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#FavoriteRun: Maple Grove Forest Preserve

Posted Jul 09 2013 7:01am
Maple Grove Forest Preserve

When MissZippy posted yesterday about a #FavoriteRun workout, I knew I had to participate. While I have many favorite runs, there is one that I am always happy to fit into my schedule; I even include it in my longer runs when I can.

The run is simple: from my house I run to Maple Grove Forest Preserve, run through it, then run home. 3.5 or so miles, it's not a long run or particularly difficult, but it includes easily accessible trails, which is all I need.

No matter how you enter the Preserve, you find yourself on wide, crushed gravel trails, just the right width for horseback riding or cross-country skiing, which is how this style originated around here, with multiple uses in mind. If you're familiar with the preserve (and I am), you can run a figure 8 using singletrack, a route which covers almost every square inch of runnable trails that exist in this forest.
Depending on the time of year, the trails are muddy or not, snow or ice-covered, or clear, leaf-strewn or unencumbered by anything. There are uphills and downhills, sharp turns, even fallen trees to jump on or over.
(Also, there's a port-a-potty.)

Running this favorite route always relaxes me, through familiar streets to the train tracks, passing the library, then the option of choosing one of 3 entrances. Soon I'm under the tree canopy (bare in winter), on the lookout for roots, slick ice, deer, the occasional dog walker. No matter how I felt starting out, as I recross the train tracks and make the turn for home, I'm glad I got out for this run, each and every time.
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