“The trail has taught me much. I know now the varied voices of the coyote—the
wizard of the mesa. I know the solemn call of herons and the mocking cry of the loon.
I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and
cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk,
opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and
worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the
primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my
blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear a coyote
wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me—I am happy.”
AMLINGARLAND, Hitting the Trail, McClure’s,
There are many reasons that I love hitting the trails. Below I have listed a few from the top of my list:
1. You can’t beat the scenery. I love the unexpected sight of white tail deer, chipmunks, hawks, and other wildlife during my runs.
2. The air is clean and refreshing. There are no exhaust fumes running on trails; you can breath deeply without coughing or polluting your lungs.
3. The ground is softer than running on the road or a track, and much easier on my joints.
4. The serenity. What could be more relaxing than being enveloped in trees and nature? Nothing makes me feel more rejuvenated.
5. The challenge! It’s a great workout! The uneven terrain is great for working your stabilizing muscles, and the steep hills always push me to work harder.
6. It’s full of surprises. The landscape is always changing. I never know who or what I might run into (or run on for that matter!). I love the scenery changes, unexpected wildlife sightings, and the feeling of never knowing what may lie ahead when running on a new trail. I appreciate all variation running under shaded trees, to open fields filled with wild flowers, to narrow paths, to steep inclines, to views of ponds and streams.
7. It’s the only time I can enjoy classical music without falling asleep. Classical music makes a great soundtrack to the scenery! Plus, it keeps me relaxed and engaged in my surroundings, and helps me regulate my breathing when I’m working hard.
8. The sounds are relaxing. I would much rather hear the tranquil sound of a running stream or the birds, frogs, and crickets chirping than the hustle and bustle of traffic.
9. It’s a chance to enjoy nature. There’s a connection to the earth that you just can’t get on the roads.
10. It’s fun! It always feels like work to me when I run on pavement; but hitting the trails gives me a chance to relax, stretch my legs, and clear my head- despite the fact that it’s a better workout. I miss the trails when I can’t run. In fact, I get down right edgy. I need that time with nature; it’s good for the soul. 🙂