Saturday, April 16th, we didn’t have much on the agenda.. but we knew we wanted to go out and explore some of the trails near us. We checked the map and saw that up near Oak Ridge there was a park with many miles of trails.
It seemed like a great time to explore the main park in Oak Ridge, Haw Ridge Park.
The parking lot near the trailhead was filled with cars. That made me pretty excited. There were many people out on the lake, people getting their mountain bikes set up to go shred the gnar on the trails and there were people just going for a nice stroll on the trails, too. COOL!
The map of Haw Ridge Park at the trailhead showed there were dozens of routes to run, hike, and mountain bike. There was even a greenway system on the outskirts of the park. Pretty pleased with our time there.
We went into Haw Ridge Park without a plan on where to hike, as we knew there wasn’t really a chance we’d get lost. There were so many different routes, it was so exciting! We started on the greenway, then took the first right into the woods we could. Then the adventure began. We just hiked and hiked for a while, then an older gentleman on a mountain bike came up behind us and exclaimed, “Great day to be outside, look at all the pretty flowers!” We stepped off the trail so he could cruise up the hill. Haw Ridge Park is an excellent place for those looking for some fun on a mountain bike. They had so many single track trails, sweet wooden berms like the one pictured, some pretty cool rock gardens, and more.
We wandered along the trail some more, saw a few more mountain bikers, and kept making random turns at trail intersections, as we weren’t worried about time, distance, or anything really. We were just exploring Haw Ridge park, having a grand ol’ time! There were some pretty wide open sections where there were power lines, so it became a little toasty when we encountered sections like that, but those weren’t too long and then we were back in the woods.
We found a nice bench by the river at one point, maybe half way through our adventure. We sat, enjoyed the view and ate some of our delicious homemade trail mix with cashews, dried cranberries, almonds, raisins, banana chips, and pieces of dark chocolate. YUM! After a short break, we meandered on and took our fun jump shots! Woohoo, jump shots are exciting!
After another two and a half miles or so on the trails, we hit the greenway system and then were back at the parking lot/trailhead. All in all, we hiked about 5.66 miles at Haw Ridge Park. Once we hit the parking lot, we grabbed some pre-planned mini-lunch out of the car and had apple slices, cheese slices, and grapes.
Once we finished eating and relaxing after our hike, we headed home. After maybe 30 minutes of recovering when we got home, I ventured out for my run. I ran 6.82 miles. I did the 2.9 mile loop from the other day when I did 2 loops of the route, then one mile efforts. I ended up cutting 1:03 minutes off the previous best time for the loop. Woot. Then I followed that up with some extra mileage to get me to the 6.82 miles. From Sunday to Saturday, that put me at a total of 75.31 miles. That includes all miles hiked, ran, and the 5.3 miles I biked the other day before I got a flat tire. Over 55 of the 75 was mileage from running. Not too shabby. Derby Festival Marathon coming up, so that means taper-time.