Sunday, May 4, 2008

Trails in TN

Sure wish we had more running trails in the Middle TN area. Hate that I missed the Wild Thang. Actually that trail is one of my least favorite in the area. The rocky section on the far end hurts my feet. If I had some real trail shoes that wouldn't matter. No use buying any real trail shoes, not enough trails to make it worthwhile. They do make a difference when the trail is slick or muddy. Rocky trails require a forefoot plate or more protection, especially for a toe runner like me.

The trails at Long Hunter State park and Cedars of Lebanon State park are the closest to the house. I really like the trails at Percy Warner Park, but the best one is the yellow trail for horses. Don't know why runners aren't allowed on that trail. In Texas runners and horse riders shared trails, as well as the mountain bikers. Four wheelers and motorcycle riders had separate trails. The Chattanooga area seems to be developing some new trails. I also found a link to the Cumberland Trail. That would make a good camping trip to check out some of the trails. Lots of trails in the Smokey Mountains. All of those would require an overnight stay.

Checked out the horse trail from the Walter Hill access at the Stones River and Hwy 231. Ended up running 4.5 miles of trail and 2.5 miles of black top back to where I started. The trail is not maintained, Percy Warner's yellow trail is a super highway in comparison. Most of the trail was single track and spots were so overgrown I could barely see the trail. Managed to sprain my right ankle a mile into the run. Slight swelling this evening, pretty tender and sore all day. Because the trail isn't maintained or marked very well, lots of side trails leading down to the river. It was cool sliding on my butt down the mud slopes on the creek crossing and then crawling on all fours back up the other side. Lots of mud and ankle deep water. Lots of poison ivey. Really felt good to wade into the river afterwards to wash all of the mud off.

At 4 miles I decided to turn around and head back. Found what I thought was the horse trail, instead of the single track deer trail I was running. It didn't last very long before it ended up on the road. Decided I'd had enough of the brush and undergrowth and ran back on the blacktop back to the car. It was actually a straighter shot. I didn't realize how much the river twists and turns until I looked at the GPS map download from the Garmin. Actually did use the Garmin to make sure I was going the right way to get back to the car. Decided it wasn't to bright to run the trail by myself. Had I really twisted my ankle as bad as last time, it would have been a hell of a hike back out.