Niagara Gazette — For me, a sunny day, a long walk and a picnic with family is priceless. Even with seasonal allergies, I try to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty of Niagara as much as possible.
Niagara County is full of beautiful parks and walking paths. We have the state parks near the falls, the towpaths along the Erie Canal and the picturesque lakeshore of Lake Ontario. There are numerous places to walk outdoors in Niagara County and a fair number of malls if you are looking to walk indoors.
When heading out on a picnic, I plan ahead to have water and snacks for everyone. Depending on who is going on the hike, I might be the one carrying the backpack and I prefer a light pack. Bottled water is heavy and there isn’t any way to make it lighter so I choose to make lighter snacks that do not need to be kept on ice.
The secret to good food while on a walk or hike is light weight, full taste and minimal mess. Tuna in the no mess pouches is easy and does not need to be kept cold. Whole grain pita with peanut butter is light, filling and no mess. Fresh and dried fruits are easy to take along but when you add nuts, the weight goes up.
The following recipe for corn, tomato and cucumber salad has a vinegar dressing and is safe to eat when it hasn’t been in the refrigerator. I make it the night before, pack it in individual covered bowls and store it in the refrigerator. Right before leaving for the hike, I wrap the individual containers in a couple of layers to keep them cold as long as possible.
This year, it felt like winter just would not end. It was not a bad winter just a long one. Finally, we have some sunny, warm days and we should be outside enjoying the weather. With our busy schedules, sometimes the only time we have to walk outside is on our lunch break and that’s okay. If you look, you can find a walking path near your work. For a list of Niagara Falls walking trails, visit the Creating Healthy Places page at www.CCENiagaraCounty.org.