Featured events

7-9 September 2012
Brussels Games

Brussels Gay Sports will offer a weekend of fun and fairplay in the capital of Europe, with volleyball, swimming, badminton, and tennis, as well as fitness and hiking.

Learn more HERE.
26-28 October 2012
Bern, Switzerland

The success of the first edition of the QueergamesBern proved the need for an LGBT multisport event in Switzerland. This year will be even bigger, with badminton, bowling, running, walking, floorball.

Learn more HERE.
17-20 January 2013
Sin City Shootout
Las Vegas
The 7th Sin City Shootout will feature softball, ice hockey, tennis, wrestling, basketball, dodgeball, bodybuilding and basketball.

Learn more HERE.

13-16 June 2013
IGLFA Euro Cup
After this year's edition in Budapest at the EuroGames, the IGLFA Euro Cup heads to Dublin for 2013, hosted by the Dublin Devils and the Dublin Phoenix Tigers.

Learn more HERE.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

All around Cleveland National Park System special: Cuyahoga Valley, Hopewell Native American Culture, Shenandoah, Great Smoky Mountains, Isle Royale

Each week, we'll be featuring a place of interest around Cleveland, site of Gay Games IX in 2014. Cleveland, Akron, and Northeast Ohio are great places to visit, and are also great places from which to experience some of the finest destinations in the USA and Canada.

This week we're featuring sites that are part of the US National Parks System. 

Within 50 km from Cleveland:
Cuyahoga Valley National River and Recreation Area, Cleveland+Akron, Ohio

Though a short distance from the urban environments of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The winding Cuyahoga—the "crooked river" as named by the American Indians—gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. The park is a refuge for flora and fauna and provides recreation and solitude for visitors.

In the park you'll find the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail, a multi-purpose trail  developed by the National Park Service. It's the major trail through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. From it you can make connections to many of the natural and historic sites in the park and to other trails that intersect it along the way.

You can also visit the park by rail. Experience the adventure, romance, and nostalgia of a vintage train ride through the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

We'll have more about the attractions of this park in future editions of "All around Cleveland".

More info HERE.

Within 250 km from Cleveland:
Hopewell Culture National Historic Park,Chillicothe, Ohio

This national historical park with earthworks and burial mounds from the Hopewell culture, indigenous peoples who flourished from about 200 BC to AD 500. During this period, the Ohio River Valley was a central area of the prehistoric Hopewell culture. The term Hopewell culture is applied to a broad network of beliefs and practices among different Native American peoples who inhabited a large portion of eastern North America. The culture is characterized by its construction of enclosures made of earthen walls, often built in geometric patterns, and mounds of various shapes. Visible remnants of Hopewell culture are concentrated in the Scioto River valley near present-day Chillicothe, Ohio.

More info HERE.

Within 500 km from Cleveland:
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Shenandoah National Park encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the state of Virginia. This national park is long and narrow, with the broad Shenandoah River and valley on the west side, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east. Although likely the most prominent feature of the Park is the scenic Skyline Drive, almost 40% of the land area 79,579 acres (322.04 km2) has been designated as wilderness and is protected as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Shenandoah National Park has over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Many trails are accessed from Skyline Drive. Some short trails lead to a waterfall or viewpoint; longer and more difficult trails penetrate deep into the forest and wilderness.

More info HERE .

Within 750 km from Cleveland:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina

While we've already featured this site, it's a perfect fit for this US National Parks special.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Appalachian Mountains, Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America’s most visited national park.

The park is a hiker's paradise with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short leg-stretchers to strenuous treks that may require backcountry camping. But hiking is not the only reason for visiting the Smokies. Car camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and auto touring are popular activities.

Most visitors come to the Smokies hoping to see a bear. Some 1,500 bears live in the park. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, down to microscopic organisms, the Smokies have the most biological diversity of any area in the world's temperate zone. The park is a sanctuary for a magnificent array of animal and plant life, all of which is protected for future generations to enjoy.

Over 1,600 kinds of flowering plants are found in the park, more than in any other North American national park. From dainty hepaticas and spring-beauties in the late winter to showy rhododendron and azalea shrubs in summer, to the last asters of late fall, blooming wildflowers, shrubs, and trees can be found nearly year-round in the park.

More info HERE.

Within 1000 km from Cleveland:
Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

Isle Royale is a large island in Lake Superior, the largest great lake. Closer to Ontario than to Michigan's Upper Peninusula, Isle Royale’s physical isolation and primitive wilderness challenged human use for centuries; ironically today it has become the island’s main attraction. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, visitors come to experience this island park through hiking its trails, paddling its inland waterways, exploring its rugged coast, or venturing into the depth of its shipwrecks.

The island was once the site of a fishing industry, native copper mining and a resort community. The fishing industry continues at Edisen Fishery. Because numerous small islands surround Isle Royale, ships were once guided through the area by lighthouses at Passage Island, Rock Harbor, Rock of Ages, and Isle Royale Lighthouse on Menagerie Island. Within the waters of Isle Royale National Park are several shipwrecks. The area’s notoriously harsh weather, dramatic underwater topography, the island’s central location on historic shipping routes, and the cold, fresh water have culminated in largely intact, well preserved wrecks throughout the park.

Isle Royale National Park is known for its wolf and moose populations which are studied by scientists investigating predator-prey relationships in a closed environment. There are usually around 25 wolves and 1000 moose on the island, but the numbers change greatly year to year. In rare years with very hard winters, animals can travel over the frozen lake from the Canadian mainland.

More info HERE.

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