Break the tie for Father's Day

SANDUSKY Some dads don't delight in neckties and coffee mugs. Some dads demand advent
Cory Frolik
May 24, 2010



Some dads don't delight in neckties and coffee mugs.

Some dads demand adventure over gifts, the invigorating rush of being outdoors over the warm comfort of sitting at home opening presents.

Finding the right way to celebrate Father's Day with this particular kind of dad can be tricky.

A trip to the movie theater or mall won't do. Neither will toasting drinks on the couch. It's nature or nothing.

Lucky enough there are always plenty of outside events going on across the region to make it a Father's Day for the history books.

So strap on those walking shoes, pack up some trail mix and make a beeline for the Great Outdoors.

"There are lots of things you can do at the parks as simple as attending a program like this or we have tons of space they can use to go fly a kite, kick a ball around with the kids or (host) a picnic," said Kendra Ward, ErieMetro Parks marketing and technology manger. "MetroParks is really a great place to interact with dad on Father's Day -- it could be an event or they can just go be with family."

Castalia Quarry

Sunday is not just Father's Day it's also the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.

In observation of the Solstice, there will be a guided hike at the Castalia Quarry Reserve tonight during which visitors will march through the abandoned quarry.

A naturalist tour guide will lead the hike and will likely discuss the 240 species of vegetation in the area as well as the animals indigenous to it.

Hiking in the fading sunlight, the group will be on the lookout for bats, fireflies, foxes and other nocturnal creatures. Fossils embedded in the rock are another attraction.

"I have to say this is my favorite park because the view is just incredible," Ward said. "When you're driving on Ohio 101 and you drive past that park, you can't tell what's back there. It's really cool -- you just imagine what it's like back there. ... You can see the history just by looking there."

The hike begins at 8 p.m. Sunday. Visitors should gather at the quarry located at 8404 Sandusky Clyde Road (Ohio 101) in Castalia.

Fish Sandusky

Lurking beneath Lake Erie's surface are all kinds of tasty Father's Day treats, just waiting to be caught. There's perch, white bass, channel catfish and the occasional walleye.

Assuming the weather holds, many father-child pairs will be stationed along Sandusky's shores, casting a line and trying to hook a late lunch or scrumptious dinner.

"We get a lot of fathers and sons coming out here (today)," said John Yingling, shop owner of Erie Shore Hookers and Bait and Tackle.

Jackson Street Pier, Shoreline Park and Battery Park are all good places to toss bait into the lake. A worm on a hook and a little luck is all it takes to reel in an impressive perch.

Treat dad to a day out on the shore and anything he catches might go from his grill to your dinner plate.

Dad on the move

Bonding with dad could be just one two-wheeled adventure away.

Jeanne Dieterich, program manager for the Sandusky County Park District, said great Father's Day fun is passing through downtown Clyde Sunday morning.

A colorful and diverse procession of bicyclists will working on completing the first leg of the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure.

Riders will be traveling on the North Coast Inland Trail that picks up at the Clyde Gazebo on Maple Street. They are traveling from Norwalk to Elmore.

Dieterich said the spectacle alone will be worth the trip.

"I think it would be very interesting because of the volume of people," "Also, you'll see bicycles built for two and recumbent (low-seating) bikes."

She also recommends slipping on some roller blades or hopping on a bicycle to join in the adventure.

Bicyclists are expected to pass through late morning, early afternoon.

Barnyard bash

Even on Father's Day, sometimes a dad's work is never done.

Outdoorsy dads whose children are too young to be expected to orchestrate a celebration might want to think about making a family trip to the Barnyard -- a farm animal park located at the Bicentennial Barn across from Osborn Park.

Bunnies, horses, goats, miniature horses and a lamb call the park home. Even though it's not a petting zoo, the park allows visitors a chance to get to know see these animals up close and personal. Children delight at the sight and observation of the furry residents.

Visiting the Barnyard might not top a father's list of exciting recreations.

But as all dads -- even adventurous ones -- know, sometimes children come first.