4 miles on the Patapsco River Trail

This morning I decided to seek out a new trail in my area and grace it with my footprints.  This trail is easy to moderate in difficulty.  At around 10am I encountered two ladies on horseback and a woman walking her dog, so, not too many people on the trail.  This was the first time I’ve ever seen horses be ridden on a Patapsco trail.  I mean, I’ve spotted the horse poop periodically along paths, but never the horse.  The Woodstock Seminary Trails in Patapsco Valley State Park  include the Patapsco River Trail and the Nike Trail.  According to a hiking guide book, Baltimore Trails by Bryan MacKay, the Nike trail takes you to a quarry that was mined for granite and to the abandoned Nike missile site used during the Cold War in the 1950s and 60s.  Today I didn’t take the Nike Trail because I didn’t know if I could have made the entire 4.6 mile circuit.  However, I did make it 2 miles down and 2 miles back on the Patapsco River Trail that began at Woodstock Road.  I hear there is good rock climbing/bouldering in Woodstock, but I didn’t encounter any climbing opportunities today.  Next time I am in this region of the park I will definitely check out the water at the quarry and the old site.

It feels good to get back into the park and run the trails.  When the temperature is too high or the air quality is poor, I tend to stay inside or go to Earth Treks to get my fitness fix.   I was lucky today because, even though we are supposed to see temperatures raise to the mid-90s, I was able to find protection from the sun beneath the leaves of the trees.  It also helps that I am an efficient ‘cooler’ by sweating buckets as I run.  I even felt the top of my skin and it was cool rather than warm–an interesting phenomena.

Running is one of 3 main workouts that help me maintain, strengthen, and progress my fitness goals.  Through trail running I am able to revert back to a primal mentality as I sprint through the forest, never stopping to look back and only concerned with where my next step lands.  You don’t get this at the shopping malls of suburbia nor in bustling city centers.  You can’t buy this feeling of freedom within nature; it’s free.

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