05-24-2018 Hartford’s Strawberry Festival kicks off with the summer fun, June 8 & 9; Michigan

Get moving! Tri-City Area offers abundance of recreation opportunities

By Kristy Noack

With lakes, rivers, gyms, baseball fields, walking trails, and more Coloma, Hartford, and Watervliet are all prime locations for becoming one with nature, improving your health, and spending the summer relieving stress. Whether your idea of fun is cardio drumming, water skiing, or hiking along Wildflower Way, the Tri-City Area has a solution for your recreation needs.

Get walking or running!

The communities surrounding the Tri-City Area are prime 5K and 10K locations. So, lace up your kicks and sign up today.

Hartford’s 2018 Strawberry Run will start the summer walk/run season. The 40th annual event will take place Saturday, June 9 at 8:00 a.m. at Hartford Public Schools, 115 School Street, and offers a 5K run, 5K walk, 10K walk, 10K run, and one-mile fun run.

The Gene Bednarowski 5K walk and run will hit the streets of Watervliet Saturday, June 30. The event is part of the city’s annual 4th of July festival.  The start/finish line is at North Elementary School, 287 Baldwin Avenue.  Day of race registration time opens at 6:45 a.m.

The Coloma Glad-Peach Festival offers three ways you can get your workout on Saturday, August 4.  Take part in the 5K walk, run or bike or 10K walk, run or bike. There is also a one-mile fun run.  Salem Lutheran Church, located at 275 Marvin Street in Coloma, will host the race kickoff.

All three events are part of the Michigan Fruit Belt Series. If you register a finish time in at least five Fruit Belt Series events, you will be awarded a commemorative coin. Details regarding the qualifying events are available by viewing the 2018 Michigan Fruit Belt Series page on Facebook.

Another big race to test your mettle will be the Maytag Ironman 70.3 Steelhead triathlon on August 12 in Benton Harbor. The bike portion takes in some beautiful scenery in Berrien and Van Buren counties. The 56-mile bike loop travels through Hagar Township and into Hartford before returning to Benton Harbor. Details, including registration dates and maps, can be found at www.ironman.com/triathlon/events/americas-ironman-70.3/steelhead/course.

If you’re in need of something a bit milder on the knees and joints, head over to the Parcourse at Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet, located at 400 Medical Park Drive.  The 1.1-mile walking course, which will be renovated throughout the summer, features a gravel base, serene setting, and easy walk.

If you enjoy trail walking, Sarett Nature Center offers plenty of options for you outdoor lovers.  You can walk a mile on the Upland or Lowland trails. Try the Pine Tree or Rolling Meadow loops that travel just under a mile. If you’re looking for something easy for the kids, Sarett offers a 700-foot Tamarack Trail.  There’s also the 0.12-mile Red Fox Run.  In all, Sarett has 19 different trail routes you can take at their facility. Go bird watching. Check out the wetland. Meander near Turtle Creek. There’s plenty to do outdoors at Sarett!

If triathlons are your thing, Paw Paw Lake Yacht Club is once again hosting the annual PPL Triathlon. The swim, bike, run event will be held Saturday, July 7. Registration is held on race day. Participants will leap into Paw Paw Lake at 10:00 a.m.

Another great way to get moving is for residents and visitors alike to get outdoors and into your local parks. Coloma offers Baker and Randall parks in the city. Watervliet’s downtown parks include Flaherty and Hays.  Hartford’s Ely Park is centrally located in the downtown.  Depending on the park, benches, pavilions, and playground equipment await.

Get fit!

If you’re looking for something a little bit “more” than walking or running, there are plenty of gyms in the Tri-City area.

CrossFit CAJIR, located at 55742 CR 687 in Hartford, will get you pumped up and fit for battle. They offer beginning Base classes that teach the fundamental moves used in CrossFit. Following competition of four Base classes, you can join the one-hour CrossFit class. If you’ve mastered CrossFit and want to test your skills against the best, CAJIR also offers competition classes.  Check them out online at crossfitcajir.com or give them at call at 269-308-3062.

Check in to Healthy to the Core at 7139 Red Arrow Highway in Coloma for their always popular, unbeatable Cardio Drumming classes. They offer a variety of times and dates, so you aren’t just limited to once a week in the morning.  They also offer a fit camp. Contact them at 269-202-7197 for additional information.

Other workout facilities in the area include For the Love of Fitness (269-202