City Corner column: Lots to do this summer
Summer is almost here - what are you going to do?
You don't even have to leave Victoria this summer to enjoy a variety of outdoor recreation and activities.
There are so many fun things for you to do right here in your hometown.
Here are some ideas for things to do in the city of Victoria's parks (that are completely free) for your summer enjoyment. Of course, you can come up with many more on your own.
Get close to nature
The Tonkawaka Nature Trails are part of the Riverside Park Trail System and are located within a 67-acre area bordered by Vine and Red River streets and Memorial Drive. Two of the three trail heads begin behind the Hiller House, home of Keep Victoria Beautiful. Paths are cleared but primitive and wind through meadows, brush and a variety of woods. Visitors are likely to see a variety of birds, deer, raccoons, squirrels, armadillos and scores of damselflies, dragonflies, butterflies and other insects. Beware of snakes.
Row, row, row your boat
Grab your canoe or kayak and get ready for a fun adventure on the Guadalupe River Paddling Trail. You can launch your water excursion at the boat ramp in Riverside Park and finish your ride at the take-out point located behind the PumpHouse Restaurant.
The trail is about 4 miles, and float time is one to three hours, depending on river flow rate. Along the way, you can enjoy seeing wildlife or even throw out a line and do a little fishing. For beginners or those with an interest in learning more about paddling, the parks and recreation department conducts a free kayak clinic during the summer at the Gary T. Moses Municipal Pool. The clinic is open to the public for people 12 years and older (children must be accompanied by an adult). Please call the parks and recreation department at 361-485-3200 for more information.
Take a stroll (or bike ride or jog)
Enjoy the 2-mile Lone Tree Hike & Bike Trail which extends from East High School to Airline Road designed for walking, running, biking and rollerblading. The trail is paved and lighted.
Dance in the streets
A free, outdoor concert series will be held monthly this summer at DeLeon Plaza as part of the Hartman Distributing Silver Bullet Concert Series.
The dances start at 7:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month during the summer. The summer lineup features the Scott Taylor Band on June 13, Clay Crockett and the Shotgun Riders on July 11 and Jarrod Birmingham on Aug. 8. Evenings at the Amphitheater is also a free live-music event held at Ethel Lee Tracy Park from 6 to 8 p.m. Evenings at the Amphitheater summer dates are June 20 and Aug. 22.
A new 2,400-square-foot splash pad is a featured attraction at the new 127-acre Lone Tree Creek Park on East Airline Road. The park is near the Tanglewood, Deer Chase and Tangerine subdivisions.
The splash pad includes a variety of water sprayers, squirters and spills that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. Admission is free, and the Splash Pad is open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, weather permitting. The city pool also offers a cool diversion from the heat. The pool opens for the summer June 5. Hours are from 1-6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is $1.50 per person.
Make a hole in one
If you're looking for something a little different and challenging, you may want to consider disc golf. There is a 21-hole disc golf course in Riverside Park, and there is a nine-hole disc golf course at Ethel Lee Tracy Park. Check out our disc golf video at youtube.com and search for Victoria Texas Disc Golf.
Traditional golfers can enjoy the Riverside Golf Course, the city's municipal golf course in Riverside Park.
Do you have a question about the City of Victoria? Please submit your questions and comments about any city department to Jennifer Sourdellia in the Communications/Public Information Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to P.O. Box 1758, Victoria, TX 77902.