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Outdoor recreational events abound -- on and off base

Tech. Sgt. Chad Thompson, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs, hooks a fish during a recent fishing outing to Pelican Point, June 7, 2015. Thompson has fallen in love with the outdoors since arriving to Montana and fly fishing is just one way he relieves his stress. (Courtesy photo)

June is National Great Outdoors month, and recreational opportunities from fishing to sports to tourism abound for the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base community to take advantage of this month as well as throughout the summer. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

Airman 1st Class Matt Hinson, 28th Comptroller Squadron financial customer service technician, hikes down the No.4 Harney Peak trail in the Black Hills National Park, S.D., Sept. 12, 2015. Hinson uses hiking as a way to relax and recuperate from work and enjoy the outdoors before the winter arrives. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class James L. Miller/Released)

Ohio offers an abundance of recreational pursuits to enjoy during National Great Outdoors month, and many are close to Wright-Patterson AFB. With a network of nearby trails to traverse, hiking is one of the many ways to relax, recuperate from work and just enjoy the great outdoors. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class James L. Miller)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio -- While summer doesn't officially start until later this month, National Weather Service forecasters indicate that, other than an occasional thunderstorm, summer-like conditions will prevail in the Dayton area as June will be a mostly sunny month with temperatures in the mid-70s to mid-80s.

The urge for most people is to be outdoors with weather like that forecast. In Ohio, June is packed with outdoor opportunities for all.

June is also National Great Outdoors month, and many events are planned to educate and inspire people to enjoy America's spectrum of outdoor fun activities and places. National events kick off June 4 with National Trails Day, which includes hiking, biking and horseback rides, paddling trips, bird watching, geocaching, gear demonstrations, stewardship projects and more in all 50 states. Details can be found at www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org.

At the state level, with outdoor festivals and a full-spectrum of outdoor recreational opportunities to be found in the area, the biggest problem for many may be choosing which to do. Ohio's government agencies, not-for-profit outdoor advocacy organizations and many outdoor-themed or based commercial businesses provide the latest information about where to go and what to do.

At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Outdoor Recreation, located at 5265 Miller Drive in Area A, is not only the go-to location for recreation equipment, such as tents canoes, kayaks, grills, sports gear, campers, games and a host of other outdoor supplies, it also participates in the Air Force's Recharge for Resiliency, or R4R, program. The R4R initiative was designed to help Airmen readjust to life at home and also include families in their reintegration.

According to Brandon Dixon, Wright-Patterson AFB's Outdoor Recreation director, R4R has three areas of focus, the Single Airman Programming Initiative (SAPI), RecOn and Deployed Affected Programming.

"The Single Airman Program Initiative is based on single Airmen, whether they are single, relationship-wise or geographically separated from a spouse," Dixon said. "The RecOn program is based on high-adrenaline activities, such as sky diving, four-wheeler riding, soaring and more."

Deployed Affected Programming provides resources targeting deployed-affected, and dependent-restricted, installation assigned service members and their families to provide relief from the challenges of deployment.

"In June we are offering skydiving as part of the RecOn program, and we have ATV-riding as part of that, too," Dixon added.

Dixon encourages Airmen to visit Outdoor Recreation to find out what the program offers. More on R4R can be found at www.myairforcelife.com/R4R/

The larger base populace can also take advantage of Outdoor Recreation's offerings.

"For Father's Day weekend, we have a fishing day at Bass Lake on base which is open to all," he said. "We also administer the pools on base, and on June 25 we'll have movie night where people can come to swim, eat some popcorn and watch a movie on an outdoor projection screen."

Outdoor Recreation is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. More about Outdoor Recreation can be found at http://88thfss.com.outdoorrecreation.html or by calling 937-257-9889.

State and local resources

Five Rivers Metro Parks
With 19 parks and three conservation areas, Five Rivers Metro Parks offers a spectrum of activities designed to educate, entertain, inform and inspire - from 1880s farming skills to live, outdoor music concerts to mountain biking though the woods.

Ohio Bikeways
Pedal locally or cycle all the way to Cleveland on Ohio's network of bicycle trails. Maps, trail reviews and other valuable information is available. http://www.ohiobikeways.net/

Buckeye Trail
See Ohio ... by bicycle or by foot. The nation's longest circular trail with more than 1,400 miles in trails. On the Buckeye Trail you can travel the entire state. Connecting trails lead to everything that Ohio's great outdoors has to offer. Special events are planned at several trail points throughout June. http://www.buckeyetrail.org/

Ohio State Parks
Ohio State Parks offer camping, cabins and lodges, including some with unique getaway packages. Discounts are available to active military members and certain eligible veterans. Special deals are also offered at specific locations. "The Official Ohio State Parks & Outdoors Guide" is downloadable as an app for mobile devices.

Paddle Ohio
Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts have more than a dozen nationally designated scenic rivers to paddle in the state. Nearby, the Little Miami River was designated as Ohio's first state scenic river, as well as its first national scenic river. It flows for more than 100 miles and crosses through five counties. http://watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/

Ohio History Connection
From ancient America to the present, Ohio's historic sites are available to history buffs through "one of America's largest networks of historic sites and museums."

Ohio's Hopewell Culture
Earthen mounds and embankments forming huge geometric enclosures grace the landscape of the Ohio River Valley. These monumental structures were built by Native American hands almost 2,000 years ago. Hopewellian people gathered at these earthworks for feasts, funerals and rites of passage. 

Ohio's Scenic Byways Program 
Even couch potatoes can find something to enjoy through Ohio's road, rail and river byways travel adventures. http://www.dot.state.oh.us/OhioByways/Pages/default.aspx

Ohio Division of Wildlife
Hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife watching ... get the latest and greatest information to ensure a fun and (legal) outing.

Federal resources

Twelve federal participating partners are combined for a single source of service for recreation. Seven of these partner agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers, Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Archives, offer advance reservations at 2,500 federal areas for more than 60,000 facilities and activities.

National Park Service
From the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, in Pennsylvania, at 0.02 acres, to the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska, at 13.2 million acres, the National Park system includes 411 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
Provides a guide to the national wildlife refuges and their managing agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Find national wildlife refuges and connect with them via social media, learn about endangered species, wildlife/habitat management, wildlife/plant-related permits, and how to work/volunteer in/support the agency's programs.

Dayton area festivals, special events in June

June 3: DP&L Summer in the City: Third and Main streets, Dayton. 5-9 p.m. Free. 937-224-1518 or www.downtowndayton.org

June 11: Lebanon Country Music Festival: 31 E. Mulberry St., Lebanon. 11 a.m. Free. 513-228-2322 or www.lebanoncountrymusicfest.com

June 11: Boulevard Bash Food Truck Festival: Fraze Pavilion, Kettering. 3 p.m. Free.

June 11: Summer Arts Festival: Turner Pavilion, Veterans Park, 250 Cliff Park Road, Springfield. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free. www.springfieldartscouncil.org

June 12: Dayton Jazz Festival: Dave Hall Plaza Park, Main and Fourth streets, Dayton. 1 p.m. Free. 937-333-8400 or www.downtowndayton.org

June 15: Spass Nacht Austrian festival: Fraze Pavilion, Kettering. 5:30 p.m. Free.

June 16-18: BBQ and Beer Blast: Springfield Summer Arts Festival, Turner Pavilion, Veterans Park, Springfield. 5 p.m. Free.

June 23-25: Spirit Song 2016: Timberwolf Amphitheatre, 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason.

June 24-26: Festival on the Hill: Dayton Masonic Center, 525 W. Riverview Ave., Dayton, Friday through Sunday. 5 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday and Sunday. www.festivalonthehill.org

June 25: Blues, Brews and Barbecue: Fraze Pavilion, Kettering. 4 p.m. Free.

June 25-26: Rail Festival: Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton. 937-293-2841 or www.railfestival.com

June 25-26: Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow: SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park, 2301 W. River Road, Dayton. 937-268-8199 or www.sunwatch.org.