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Diane Stresing

Enjoying Fresh Air and Local Sights-- Who has time for that?

Enjoying Fresh Air and Local Sights-- Who has time for that?

It’s the truest of truisms: time is the most precious thing we have, and we simply can’t make more of it. But it is possible to develop habits to make the most of the time we have.  

For me, that means finding time to hike – or at least to enjoy some fresh air and different scenery – every day.  

Rainbow over Munroe Falls Metropark, Fall 2023

Every day?!?! Yes, I know it sounds crazy. How do I manage this habit? First, I set a very low bar. (With apologies to the type-As, low expectations really might be the key to happiness.)

Second, wherever I am, I seek out the closest spot with “fresh air and pretty scenery” so I can stop and smell the roses. Figuratively, anyway.  

Recently, when I had two meetings in Cleveland, I got my steps in by taking the stairs to the 10th floor of the Cleveland Public Library to enjoy some sweeping views of the city and the lake. I ate my lunch as I walked to the second meeting.  

(Back to those low expectations: lunch was an apple and a protein bar.)

When I work from home, or have meetings in Portage or Summit County, I try to schedule get-out time along the way. That may mean taking a lap around Trail Lake Park, conveniently located between Kent, Streetsboro, and Hudson, or throwing my bike (AND HELMET!) in the car so I can ride from one of the many trailheads along the Portage, the Towpath, or the Summit Hike-Bike Trail.  

In Kent, there are plenty of options to get fresh air and exercise while crossing a few errands off the proverbial to-do list. Many times, I’ve plotted out my Saturday morning to include a walk on the Portage and/or Riveredge Trail to reach Haymaker Farmers’ Market for fresh food items, then on to downtown shops where I can pick up cards and gifts from several shops, swing by the bank, meet a friend for coffee or lunch, and, and, and…  

You can enjoy fresh air and beautiful scenery along the river or the pedestrian-friendly streets of downtown Kent.

In Cleveland, Mayor Bibb’s administration is making an effort to turn the city into a real walkable town, using the (national) “15 Minute City” blueprint as a guide.  I’ve seen some progress and hope to see more. In my opinion, however, our attitudes about walking – and just plain getting out – are as much of an impediment to the idea of walkable cities as the infrastructure. To be clear, since the infrastructure is made of concrete and other dense materials, it’s pretty hard to tear down. And, I’ll admit, roads and bridges sure can come in handy.  

Kent's Riveredge Trail and The Portage are always beautiful spots to get fresh air.

But in theory, our attitudes and habits are much more malleable than concrete and steel. Where can you fit a walk in your schedule?  

Diane Stresing is the author of the guidebook, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Cleveland, and has also written an essay collection, Dumb Things We Say to Dogs. She lives and walks in Kent.  

aroundkent Digital Magazine is a local, regional website containing relevant information about Kent, Ohio, Akron and the surrounding area, including all of Northeast Ohio. Thinking about what to do in Kent?, or where to eat in Kent? Our focus is on art, music, food, family and everything in-between. Our content is sent to us by local professionals so it's both accurate and updated regularly. Our goal is simple: to showcase the amazing people, places and things in and around Kent, Ohio. We are also designers and photographers working on the webflow platform.