The bayous and creeks flowing into the Grand River form an inviting home for wildlife, including eagles that nest in the trees along the shoreline. Perched in their aeries, the birds study the water's surface. Spotting a disturbance, an eagle lifts off and glides toward the water, opening its talons to pluck the prey suspended just beneath the surface.
The team at Lakeshore Kayak Rental lends their kayaks—inspected and certified by the DNR—and other watercraft to help visitors stumble upon sights such as these throughout the gentle Grand River and its connecting waterways. The staff, which includes instructors claiming certifications from the American Canoe Association, provides lessons for beginner kayakers, canoeists, and paddleboarders, and recommends areas for more experienced outdoorsmen to explore. With advanced notice, Lakeshore's crew can also arrange transportation to and from some area lodgings and farther-away launch points. To encourage camaraderie throughout the kayaking community, Lakeshore's team hosts the annual Grand River Kayak Race.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 2,000 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
Saddling over 90 years of combined horsemanship experience, including competition at the national level, the instructors at Out Side In focus their equestrian energies on benefitting the greater good. Led by executive director and psychotherapist Jennifer McVoy, the team spends much of its time focusing on equine-assisted psychotherapy, or EAP, a therapeutic approach that aims to improve quality of life for at-risk youth by using horses as catalysts for social and emotional growth. Riding lessons, offered in the disciplines of both English and Western, are aimed at helping riders of all ages and skill levels improve self esteem by walking a mile in someone else's horseshoes. Beginners can expect to start with the basic, entry-level skills of horse care, anatomy, saddling, and safety techniques before progressing to more advanced skills, such as jumping, barrel racing, or riding a horse through a drive-thru.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable visitors to fortify their physical well-being with a cornucopia of advanced fitness equipment and certified personal trainers. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man or one of his many secretaries tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength-training gear or top-of-the-line cardio machines, which feature televisions and other media diversions. A friendly, unintimidating atmosphere provides a refreshing change of pace from aloof gym employees and ear-splitting pump-up jams. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
Norton Pines Athletic Club's rave-attracting staff maintains an expansive offering of workout facilities including muscle-challenging machinery, group-exercise studios, ball courts, and a rock-climbing wall. Day passes include access to all of these facilities, with the exclusion of the tennis courts (tennis-court access costs an additional $13/day). An array of cardio machines, such as elliptical machines, treadmills, and rowing machines, elevate heart rates so they can reach the cookies on top of the refrigerator. Varying sizes of bicep curlers are available to primp muscular aesthetics in the weight room, which houses both weight-training machines and free weights.