David Whitehead has taught enough flying classes to spot future pilots during their Introductory Flight Lessons. "Some people like that roller-coaster thrill-ride feel," says Whitehead, the chief flight instructor at Burke Lakefront Airport's T&G Flying Club. "Some are a little bit apprehensive about it, some are comfortable with it." The one-hour lessons, taught at a trio of places around town, are designed to initiate novice pilots flying into the friendly skies. Once they're hooked, they're invited to join the club for $50 a month. "We let them taxi down the runway, take off with the instructor's help, and go out to do some turns," says Whitehead. "If the student is comfortable enough, we'll do some steep climbs. Students have their hands on the control right from the time we start the plane up." Take to the skies between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily at Burke Lakefront Airport (1501 Marginal Road), Cuyahoga County Airport (26300 Curtiss Wright Parkway), and Lost Nation Airport (1885 Lost Nation Road in Willoughby). Fee is $40; call 216-241-2321. -- Cris Glaser
Watersheds make for some of the finest hiking in the area, maintains Cuyahoga Valley National Park ranger Rebecca Jones. "For the avid hiker, they're a great opportunity and training ground for longer trails -- like the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail," she says. Jones calls Sunday's Watershed = Good Hiking, along the Buckeye and Valley trails, moderately difficult. Still, the seven-mile walk amounts to a terrific trek. Short, steep hills, ravines, and water-crossings add to the workout. "These are opportunities not normally found so close to urban areas," she says. The hike starts along the Cuyahoga River's Valley Trail. Hikers then cross a pair of ridges before hooking up with the Buckeye Trail for the remainder of the journey. The three-and-a-half-hour hike begins at 1 p.m. at the National Park Service Headquarters, 15610 Vaughn Road in Brecksville. Admission is free. Call 216-524-1497 for more information. -- Lucy McKernan
A View to a Thrill
Sunday's Cleveland Fall Classic Half Marathon & 5K Race features a flat, double-looped course that winds through the Metroparks. But it's the scenic 8.5-mile trail's view -- which includes glimpses of fields and forests -- that brings runners back every year. Best of all, it culminates with an awards ceremony (including food and prizes) at the Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse in Strongsville. Action starts at 9 a.m. Sunday at Mill Stream Run Reservation's Bonnie Park Picnic Area (off Pearl Road/Route 42 in Strongsville). Registration is $22 (for the 5K and walk) and $25 (for the marathon). Call 216-556-1449 for more info. -- Lucy McKernan
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