If you’re tired of fluorescent lighting and the omnipresent hum of your air conditioning unit, and you want to get back out and feel the sunshine on your shoulders, you should look no further than this list of fun outdoor opportunities coming to metro Phoenix in September.
Fitness Friday Hikes at McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Nothing says “TGIF” like a four-hour hike at 6:30 a.m. If you agree, why not join a few like-minded fitness folks for the weekly Fitness Friday hike at McDowell Mountain? The routes vary by week, but September’s lineup includes a challenging jaunt up Tom’s Thumb and a longer hike along the Dixie Mine trail, so the park advises that you come prepared with plenty of water, sturdy shoes, and a snack. There's a $6 vehicle entry fee. For more information, contact Ranger Amy Roberts at 480-471-0173, extension 201.
Beginner Flatwater Canoeing Class at Cabela's Glendale & Lake Pleasant Regional Park
If you want to learn how to canoe, here’s your chance. The American Canoe Association, in partnership with Cabela’s and the Maricopa County Parks Department, are hosting a two-part class for beginning canoers. From 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, September 25, there will be a mandatory classroom-based training at Cabela’s in Glendale. This portion of the course is free, and will focus on canoe basics and safety. Anyone who completes this part of the course will be able to register for the second half of the course: on-the-water canoe training on Saturday, September 26, from 8 a.m. to noon at Lake Pleasant Regional Park. There is a $40 fee for on-water training, and it is restricted to those 12 and older. For more information, contact Lake Pleasant Regional Park’s Natalie Harper at 602-372-7470.
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Lunar Eclipse Night Hike at Usery Mountain Park
According to NASA, the next total Lunar eclipse won’t occur until 2018. That is, the next one after the one that occurs on Sunday, September 27. Catch a glimpse of this beautiful cosmic event from the peaks at Usery Mountain Park. Their park rangers will be leading a 2-mile hike, starting at the Horse Staging area, that will lead to some of the most beautiful views in the Valley. Attendees should arrive around 7 p.m. and bring plenty of water and a flashlight, but pets should be left at home. There's a $6 vehicle entry fee.
Yoga Walk and Aqua Yoga at The Phoenician
Guys. Guys! Metta Yoga offers two different outdoor yoga classes, and one of them is held in a swimming pool. Both of these unconventional classes take place at the Phoenician Resort. The first, called Yoga Walk, is basically a walking tour of the Phoenician’s serene grounds, complete with yoga stretching and nature meditation at 7 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The second, Aqua Yoga, is held in an outdoor pool at the resort at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays. You’ll hold your poses for extra long in Aqua Yoga, but don’t about holding your breath for too long, as you won't spend too much time with your face underwater. Metta offers a free first class to all Arizona residents. After that, single classes cost $17 each, but Metta does offer new students discounts on class packages. Sign up at their Arcadia Location, or find more information on the Metta Yoga website.
Snake Feeding at White Tank Mountain Nature Center White Tank Mountain Regional Park Nature Center
Okay, this one’s not technically outdoors, but it’s about the outdoors, so we’re counting it. The Nature Center at White Tank Mountain Regional Park will be hosting free-to-attend Snake Feeding sessions not once but two times during the month of September. From 3 to 3:30 p.m. on the 11th and from 1 to 1:30 p.m. on the 26th, the public is invited to watch a variety of (restrained) desert creatures, including rattlers, gila monsters, black widows, and tarantulas, feast on tasty desert prey. Sounds like a good time, right? For more information, call 623-935-2505.