ Downtown Troy
117 E. Main St., Troy
Honestly, this hike is just an excuse to eat at K’s , but it’s worth it. Downtown Troy, especially at the holiday season, is pretty and there are a ton of small shops. Amble your way around the pretty downtown square, then go up Market Street to the shores of the Great Miami River and stroll along the paths atop the levy. But when done, go to K’s for burgers and fries.
❄️ Caesar’s Creek Loop Trail
857 E. Ohio 73, Waynesville
There are 11 miles of hiking trail around the southern basin of the Caesar’s Creek Lake, and many miles more of bridle trails to the north. Some of the state park’s trail system is part of the 1,400-mile long Buckeye Trail, the state-wide loop path around Ohio. The paths include gorgeous overlooks of the lake, glades and forests. The state park campgrounds are accessible with paths between all the camping spurs. A bonus is the spill way on the southeast corner of the lake. The area is a fossil paradise. No child who is into dinosaurs should miss heading out onto this long, rocky area, flipping over nearly any rock, and entering the mesozoic era.
Published: Monday, August 14, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
— Dayton may not be the birthplace of hip hop, but we sure helped make it funky.
Google celebrated the 44th anniversary of the hip hop movement on Aug. 11, 2017.
To put it funky, hip hop would be a lot more square without samples from the Land of Funk thanks to the Ohio Players, Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame, Zapp, Faze-O, Heatwave, Sun, Slave and Lakeside.
In the 1970s and 1980s, southwestern Ohio -- particularly Dayton’s west side -- was known for its stable of funk bands whose influence can be heard in hip-hop, house and other musical forms popular today through sampling, covers and remixes.
The Ohio Players -- the granddaddies of 'em all -- have seen their songs sampled or remade by Snoop Dogg, Puff Daddy, and Salt-N-Pepa, as well as as list of rockers that include Soundgarden and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Here are just ten hip hop songs (there are literally hundreds of them) and the Dayton funk songs they sampled, according the database WhoSampled.com.
Please be aware that some songs contain explicit lyrics.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
— Hagerstown, Tokyo, Beavercreek – as long as there was an ice rink nearby, it was home sweet home for Cindi Sonntag.
“Physically, it’s helped me build muscle – core muscle and leg muscle – but it’s more than that,” Sonntag said. “When I skate, I feel joy.”
With the Olympics underway, the grace and beauty of the sport is on display almost nightly. But while Olympic gold is a rare commodity, figure skating can be enjoyed by all ages – even without the sequins and commentators.
“In Olympic years we get what we call an Olympic bounce,” said Angie Riviello, arena and aquatics manager at the Kettering Recreation Complex. “People see the incredible athletes and it’s so beautiful to watch, you just get inspired.”
That inspiration has no age limits.
“You’re never too old to start,” Riviello said. “We have a lot of adults who come out and want to take lessons so they can skate with their kids or grandkids at open skates.”
Sonntag can vouch for the fact that you’re never too old as she was in her 40s, living in Maryland, when she got started skating. Now, at 56, the mother of four, who also called Tokyo home, is skating competitively and training for the adult nationals.
GOOD FOR THE MIND
“When I started skating, I realized that I could not worry about things and skate at the same time, I had to turn off that part of my brain,” Sonntag said. “That means when I skate I have these moments when everything is right and that’s a wonderful feeling.”
And while Sonntag is in her mid-50s, she is still, often times, a youngster on the ice. Riviello regularly sees skaters well into their 70s taking lessons.
“The first thing we focus on is safety because a lot of adults are nervous that if they fall, they will break something,” Riviello said. “So, one of the first things we do is teach them how to fall and how to get back out and that helps put their mind at ease.”
Sonntag has seen skaters in their 80s lace up their skates.
“You can learn new things at any age,” she said. “And this is something I can do when I’m ‘old,’” she added with a smile.
GOOD FOR THE BODY
Beyond the mental health aspects of the sport, skating has several physical benefits.
“Skating is a great workout for the core, and it’s a great workout for legs,” Riviello said. “It’s also wonderful for improving balance and creating body awareness.”
The cardio and stamina benefits should not be overlooked and some adult skaters enjoy just tallying laps – 10 laps at the Kettering Ice Arena equal a mile. And skaters can burn 200 calories an hour on the ice.
“It really is great exercise and you can take it as far as you want to take it,” Riviello said.
From the beginner class to advanced jumps and spins, the Learn to Skate USA curriculum offers a safe and steady progression. There are also opportunities to perform with local skating groups and compete – like Sonntag.
“I’m not going to be a double jumper but that’s ok,” she said. “Getting out and moving just makes me feel better.”
TRY SKATING – LEARN MORE
Kettering Ice Arena
WHERE: 2900 Glengarry Drive, Kettering
WHAT: Youth and adult lessons, open skating, hockey
South Metro Sports
WHERE: 10561 Success Lane, Centerville
WHAT: Youth and adult lessons, open skating, hockey, South Dayton Figure Skating Club,
Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:38 PM
— There is heart-pumping music and state-of-the-art audio, video and lighting, but it’s not the hottest new club – it’s CycleBar.
CycleBar, which recently opened its doors at Austin Landing, is a franchised indoor cycling studio with more than 100 locations worldwide. Classes are designed to provide a high-intensity, low-impact cardio workout for riders 13 and older of all experience and fitness levels.
“Our goal is to have 50 minutes go by so fast that you don’t realize you burned 600 calories because you’re having such a good time,” said Steve Zubrzycki, who owns the local CycleBar with his wife, Jane.
If the packed CycleTheatere is any indication, Zubrzycki is right on track. Since the facility opened in late October, classes have not only been full, wait lists are common.
“I love that every class has the same basis, but each individual instructor makes their rides completely different,” said Haylie Stites, of West Carrollton. “The atmosphere is one of a kind.”
TAKE A SPIN
The Austin Landing location has 48 bikes, arranged in a multi-tier stadium formation. Rides are choreographed to heart-pumping playlists, complete with expansive video screens, to provide a concert-like experience for your workout.
It couldn’t be much easier to get riding as CycleBar provides shoes that clip into the pedals, along with complimentary water bottles and snacks. The bikes are compatible with SPD and LOOK shoes for those who prefer to bring their own shoes. Lockers with coded keypads are available to store personal belongings and locker rooms are stocked with robes, hair ties, wet clothing bags, and other toiletries.
“We try to provide all the amenities anyone would need,” Zubrzycki said.
Plentiful amenities eliminate some of the exercise excuses and a full slate of classes, offered seven days a week, eliminate several others. CycleBar offers 30 classes a week with some beginning as early as 5:30 a.m. on weekdays and as late as 7 p.m. Most classes are 50 minutes long, with some lunchtime rides wrapping up in 30 minutes, for those who need to get back to the office.
And while spinning has a high-intensity reputation, Zubrzycki – who rides at least four times a week himself – explains that classes are available for all types of riders.
“We have seven instructors, all with different personalities, so people seem to gravitate toward certain instructors after a few classes,” he said. “And, while classes can be intense, I always suggest that riders go at their pace.”
BY THE NUMBERS
And data-driven cyclists will be right at home at CycleBar.
“I love that everything you do during your ride is recorded and automatically emailed to you, and posted to your private account online so I can compare my past sessions,” Stites said. “It tells you your average miles-per-hour, rpm, heart rate – if you have a monitor – speed, time you spent riding, class rank, distance and calories burned.”
CHECK OUT CYCLEBAR
Where: Austin Landing, 3655 Rigby Road
Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 2:08 PM
— Whether you want to flip your house in a few months or you just want to use your remodel money wisely, the most beneficial home upgrades are not a matter of chance.
And they "aren't particularly sexy," according to Bank Rate's Holden Lewis.
Except for a minor kitchen remodel, according to Remodeling magazine's 2018 Cost vs. Value Report, you'll gain the highest returns from getting work done on the exterior of the house (hello, garage door!), not interior renovations of the sort that you can enjoy yourself (goodbye, dream rec room).
Developing the discipline to put your budget into the remodeling projects that deliver the highest return, instead of, say, your dream outdoor kitchen or super-size MIL quarters, will pay off when you sell, Remodeling said.
The magazine compared the average cost of 21 popular remodeling projects completed by pros in 149 metropolitan areas. Then it surveyed real estate pros in 100 markets to find out how much each project would increase a home's resale value a year after each project was completed. (Note that none of the projects actually added value to the final sales price of a home. Instead, they were the projects that paid back the highest amount of the initial investment, either in actual dollars or percentages).
1. Garage door replacement
Job cost: $3,470
Value added: $3,411
Cost recouped: 98.3 percent
2. Manufactured stone veneer
Job cost: $8,221
Value added: $7,986
Cost recouped: 97.1 percent
3. Wood deck addition
Job cost: $10,950
Value added: $9,065
Cost recouped: 82.8 percent
Job cost: $21,198
Value added: $17,193
Cost recouped: 81.1 percent
5. Siding replacement
Job cost: $15,072
Value added: $11,554
Cost recouped: 76.7 percent
6. Window replacement, vinyl
Job cost: $15,955
Value added: $11,855
Cost recouped: 74.3 percent
The most sensible indoor remodel project after the minor kitchen remodel was a Universal Design bathroom, which Remodeling concluded would cost about $16,393 and add about $11,581 in value, for 70.6 percent.
For 2018 and on into future years, Remodeling expected a continued gain in costs for remodeling projects, like the 3- to 5-percent increase in costs experienced in 2017. "Fall hurricanes and fires began fueling what one building products distributor calls 'a freight train of extraordinary demand' — demand certain to keep elevating the prices for many building materials," noted the publication. "Expect, as well, an even greater shortage of skilled workers in disaster-struck markets as those workers struggle to fix up their own homes and employers feel pressure to respond with pay hikes."