By Megan Hansen/Around&About editor
Warm weather is knocking at the door, and many Eastern students are looking for outside activities to occupy their time. After being cooped up in apartments or dorm rooms for the past several months, many students are pleased by the thought of being outside.
Some students may not be aware of all the outdoor opportunities available for them right here in Madison County.
If you are looking to head outdoors you may want to check out Lake Reba Recreational Complex, Gibson Bay Golf Course, The Pinnacles, E.C. Million Memorial Park, Arlington and what campus has to offer.
Lake Reba Recreational Complex
Lake Reba Recreational Complex is located in Richmond on Gibson Bay Drive. The 450-acre complex offers a variety of outdoor activities.
“Lake Reba offers so many opportunities for all ages and abilities,” said Erin Rosacker, program coordinator for Richmond Parks and Recreation. “It’s free fun for everyone.”
Lake Reba’s 1.25-mile walking trail is currently under construction, though one mile of the trail open during construction. The complex also has nine softball and baseball fields .
“During the day the fields are open to the public,” Rosacker said. “If the fields are lined, we ask that you don’t use the in field.”
Also, the complex has several soccer fields, but according to Rosacker “Madison County Youth Soccer has first priority on the fields.”
Lake Reba Recreational Complex has picnic shelters available for use. You do not have to make reservations to use the shelters, they are first-come, first-serve, said Rosacker.
On Lake Reba is a fishing pier, which is managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The lake is home to large-mouthed bass, bluegill, channel catfish and redear sun-fish. You have to have a fishing license to fish in Lake Reba.
There is a sand-volleyball court, but you will have to bring your own volleyball.
Richmond Parks and Recreation hopes to have basketball courts open by July 1. There will be a full basketball court and a half basketball court. You will have to supply your own ball though, Rosacker said.
It also hopes to have pitching machines open by the end of the summer. There will be three baseball pitching machines, three fast-pitch softball and two slow-pitch machines. The machines will operate on a token system, but Rosacker is unsure of how much they will cost at this point.
“Lake Reba is a wonderful facility, one of the best in the state,” Rosacker said.
Gibson Bay Golf Course
Many Eastern students like to head outside and spend time on the golf course. Located near Lake Reba Recreational Complex is Gibson Bay Golf Course. Gibson Bay offers both a driving range and an 18-hole golf course.
“We have a driving range with a variety of different options,” said Joyce Kearns, administrative assistant at Gibson Bay Golf Course.
Gibson Bay Golf Course has a putting green that everyone is able to use. The 18-hole course allows students the opportunity to practice their golf skills.
Monday through Thursday 18 holes of golf are $20 for students, and on Friday through Sunday 18 holes will run a student $26, Kearns said.
If you are looking to get outside for hiking and a picnic, you can head down I-75 to the Pinnacles in Berea.
The Pinnacles offers both an easy and a hard hiking trail. There is also a picnic area with grills to cook out on. There are bathrooms located at the Pinnacles. Indian Fort Theater, which offers a variety of plays throughout the summer, is located next to the Pinnacles.
E.C. Million Memorial Park
E.C. Million Memorial Park is located in Richmond off of Tates Creek Road. Million Park was set up by a trust and is a private park, but it is open to the public.
“We see Eastern students all the time,” said Helen Blevins, park employee. “We have one guy from Corbin we see almost everyday.
There are walking trails throughout the park with a picnic area. Also, there is a welcome center with a bathroom and information area.
“People just enjoy the scenery,” Blevins said.
Arlington, located off exit 90 in Richmond, is another place for golfers to hone their skills. Arlington is the faculty club for Eastern, but the golf course is open to Eastern students.
“We have special student memberships,” said Donald Doolin, pro shop employee.
During the week, it is $10 for students to play a round of golf and $15 on the weekends. If you want a cart it will cost a little extra – $5 if you are playing nine holes or $10 for 18 holes, Doolin said.
“It varies on the time of year if we see students,” Doolin said.
You can also buy a semester-long or a summer-long membership to the Arlington golf course if you are a full-time student. Over the summer the membership will cost you $100, and during the fall or spring semesters the membership will cost you $75. The membership allows you to play as many rounds of golf as you want.
Arlington golf course is host to a wide variety of golf events throughout the year, which limits when students are able to use the course.
“If you want a challenging sport, we encourage you to come out,” Doolin said.
Activities on the Eastern campus allow students to get outside without having to go off campus.
“We have intramural softball going on right now,” said Hugh Davis, senior office associate of Campus Recreation.
Campus Recreation is taking sign-ups for the student/faculty/staff golf scramble from now until April 16. The golf scramble costs $10 per team and will be held April 21.
“Faculty and staff golf scramble teams with at least one student on them will get a one-stroke advantage,” Davis said.
Campus recreation also offers intramural basketball, softball, ultimate Frisbee and doubles tennis, Davis said.
“Winners off all the intramural sports get championship T-shirts,” Davis said.
If you like to play sports but are not the competitive type, campus has opportunities for you as well.
There are basketball courts near the stadium that are open for pick-up basketball throughout the year. If you are interested in tennis, there are tennis courts beside Alumni Coliseum and Martin Hall. Campus also offers a sand-volleyball court behind Keene Hall and a track for either walking or running across from the Moberly Building.
No matter what you enjoy doing outside the warm weather is coming, so get outside and enjoy yourself.
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