Manhattanites Enjoy Parks, Trails and Sports for All Seasons
PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Young
Manhattan is smack in the middle of Heartland in America, which naturally means long summer days are punctuated with apple pie and baseball. But the good times don’t stop there. Outdoor recreation is more than just a symbolic past time in this Midwestern college town: It’s a way of life. The city’s parks and recreation department maintains more than 20 parks covering 1,000 acres. Picnic shelters, grills, playgrounds and a five-acre stocked fishing lake are a few of the amenities offered throughout the city’s parks. For active types, many of the parks boast baseball fields and softball fields, tennis courts and basketball courts. The city also organizes baseball, softball and volleyball leagues for adults and children. For natural beauty within the city limits, the Manhattan Linear Trail runs for more than 15 miles inside the city. Walkers and joggers can enter the trail at several trailhead locations throughout the city. Routes on the trail offer various degrees of difficulty, and runners and bikers are invited to find the path that suits them best. Sunset Zoo Loop, for example, is a more challenging trail that winds past the zoo’s chimp house and pops up at the water tower. By the way, the city-operated Sunset Zoological Park is a great place to monkey around. The zoo features everything from cute chinchillas to spiky hedgehogs, as well as grizzlies, wallabies, flamingos and many more animals, over 150 species that run the gamut from familiar too exotic. For those who’d rather see wildlife in their natural habitat, nature lovers seeking a jaunt outside the city often head to nearby Tuttle Creek State Park. Archery, horseback riding, boating and wildlife viewing are just a few of the park’s many activities. Cabins are also available for rent. For a more structured recreation atmosphere, visit Wildcat Creek Golf and Fitness. The club is a family friendly facility offering golf, workout equipment, tanning, batting cages and other activities. Miniature golf and childcare are available for children. Whether you like to get your exercise inside, outside, on a bike or on a volleyball court, Manhattan has an option that will suit you to a T.