Posted on Oct 20, 2014
October is here, and it is time to lace up, take to the trails and stir up the dirt paths once again. Fall months are some of the best months for seniors to go out and enjoy the outdoors. The Central Florida heat is a tad more merciful for older walkers and runners in October and November.
If you are a senior or have a senior loved one who is interested in going out for daily walks, this is one of the best times of the year to go for those much needed outings. Even when using a wheelchair, it is still the best time because caregivers and seniors do not have to worry about frequent afternoon rain showers so prevalent during the spring and summer.
Great Places for Seniors to Rekindle Their Interest in Exercising, Walking and Sightseeing
One of the best places for seniors to walk, jog or to go on a wheelchair-stroll is at Cranes Roost Park, a small park located at 274 Cranes Roost Boulevard in Altamonte Springs, Florida. This park has excellent wheelchair access. Grandmother can even bring her pooch, as long as the pet is on a leash and someone cleans up after it. Due to the park’s popularity, you may want to avoid the early evening path and trail congestion of Fridays and Saturdays. When temperatures start dipping into a range of 40° to 50° Fahrenheit, then the park becomes less congested. Park hours are Sunday to Thursday from 7 a.m.to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. until 12 a.m.
Another small and easy-to-transit park is the ever delightful Central Park, located at 251 South Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. Central Park is a small 11-acre park with plenty of walking paths, benches, fountains, mature trees and some well-cared for gardens. The Winter Park SunRail Station is only a few steps away. Visitors can quickly saunter over to nearby Park Avenue’s sidewalk cafes and restaurants. The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is held at this park every year. No dogs are allowed at this park. For more information please call 407-599-3334.
Older adults, who would like to try short bicycle jaunts or foot excursions near dense vegetation, may want to try the Seminole Wekiva Trail. This Seminole County Trail is open from dawn to dusk. For starters, try a short one or two-mile stretch of the trail’s 14 miles. The Seminole Wekiva Trail has an access area near Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs. Manual and motorized wheelchairs are allowed on the asphalt paved trails. The trails are wide enough to allow runners, fast-paced walkers and cyclists.
Sanlando Park, a 40 acre park located at 41 West Highland Street in Altamonte Springs, Florida, has 25 hard tennis courts, picnic areas and a crushed shell/dirt nature trail within the premises of the park. Park hours are the following: Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The hours for Saturday and Sunday are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you want to go for a short 20 or 40-minute walk, play tennis, or take pictures of native plants you can visit Shadow Bay Park located at 5100 Turkey Lake Road, in Orlando, Florida. While sightseeing, birding or jogging, don’t be surprised if you run into some Florida native shrubs, like the Callicarpa Americana also known as the Beautyberry. Some birds will eat the Callicarpa berries during the fall, so don’t bother the berries or the shrubs. Encourage other seniors and loved ones to learn how to play tennis; there are 17 tennis courts. South Bay Park also includes a 1¼-mile concrete trail and a 2-mile dirt trail. Park hours are the following: summer 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and winter from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Sunday.
Senior Helpers of Orlando hopes these park suggestions help you and senior loved ones decide where you would like to visit next. When going on a trail, take a friend or a caregiver and never go alone. While visiting one of many local parks, incorporate time for physical exercise, brain healthy activities and learn about the park’s unique habitat.
In you or a friend would like to know more about our home health care services, please call Senior Helpers of Orlando at 407-628-4357.
Ana P. DeLane
Senior Helpers of Orlando Team Member