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Hikes, bikes, yoga, lots more – outdoor fitness abounds in WNY

Canalside has become the center of the summer outdoor fitness craze in Western New York, but those who don’t often frequent the downtown Buffalo waterfront won’t be left in the cold in the coming weeks.

Independent Health will continue to sponsor Fitness in the Parks group fitness classes in several counties. State parks have a slate of hikes, kayaks and other events. Even two Frank Lloyd Wright historic sites will get into the act with outdoor yoga classes.

BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York sponsors Canalside health, fitness and wellness events, but Amber Ciesiulka, a public relations specialist with the region’s largest insurer, could have been talking about all the outdoor fitness sites when she said, “You have a beautiful backdrop. You’re in a serene, relaxing environment and some of the classes not only get your heart rate up and get you moving but also help with relaxation and quieting the mind.”

Fitness at Canalside will host 22 classes at Canalside through Sept. 1, said Kate Schrum, community relations specialist with BlueCross BlueShield. Returning favorites will include Zumba, Jada Blitz Boot Camp and Barre Centric dance-style fitness. New classes will include BAMF Parkour – an American Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course – as well as Catalyst Fitness Kickboxing, Hip Hop Cardio, SilverSneakers senior fitness, and Josh and Friends fitness for those with physical or intellectual disabilities.

“Everybody has an opportunity to get healthy,” Ciesiulka said.

[RELATED STORY: Buffalo Meetup groups offer a portal to outdoor fitness]

Below is a listing of many of the outdoor fitness events this summer.

* Fitness in the Parks events run through Aug. 26 and are free. For more info, visit

** Canalside group fitness classes, which are free, run through Sept. 1, unless otherwise noted, at 44 Prime St. on the downtown waterfront. For more info, visit

All classes are weather dependent and subject to change. It’s a good idea to bring a mat or blanket for yoga and similar classes, and bottled water for all classes.



Slow Roll Buffalo will run through October, starting at different sites. The group maps out different routes for each of its Monday night rides. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

Tom’s Pro Bike ride. 25-mile ride starts at 9 a.m. Sundays, 15-mile rides are 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, Tom’s Pro Bike shop, 3687 Walden Ave., Lancaster. Rides are weather dependent. For more info, visit

Slow Roll Buffalo. Meet at 5:30 p.m. Mondays, roll at 6:30 p.m. Roughly 10-mile guided ride starting at various sites. For all ages and abilities. For site locations and registration, visit Free.

Campus WheelWorks outing. 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Campus WheelWorks, 744 Elmwood Ave. Five categories range from fast-paced, 30-mile course to a shorter “ice cream ride.” Bike helmet mandatory. For information on these and other excursions, visit

Running Race listings. Weekly Refresh calendars will list many of the region’s 5Ks and other races this summer in the days before they are run. For a complete listing, visit

Checkers Running Club track sessions. 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through October, Williamsville North High School track, 1595 Hopkins Road, Amherst. Includes Children’s Track, Zero to 5K program and training by a top University at Buffalo coach. The club also organizes group fun runs and cross-country meets at various locations. Members get discounts on race entry fees and enjoy social gatherings including an annual picnic. For membership and program info, visit

Walking on Wednesday. Brisk, 30-minute walk at noon Wednesdays through August, Kaminski Park outside Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton streets. Presented by the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo.

Goat Island Adventure walk. 10 a.m. July 2, Niagara Falls State Park. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.

Gorge Hiking Series: 10 a.m. July 9, Devil’s Hole State Park, Niagara Falls; 10 a.m. Aug. 5, Artpark, Lewiston; 4:30 p.m. Aug. 26, Whirlpool State Park, Niagara Falls; 6 p.m. Sept. 16, Niagara Falls State Park. To register and for info, call 282-5154. Free.

Evening River Bike Tour. 6 p.m. July 9, Niagara Falls State Park. To register and for info, call 282-5154. Free.

Butterfly Beauties. 1 p.m. July 15 wildflower walk through Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.

Chowder Chase. 5K run and 3K walk, 7 p.m. July 21, St. Mary Catholic Church. 6919 Transit Road, Swormville. Register at

Explore the Night. Walk the Lake Erie Trail at nightfall, 8 p.m. July 22, Evangola State Park, Irving. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.

Bike the Harbor. 5 p.m. July 23, Aug. 20, 4 p.m. Sept. 10, Buffalo Harbor State Park. To register and for info, call 282-5154. Free.

Paddles Up Niagara. 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 29, Beaver Island State Park. Free and open to the public. Register to paddle at

The Citizen Scientist. Science walk at 10 a.m. July 29, Evangola State Park, Irving. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.

Nature and Art hike. Family oriented hike, 7 p.m. Aug. 5, Evangola State Park, Irving. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.

WNY Refresh Family Wellness Walk. 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 26, Ellicott Creek Park, 1 Ellicott Creek Road, Town of Tonawanda. Walk at 10 a.m., children’s activities, wellness vendors, healthy refreshments before and afterward.

Forest hike. 10 a.m. Aug. 26, Evangola State Park, Irving. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.

Goat Island Adventure walk. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1, Goat Island, Niagara Falls State Park. To register and for info, call 282-5154. Free.

Moonlight walk. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 6, Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.

Woodland Waterfalls walk. 3 p.m. Sept. 23, Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.

Search for Nocturnal Creatures. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23, Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora. To register and for info, call 549-1050. Free.


Stephanie Latawiec instructs a Tuesday evening Jada Blitz Body Bootcamp class at Canalside. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

*Boot Camp. 6 p.m. July 10, 17 and 24, New Era Field, Abbott Road at Southwestern Boulevard, Orchard Park.

*Boot Camp. 5:45 a.m. Tuesdays, Fridays, Edward F. Loomis Park, Loomis Bay Road, Ashville.

**Jada Blitz Body Boot Camp. 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Canalside. Fast-paced workout for maximum results. Will sample Balanced Body meals and offer fitness class participants 15 percent off with the code Canalside.

*Boot Camp. 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Garrison Park, Garrison Road, Amherst.

*Boot Camp. 6 p.m. Wednesdays, Goehle Marina, 767 Market St., Lockport.


*Zumba. 10 a.m. Saturdays, Artpark, Lewiston.

*FreeStyle Barre. 10 a.m. Saturdays, Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson St.

**BollyX. 11 a.m. Saturdays, Canalside. Bollywood-inspired dance-fitness program that combines dynamic choreography with the hottest music from around the world.

**Bellydance. 9 a.m. Sundays, Canalside. Aerobic style fitness with Belly Dance moves. You may be surprised how slightly changing your fitness routine can challenge your muscles. No experience needed.

**Hip Hop Cardio. GoPole Fitness presents this dance fitness class, 11 a.m. Sundays, Canalside.

*Zumba. 5 p.m. Mondays, Goehle Marina, 767 Market St., Lockport.

Sofie Schimmelpenninck dances during a Zumba class at Canalside. BlueCross BlueShield officials say the Tuesday night class is among the most popular at the downtown waterfront site. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News)

*Zumba. 6 p.m. Mondays, Bassett Park, 359 359 Klein Road, Amherst.

** ConfiDANCE. 6 p.m. Mondays, Canalside. Jazz fitness class.

**Barre Centric. 7 p.m. Mondays, Canalside. Body sculpting with ballet, yoga and Pilates fitness exercises.

Salsa in the Park. Sarah Haykel, director of Salsa for the Soul, and Jerome Williams lead this class from 7 to 9 p.m. Mondays, July 10 to Aug. 21, Rose Garden at Marcy Casino, Delaware Park. $5 includes lesson and dance social. Beginners and singles welcomed and encouraged. For more info, visit

**Everyone Can Dance. 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Canalside. Dance fitness and games for all ages.

*BollyX. 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Cheektowaga Town Park, 2600 Harlem Road.

*Zumba. 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursday, Day Road Park, 5014-5098 Day Road, Lockport.

*Zumba. 6 p.m. Tuesdays, July 18 to Aug. 22, Chestnut Ridge Park, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park.

**Zumba. 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Canalside.

*Zumba. 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Westwood Park, 175 Pavement Road, Lancaster.

*Zumba. 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Krull Park, 6108 E. Lake Road, Olcott.

*Zumba. 10 a.m. Thursdays, Cheektowaga Town Park, 2600 Harlem Road.

*BollyX. 9:30 a.m. Fridays, Clarence Town Park, 10405 Main St.


Splish Splash Summer Bash. 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Park splash pad, Fillmore and North Parade avenues. BlueCross BlueShield Healthy Zone Cruiser, free face-painting, balloon art, arts and crafts with Buffalo Book Bike and healthy snacks. Free. The splash pad is designated a BCBS of WNY Healthy Zone. For info on hours, visit

*Youth Circuit. 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Delaware Park at the Amherst Street/Colvin Avenue green space.

**Little Gym of Williamsville fitness. 10 a.m. Fridays, Canalside. Designed for children ages 4 months to 12 years old.


Kayaking with Tina. Smartstart Paddling Orientation classes, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in July, August and Sept. 7, beginner classes 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. next Saturday, Aug. 5 and 26, and Sept. 2, Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island; beginner classes at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. July 8 and 23 and Aug. 20, Wilson Tuscarora State Park. A kayak, paddle and life jacket will be provided. Space is limited, so sign up early. Call 282-5154 to register.

Paddle Bike Run. Paddle, bike and running race to benefit Buffalo Wellness, July 30, Silo City. For more info, visit

Wear It on the Water Paddle Fest. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 12, Wilson Tuscarora State Park. Free classes, demonstrations and boating safety info. Free T-shirt to first 100 participants wearing a life jacket to the Life Jacket Flash Mob at 1 p.m.

Kayak safety courses. Throughout the summer at various rates through Seabirds International. For more info, visit or email


Angela Marchitte, of West Seneca, center, participates in a yoga class on the lawn between the Delaware Park Rose Garden and Shakespeare Hill, presented this summer by Independent Health. The classes are among those scattered in 21 parks across Western New York. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

*Yoga. 10 a.m. Saturdays, Bidwell Park, Elmwood Avenue at Bidwell Parkway.

Summer Sunday Yoga. 9:15 a.m. July 9, 16, 30, the Great Lawn at the Darwin Martin House, 125 Jewett Parkway. Vinyasa class led by Yoga Parkside. $10; each ticket includes a buy one get one free Darwin Martin House Tour coupon. Preregistration required at

Yoga on the Green. 9 a.m. Sundays through October, Kenmore Farmers Market, Village Green at 2919 Delaware Ave. For more info, visit Suggested donation $5 to $15.

Qigong. 9 a.m. Sundays through Labor Day Weekend, Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive, Cheektowaga. $8.

*Yoga. 10 a.m. Sundays, Delaware Park near the Rose Garden.

*Pilates. 11 a.m. Mondays, Lakewood Beach, Hartley Park, 531 E. Terrace Ave., Lakewood.

*Yoga. 5:30 p.m. Mondays, Larkin Square, 745 Seneca St.

OWM Yoga Downtown. 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Aug. 28, The Westin Buffalo, 250 Delaware Ave. $5. In case of rain, classes will be held at OWM Yoga Downtown studio, 235 S. Elmwood Avenue, Suite 120. Preregister at or drop in. Open to hotel guests and the public.

*Yoga. 6:30 p.m. Mondays, Westwood Park, 175 Pavement Road, Lancaster.

**Soma Cura Yoga. 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through July 18, Canalside. Low-impact exercise program.

**Love in Motion  Yoga. Vinyasa yoga, 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays from July 25 to Aug. 29, Canalside.

*Tai chi. 6 p.m., Tuesdays, Lakewood Beach, Hartley Park, 531 E. Terrace Ave., Lakewood.

Yoga at Graycliff. Gentle hatha yoga 6 to 7:15 p.m. Tuesdays from July 11 to Aug. 15, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff Estate, 6472 Old Lake Shore Road, Derby. Six classes cost $60; drop in for $15 a class. For more info, email certified Yoga Alliance teacher Leanne Oldenbrook at

*Yoga. 6 p.m. Tuesdays through July 11, Chestnut Ridge Park, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park.

*Power Pilates. 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursday, Wilkeson Pointe, Buffalo Outer Harbor, 225 Fuhrmann Blvd.

*Pilates. 8:45 a.m. Wednesdays, Day Road Park, 5014-5098 Day Road, Lockport.

*Yoga: 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Colby Park, High Street at Michigan Avenue, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

*Yoga: 7:15 p.m. Wednesdays, Garrison Park, Garrison Road, Amherst.

*Sunset yoga. 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Krull Park, 6108 E. Lake Road, Olcott.

*Yoga. 6 p.m. Thursdays, Ellicott Creek Park, 1 Ellicott Creek Drive, Town of Tonawanda.

**Power Yoga Buffalo. 6 p.m. Fridays, Canalside.

Budding Tree Yoga Festival. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 9, Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson St. Free yoga classes with many of the top yoga instructors in the region, as well as workshops and a vendor market. Free. For more info, visit


**Garage kettlebell. 9 a.m. Saturdays, Canalside.

**Full Body Blast, By Harmony Fitness. 10 a.m. Saturdays, Canalside. Combines resistance training, cardiovascular training, stretching and flexibility, fat burning, and muscle building components.

**Turbo Kick Live. 10 a.m. Sundays, Canalside. Cardio kickboxing party that tones muscles and torches fat.

**SilverSneakers. Senior fitness by Sow it Now Fitness, 10 a.m. Mondays, Canalside.

** RevFit. 6 p.m. Mondays, Canalside. Total body circuit workout.

*Cardio kickboxing. 6 p.m. Mondays, Goehle Marina, 767 Market St., Lockport.

*Bodyweight Strength Training. 9 a.m. Tuesdays, Allen Park playground, 31 Hughes St., Jamestown.

*Pound. 12:10 p.m. Tuesday, Allen Park bandshell, 31 Hughes St., Jamestown.

**Life coaching and guided meditation. 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 22, Canalside.

**Pound Garage. 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Canalside. Modern-day fusion of movement and music with weighted drumsticks designed for a full body interval workout.

**Catalyst kickboxing. 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Canalside.

**Josh & Friends. “Circuit training” exercise programs by Sow it Now Fitness to music for ambulatory teens and adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities, 10 a.m. Thursdays, Canalside.

*Cardio Kickboxing. 5:30 p.m. Thursdays, Larkin Square, 745 Seneca St.

*Cardio Kickboxing. 6 p.m. Fridays, Bassett Park, 359 Klein Road Amherst.

**BAMF Ninja/Parkour. 7 p.m. Fridays through Sept. 1, Canalside. Learn how to navigate obstacles in your environment as effectively and efficiently as possible. Get very good at getting over, under, around and through just about anything.


Twitter: @Bnrefresh, @ScottBScanlon

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