Trails and Tans

Updated: Aug 18, 2020

Lately my babes and I have been taking trail walks. While I still work out from time to time, even though I tell myself I do it more, I love the trail walks. It's something so refreshing about being out in nature and getting fresh air. The change of scenery is much needed during this work-from-home period.

Studies have shown that being in nature boosts moods and reduces blood pressure, stress, and anger. That being said, and that fact that being in nature contributes to your physical well-being, I highly recommend trail walks. For the past month, we’ve been going to Heritage Park. According to their site, this is an 8211-acre park and that has 4.5 miles of trails for hiking and nature study. There’s also a picnic area that includes a splash pool, small playground, and some volleyball courts. I’ve been loving this park so far. There are multiple trails within the one park and we plan to walk every trail. Another cool thing about the park, some trail lead into each other, giving you the option to walk one trail in it’s entirety or take one trail, hop off and walk a different trail. There are signs and arrows that inform you of the different trails.

This park discourages bicycles and pets but I've been to parks that promote both bikes and pets. Try searching for pet-friendly or bike-friendly parks in your area and see if you have any luck.

Don't forget, there's nothing wrong with the good, old-fashioned walk around the block.

We're a fan of the trails at this park because no two trails are the same. Some trails are shadier than others. Since there are non-shady trails to run into, we typically take our walks in the A.M., before the sun comes out but most times it does eventually warm up while we’re out there. We do sweat, which is great, and we always bring our water bottles. even if you're not walking while the sun is up, keep your water bottle close by.

Sidenote: my ThermoFlask is the bomb! It keeps my ice frozen and my water cold for hours. It's also durable.

I've dropped this thing off my bed onto hardwood floor and outside on concrete. It has a few dents but it did not break, bust, or leak.

Trails also differ in terms of heels and inclines. Some trails have these features while others are flat and straight.

The variety of trails at this park is great and I think that’s why we love it so much. Also, our walks are typically about a hour to an hour and a half.

We’ve already discovered that the River Trail is one of our faves.

This trail takes you past a small river. There aren’t too many inclines on this trail and it’s a pretty shady trail. While by the water we often see these pretty bright turquoise dragonflies. Today we saw dragonflies that were a lavender color. Neither of said dragonflies were captured on camera.

We saw deer for the first time today! We saw a mother deer and her baby, and shortly after we spotted the father. They even stopped and ate so we had the pleasure of watching them for a while.

Today was actually a pretty cool walk because also for the first time, we saw a small snake. We tried to get a picture of it but it was too fast. Typically we see a variety of birds on the trails; we saw a Bluejay today. We also see squirrels and chipmunks regularly on each trail. Something else a lot of the trails seem to have in common are random bench/rest areas, which we sometimes utilize for picture taking.

I’ve seen people walk the trails in sandals but I prefer and recommend wearing gym shoes on trails.

These are trails with uneven ground. A lot of times we walk on unpaved trails with rocks, gravel, and wood chips. Along with the uneven terrain, gym shoes would help tackle inclines.

Lastly, I got a tan! I typically wear sunscreen on my walks. I highly recommend sunscreen. I've had sunburn before and it's definitely no fun. Today none of us grabbed the sunscreen but we tried to stay on the shady trails.

This is not a complaint. Each summer I look forward to a tan and I achieved the perfect one. Sun-kissed skin makes me happy.

I plan to start my search for a sun visor. Please share any recommendations.

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