Outdoor recreation truly is a community experience in Ames and Story County. There are numerous parks, trails, lakes and golf courses to visit throughout the area and plenty of people to meet along the way.
“Having all these opportunities and areas to enjoy outdoor recreation is one of the reasons this is such a great place to live, because it provides connectivity within the community,” says Rhonda Maier, parks and recreation assistant director for the city of Nevada, located about 10 miles east of Ames. “We have a lot to offer new residents coming into the area who are looking to connect with other people.”
This connectivity is made even easier by the presence of so many organized sports leagues. Team activities for the public are available in various sports, including baseball, basketball, flag football, soccer, softball, volleyball and Ultimate Frisbee.
“There are a lot of ways for people to go outside and be active, not just in a casual way but a more organized way,” says Lauren Frandsen, a lifelong resident of the Ames area who plays in a volleyball league. “That’s a great thing for the community, because it helps build connections. I’ve met several people through the volleyball league who have become good friends.”
Here are four outdoor recreation destinations that provide Ames-area residents with opportunities for both fitness and friendship.