A great reward of living in Central Oregon is the endless number of hiking trails to explore during the summer months.
Apex Physical Therapy is encouraging people to get out and enjoy the great outdoors with the return of its Burning Glutes for Lakes and Buttes program this summer.
Led by physical therapist Jim Wallace, Apex has scheduled four hikes between July and September: Black Butte on July 15; Broken Top on Aug. 5; Green Lakes on Aug. 19; and Maxwell Butte on Sept. 9.
Last year was the first summer Apex held the program. According to Wallace, those hikes were more mountain-oriented, including trips to Mount Bachelor and South Sister.
Those trips required a high level of fitness, so they decided to tone down the difficulty for 2017. While this year's scheduled hikes will still offer challenges along the way, they should appeal to a larger demographic of adventurers.
Wallace is originally from Florida, but decided to move to Central Oregon four years ago in large part because of the alluring outdoor opportunities. He will lead all four of the upcoming hikes and hopes a wide variety people will come together to have fun and get some exercise.
"We're (looking) for anybody and everybody," Wallace said.
Each of the hikes offers a unique slice of the Central Oregon scenery. The four-mile Black Butte hike reaches a summit where a fire lookout tower sits. The crater at Broken Top features a picturesque lake with a turquoise hue. At Green Lakes, hikers catch glimpses of the Three Sisters Wilderness along the shores of an alpine lake. And for the finale, Maxwell Butte offers panoramic views of Cascades peaks Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mount Washington and the Three Sisters.
Those interested in attending one or more of the hikes are asked to call Apex Physical Therapy at 541-475-1218 to sign up. Wallace will contact people once details are finalized. There is no cost to sign up.