There are so many ways to enjoy the beautiful natural world on our doorstep. From first light to dusk (and even later at the floodlit Ski Centre!), you can pump up the energy with a fantastic range of exciting activities.
Paddle your Canoe
Canoeists can choose from three of the most invigorating and idyllic trails in Northern Ireland. The Blackwater Canoe Trail runs for 20 kilometres from Maydown Bridge to historic Coney Island, while the Cusher River Canoe Trail takes you three kilometres out of Portadown. You could spend a whole day on the wonderful Lough Neagh Canoe Trail, which links the Blackwater and Lower Bann Canoe Trails, following the shoreline of the UK's largest inland lake. Call 028 3831 1683 for information on all these trails.
Craigavon Watersports Centre
You can hire a canoe at the multi-faceted Craigavon Watersports Centre or try kayaking, banana boating, water-skiing or windsurfing there. Don't worry if you're just a beginner, expert instruction is on hand. It's not just watery fun either, you could hire a mountain bike and head off on the first dedicated mountain bike cycling trail in Northern Ireland - ten kilometres of pure fun for cyclists of all ages and abilities, through woodlands and meadows and along lakeside paths.
That's just the start of the cycling fun. Take National Cycle Network Route Nine to the delightful shoreline of Oxford Island. Once there, you can join the Loughshore Trail, otherwise known as Route 94 of the National Cycle Network. Or follow the beautiful 34-kilometre Craigavon Cycling Trail on National Cycle Route Ten from the shores of Lough Neagh to charming villages.
If you love the great outdoors, you can't miss Oxford Island. As well as 270 acres of stunning scenery, a glorious nature reserve and tranquil birdwatching, there are powerboat, sailing and keelboat courses for all abilities at Kinnego Marina there. The striking Loughside Café at the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre is an ideal place for lunch with excellent Northern Irish home cooking complemented by stunning views of the beautiful lough.
With your energy reserves refuelled it's time to head for something completely different - Northern Ireland's only artificial ski slope! The 200-ft slope at Craigavon Golf Ski Centre is perfect for snowboarding and snow blading as well as skiing, and if you're just starting out there's a gentle nursery slope to help you on your way. If you want to leave this until later, they have floodlights for night skiing too. The Centre also offers an 18-hole Championship golf course, 9-hole course, pitch and putt and a floodlit driving range and is just one of several great golf courses in the Borough.
Time for one more pursuit, though there's plenty left to choose from. How about the thrill of rallying at the Superdrive Motorsports Centre just outside Portadown? Try the Centre's rally cars or Thunder Karts (even children over eight get in on the act with their Cadet Karts) or, if you're in a group of ten or over, try archery or clayshooting at Foymore Lodge Outdoor Pursuits Centre.
Friday and Saturday nights you can enjoy great music and craic at pubs like the Vintage Bar (tel: 028 3832 8757) in Lurgan before setting off for a well earned night's sleep. You could head back to Oxford Island to the Kinnego Marina Caravan Park and Campsite (tel: 028 3832 7573)