The following is a list of winter programming from November 2020 – February 2021.

Book Club: Venture Indoors with a Great Memoir

Join us for a monthly book club meeting discussing our Memoir of the Month with Professor Nicole Peeler of Seton Hill. Carnegie patrons can use their library card to secure an Ebook copy through Hoopla.com or you can check out a physical book from the library. No purchase is necessary! The book club will meet on the third Wednesday from December 2020 to May of 2021.

Fit with a Physician

Get healthy while being healthy! We’ll join a local medical professional for an easy-paced walk that gets our bodies moving and stimulates our minds. The medical professional will introduce his or her field of study and answer individual questions as we walk. At each stop along the trail, our expert will share tips for staying healthy. This outing is part of the Venture Outdoors Again Initiative. Participants ages 50 and up can attend for free thanks to generous support from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

Intro to Triathalons

Have you always wanted to try a tri but didn’t know where to start? Start with us! Come learn the basics and get expert advice from the Pittsburgh Tri Club (PTC)! PTC Members will be present to lead runs and rides, and no one will be left behind. Come try a tri and bring a friend!

Mindfulness Yoga with OPEN UP

OPEN UP is running a virtual yoga course on Mondays at 11am that will focus on mindfulness and breathing and is very inclusive! You can even bring a friend to each session for free! This program begins Monday, Dec 7.

Nature Photography

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you get to be the beholder! Join us for an enchanting walk through iconic Mon Valley sites. This is an excellent opportunity to use a camera to capture the changing weather and get expert critique from McKeesport Community Newsroom’s own Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Martha Rial. Registration opens Nov. 14th. Dates vary.

On the Move: Group Exercise to Improve Mobility

Join us for weekly virtual classes targeted to enhance the timing and coordination of walking. The exercise involves varied and progressive stepping and walking patterns to challenge your brain to improve the smoothness and efficiency of walking. We adapted this group exercise program so you can do it in your home with your resources as we guide the exercises and provide the music, too.

To Register:

  1. Create an account at virtualsenioracademy.org
  2. Go to Course Schedule
  3. Find this Event, click Register!
  4. If you have any questions please email registration@ventureoutdoors.org
I appreciate that this was offered free for folks 50+. In particular, this helped me (as an older person) feel like I was welcome here — I’m a bit intimidated by the activities that are probably just folks in their 20s. Thanks for this!
- Beginner Bike Ride Participant

Getting Ready to Go

  1. Complete an Assumption of Risk Form.
  2. Check the weather forecast for the location. Set aside the appropriate equipment and clothing for the predicted temperature and conditions.
  3. Review the meeting location address and directions.
  • Weather appropriate clothing (preferably non-cotton layers).
  • Hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes appropriate for the terrain.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time for check in. This gives the Trip Leaders enough time to collect Assumption of Risk Forms and start the trip on time.

Venture Outdoors provides multiple directions for accessing the meeting location including GPS coordinates, closest address, Google map link, and driving directions from Pittsburgh. Please review these directions in advance and plan your route to allow ample time for travel and onsite preparation. The Trip Leaders’ cellphone numbers are provided as a courtesy, but they may not be available by phone during check-in. Any necessary contact should be made at least 30 minutes before the trip begins. It is the participant’s responsibility to arrive at the meeting location 15 minutes prior to the start time. Please arrive early as trips cannot be delayed for late arrivals.

Trip Leaders make every attempt to plan routes that include bathroom stops at or near the meeting location or during the trip. The type and availability of facility depends on the time of year and location. Urban settings and many parks offer flush toilets or port-a-johns. Some locations do not have bathroom facilities and participants are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace principles when going in the woods. The Trip Leader will share specifics about bathroom facilities at the beginning of the trip, and details are often provided in the pre-trip information sheet.

What to Bring on the Trip?

  1. Signed Assumption of Risk Form
  2. Water (plan for one liter for every two hours of activity)
  3. Food (snacks/lunch)
  4. Rain Gear (jacket and pants)
  5. Small daypack
See Checklist Here

About the Weather

Not necessarily! We love being outside in the rain! With the appropriate clothing you can be comfortable in a variety of weather conditions. We encourage participants to pack a rain jacket and pants on all activities because the weather in Southwest PA is variable. It’s smart to keep a towel, change of clothes, spare shoes, and a plastic bag in your car so you’ll have dry clothes for your return trip and a place to stow your damp or wet items. Umbrellas are a great option for urban hikes. Wear the appropriate footwear for the trail or street conditions.

If the Trip Leader determines that trip conditions exceed the group’s comfort level, the trip may be cancelled. If this decision can be made during regular office hours (9 AM -5 PM, Monday-Friday), participants will be called and emailed by staff. If the decision is made outside of regular office hours the Trip Leaders and on-call staff try to decide at least two hours in advance. Weather is variable and the Trip Leader may opt to cancel the trip at the trailhead or make modifications during the trip.

Thunderstorms are a potential cause for trip cancellation. If a trip is canceled due to the weather forecast, participants will be notified.

The Venture Outdoors staff and Trip Leaders monitor local radar and forecasts to assess when, where, and for how long a thunderstorm is predicted to occur and use this information to decide whether to cancel, continue, or modify a trip. For example, a Trip Leader may choose to delay the start of a trip to let a short storm pass, and then continue as planned. He or she may choose to cancel the trip if waiting for the storm to pass will make it difficult to return on time or otherwise negatively impact environmental conditions.