It is hard to believe it is August already. Summer is passing by so quickly. It has been a hot and rainy one so far. I finally made it out to my favorite bike trail last week and am hoping to get back out there tomorrow. Riding my bike makes me so happy and relaxed. It’s better than meditation because I get cardio too.
The Sangamon Valley Bike Trail is about 6 miles long. Our city has received the federal funding needed to expand the trail to 10 miles. Four miles will be added to the northern including a bridge over the Sangamon River. The trail is an abandoned railroad right-of-way and is completely paved. It takes me about an hour to ride it round trip (12 miles).
Although I live about a half mile away, I have to either drive my car to it or take a long bike ride to access it. I am told that my own subdivision will soon have access to it. Then I will be able to use it more often then. I can fit my mountain bike in the back of my Toyota Rav4 but it’s still a pain in the you know what!
It is a gorgeous trail and well used. It is shady with many trees and shrubs. There are many wildflowers, birds, ground squirrels, butterflies, and rabbits to see. The occasional snake can be seen crawling across the trail. There are a few creeks flowing under it so there are bridges to cross. You will pass through corn fields, bean fields, a grain elevator, city subdivisions, and even a pasture with cows grazing. The trail is mostly flat with a few small inclines. It is usually busy with bikers, walkers, and runners. I usually see a few young mothers pushing strollers and walking their dogs.
There are benches along the trail for resting or wildlife watching. There are port-a-potties at the parks at each end. Centennial park has a bike repair/maintenance station with tools and an air pump.
There is a park at either end of the trail. Stuart Park is at the north end of the trail. It is a beautiful park surrounded by farmland and residential area. It has 2 ball parks and a soccer field. There is a picnic shelter and a playground with plenty of trees and a prairie garden. There are two dog parks and a pond.
Centennial Park is in the south end of the trail. It is also a beautiful park. It is surrounded by farm fields and a wooded area. There is a small lake and a sledding hill which is about 100 feet high. The hill has a short hiking trail. There are 2 picnic areas and a playground. The park has 4 ball fields, a skateboard facility, and bocce ball courts.
There are several other trails around the city of Springfield. The Wabash Trail is 3 miles long and begins at the intersection of Wabash Avenue and MAcArthur Blvd. and ends at Robbins road. The Interurban Trail begins at the intersection of Wabash Avenue and Park Avenue and in the village of Chatham. The Lost Bridge Trail is 5 miles long and begins in the parking lot of The Department of Transportation ands in the village of Rochester. We are very lucky to have so many beautiful bikes trails. Riding your bike in the street is a little scary around here. People drive really fast.
Biking is an excellent cardio workout. It burns calories. It strengthens yours hips, thighs, and butt. It is easy on your joints. Plus, it’s fun!
There is something very soothing and relaxing about being outside and riding my bike as fast as I can. It is just exhilarating! Fresh air, sunshine, nature. Life is truly amazing!