This may just be the best time of the year to be outside.
We’re coming up on fall, which gives us a few more months of the great outdoors. The sun isn’t beating down on you, but it’s not freezing cold either. You get to wear stylish jackets, without bundling up in a full winter coat. Plus, the autumn air just smells better.
Beyond patios and wineries, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in West Michigan. Here are a few of our suggestions!
TreeRunner Adventure Park
2121 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids
Climbing, balancing, leaping and zipping from tree to tree is one of my favorite activities. Is this obstacle course among the leaves an intense workout? Yes, but it’s also incredibly fun. It’s safe, too, as you’re attached to a wire at all times. It’s also easy to social distance here. One ticket gets you a three-hour experience, with seven aerial trails of various difficulty. Once you’ve completed the beginner and intermediate trails, come back another time to master the expert level!
West Michigan Archery Center
3500 10 Mile Rd. NE, Rockford
If you have a bow and arrow, head to West Michigan Archery Center for outdoor target shooting. They have a 3D course that takes you through the woods, with a number of targets along the trail. Whether you want to become the next Robin Hood or you need hunting practice, this is the place to be.
Double JJ Resort
5900 S. Water Rd., Rothbury
If you could use a nearby vacation, the Double JJ Resort has it all. It’s a ranch turned up to 11, with horse riding, 18 miles of trails, an outdoor waterpark, an old Western town and golf courses. It’s fun for the whole family, with many of the activities taking place outside. Visit for a day or stay the night!
6800 Cannonsburg Rd., Belmont
You clearly can’t snowboard at Cannonsburg right now, but what you can do is bike up to 11 miles of trails around the hill. It’s a great workout, and extremely different from a flat, paved trail, so make sure you’ve done your squats. The trails are also open for hiking or running! When you’re done, head to Cannonsburg’s Sweet Spot, which offers a huge variety of sweet treats as well as alcoholic beverages and gourmet toast. It’s perfect for fueling you beforehand or relaxing you after. And by the way, if you need a quality bike or hiking gear on the cheap, check out Switchback Gear Exchange on Plainfield.
There are a number of places to take horse riding lessons in West Michigan, but if you know what you’re doing and just want to scratch that equine itch, head to Legacy Stables. For just $35 each, you and a friend can brush and ride a horse around for an hour. Giddy up!