Nothing’s better than a good hike or bicycle ride after a long day at work. Stress relief is one of the things we should all participate in once in a while. Some people read, others hit the gym, but there are a select few who prefer to get out of the house and hit the trail for an hour or two.

The great thing about summer is the later dusk. It allows plenty of people to be out later in the evening when the heat passes. What are some places or events you can look forward to in order to relax or get into shape?

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

Alamo’s Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is famous for its birdwatching and plentiful amount of rare wildlife and fauna. What many aren’t aware of is that the Refuge also has miles of hiking trails open from sunrise to sunset every day. What can be better than getting an hour of hiking done while listening to the beautiful calls of rare bird species and the calming sound of the wind through the thick wilderness? Bring friends and family along. The trails are wheelchair accessible and public restrooms are available.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

The Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in Mission is another terrific location in the RGV that encourages hiking and biking. It’s also part of the World Birding Center, meaning avid birdwatchers can get some exercise in while taking in the beauty of aviary wildlife. The park also has rental programs for bicycles ($5 – $12 a day) and binoculars ($3 a day). The park is open daily from 7 AM to 10 PM with a $5 entry fee for adults, $3 for groups of over 10 people and no charge for children under 12.

Quinta Mazatlan

McAllen’s Quinta Mazatlan is yet another location available for walking/hiking. The location’s bird and nature walk is famous for its relaxing environment and friendly atmosphere. Nature trails extending a half-mile are more than enough to get in the hiking you want. Binoculars are available if you care to do a little birdwatching. Admission fees are $3 for adults and $2 for seniors over 65.

Tri-Girl Sprint Triathlon

If you’re too busy during the week but want to get some exercise in, you’re in luck. The 2nd annual Bicycle World Tri-Girl Sprint Triathlon will be held on Saturday, August 29th. The event will start at Victor Pool (1601 S. M St.) at 7 AM. It will consist of a 300-meter swim, a 10-mile bike and 3-mile run. To make the event more competitive, trophies will be awarded to the top three positions in the following age groups:

  • 16-19
  • 20-29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60+

The entry fees are $60 for individuals and $90 for three person relays. You’re invited to sign up at any Bicycle World location or at athleteguild.com.