Kankakee River State Park, Over the River & Thru the Woods ….

I’m on a mission to run every trail in our area before the Huff 50K on December 28th.  Why?  Because it’s fun!!  Plus, I’d like to hope that one of these trails will give me a tiny bit of preparedness for the event.    Okay, probably not but at least I can say that I was out there, running real trails, and making an effort to prepare for possibly the most difficult thing that I’ve attempted so far.  I also know from a previous trail adventure involving the Grand Canyon and a group of pretty ladies that one of the most important things you can do beforehand is to prepare the feet/ankles and break in the shoes before show time.  Let it suffice to say that I think my shoes are officially broken in, if being dirty counts.   Now can someone just recommend a pair of insulated tights that will cover these LONG legs?? 

dirty trail shoes

So last Saturday, I met up with a few runners from the Kankakee River Running Club to run some backwoods trails at the Kankakee River State Park.   I say “backwoods” cuz well, you won’t find them unless you are lost following someone who knows where to look.  After running out of the parking lot, across a grassy area and then ducking under a gate, we found the semblance of trails.  Very rough trails. 

Kankakee River State Pk_ Trails_Nov 2013  Kankakee River State Pk_ Trails2_Nov 2013 

However, most of the time we were running thru area like this:

Kankakee River State Pk_ woods_Nov 2013   Kankakee River State Pk_ woods2_Nov 2013

We saw lots of cool things and the Kankakee runners were kind enough to stop and let me take a few billion photos.  I am a bridge lover and LOVE to find random bridges in the middle of nowhere.  I also like stairs.  A lot.  Who loves stairs while they run?  Me!!

Kankakee River State Pk_bridge & stairs_Nov 2013  Kankakee River State Pk_stairs_Nov 2013

We also passed the river several times and even found a teepee!  See Mike S, lounging on the frozen ground in the teepee.  And thanks to Jodie & Amie for stopping for a photo!

Kankakee River State Pk_ River_Nov 2013 Kankakee River State Pk_ Mike-TeePee_Nov 2013 Kankakee River State Pk_ Jodi-Amie_Me_Nov 2013

And my favorite part of the day, besides hanging out with new runners, was definitely when we lost the trail and had to climb thru a fence to continue the run.  So.Much.Fun. 

Kankakee River State Pk_ Fence_Nov 2013

I had an amazing day out at the Kankakee River State Park.  I loved the backwoods section as much as the beautiful paved trail that runs directly next to river.  More info on the easy to follow paved trail HERE

I encourage you to get out in the “off season” and make your next run an adventure.  No need to pound the same trail, every single day, change things up.  Have fun.  Leave the watch at home.  Enjoy the moment!

** Run the Trails ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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