This past week I was able to visit family and friends back home. Spending my time in beautiful North Iowa I was able to enjoy the Independence Day holiday with a parade, carnival, boating, fireworks and of course much great company. In between all of this fun I also carved out some time for a few runs. One of these runs was on my absolute favorite trail of all time, Prairie Sisters Bike Trail in Ventura, IA.
This 4 mile (round trip) paved trail adventures along Clear Lake, through prairie, and even into the wooded areas of Ventura Heights. Although the wildlife I saw was limited to a few birds, some squirrels, and a small snake this trip, I frequently see wild turkey, deer, rabbits, and jumping carp, to name just a few. I would guess that my limited sightings were due to the trail being more heavily traveled by other patrons this particular weekend, since it was a holiday I did notice many more people enjoying the trail than usual. This made me a little sad that my hidden secret isn’t quite a secret anymore and reminded me that this trail isn’t quite “mine” either.
Now that vacation is over and I am back home in Kansas City this week, I am determined to find a favorite, hidden secret here. I really enjoy running along the paved trails at Heritage Park and Lake near my home, but it is usually very busy with walkers, runners, bikers, kayakers and families fishing. I am also fortunate to live near many city trails that wind through wooded areas, but again, they are no secret and are sometimes closed for race events.
I decided to try to take the paths less traveled, seeking out hidden treasures close to my pocket of the city. I live in the outskirts of Olathe, a vibrant, growing, and very large suburb of Kansas City. There are many new home developments within just a few miles from my own neighborhood, which allows me much opportunity to explore new trails and roads located in undeveloped and newly developed areas just outside of city limits.
My plan yesterday was to discover new trails as I tackled 12 miles but it was a hot, difficult run and I only made it about 7, having to walk an additional 1.5 miles back to my house. I did explore a little in the 8 miles I was out there, and was successful. I found two newly developed paved paths and although they weren’t very long yet, I am certain that as the newly built homes and undeveloped lots continue to progress so too will these paths. I am excited to keep an eye on these trails, and hope to look for even more later this week when I try for 12 miles again.
Do you have favorite paths or roads to run along? Do you seek out new routes to keep it interesting? Do you have secret trails you wouldn’t mind sharing? Comment below! We’d love to read about them.