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Hit the ice, learn to belly dance in Brady's Run

Recreational opportunities at Brady's Run Park in Beaver County are so diverse you can even belly dance there.

Opened 60 years ago, the park attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It was named in honor of Samuel Brady, a U.S. frontier scout and Indian fighter who served in the area in the late 1770s.

"There's so much to do, it's become a prime spot for a 'staycation,'" said Tom King, director of the Beaver County Department of Recreation and Tourism, which oversees the park. "Instead of going away, people are staying home and spending their vacations here."

Among the offerings at the 2,000-acre park:

� An indoor complex with a full-size ice arena, the park's busiest venue, which hosts figure skating competitions and youth hockey games.

� Four tennis courts and a track for walkers and joggers. Belly dance and exercise classes are offered to women.

� An outdoor action center with two basketball courts, four tennis courts, an inline skating rink and a skateboard park.

� One baseball field, five softball fields, a dog park, a horse arena, playgrounds and 20 horseshoe courts.

� A 1-mile outdoor walking track that drew large crowds last month when the weather was unseasonably warm. The path is free and open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The indoor track has proven popular, as well.

"We get 600 to 800 people there a day," King said.

A paved path connecting three of the park's picnic shelters attracts walkers.

Mountain-bike riders can follow trails through the woods.

An 18-acre lake is available for fishing year-round and swimming in the summer. But people swim at their own risk -- there are no lifeguards.

The county spent $2.1 million dredging the lake two years ago.

"We cleaned it up and removed the silt," King said.

"The nice thing about Brady's Run is that you have access to high-quality facilities without having to travel to Pittsburgh," said Diane Wakefield, 58, of Beaver, who has played tennis at the park for 35 years. "It's great having a place like that in your own back yard."

Additional Information:

If you go

Brady's Run Park is located off of Route 51 in Brighton, Beaver County. Admission is free, but some activities have a fee. For details, call 724-770-2060 or visit www.visitbeavercounty.com .

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