Sunday, May 20, 2012

Guest Writer- Ramblin with AM-Vestal Rail Trail

Today I have a guest writer Alana join me.  For the blogathon we swapped posts and I'm longing to run on her trail.  Read on to hear about a great trail.

Hi!  I write a blog called Ramblin' With AM  and live in upstate New York.  I am not a runner but I have been a dedicated exercise walker for some 35 years now.Thank you to Christina at Lazy Bones Running, for giving me this opportunity to guest post on her blog.

One of my favorite places to walk is on what used to be a railroad track.  Years ago, when the railroad industry was king, there were thousands and thousands of miles of railroad tracks criss-crossing the United States.  Now, a lot of those tracks are no longer needed.

Around 1968, people had an idea:  take up the tracks, build trails on the railroad right of ways, and have these trails available for exercise and other community activities. Several rounds of federal legislation followed,.  The application for the first rail trail, in Missouri, was filed in 1986.  Almost 20,000. miles of these trails have now been built. So, almost everywhere you go in the United States, you can find a former rail, now a trail, just waiting for you to run on it.  And maybe even train for a marathon.

Don't take my word for it:  The Rails to Trails Conservancy published a recent article on how a Rail Trail can be an ideal marathon training venue. 

No traffic to dodge.
It's quiet.
You can run for long, uninterrupted stretches.

Our local trail is the Vestal Rail Trail and has been open for over 15 years now.  It is frequented by walkers, runners, bicyclists, and inline skaters, along with families just having a good time. Our particular trail is flat, straight, and  is a tiny bit over 2 miles long each way.  It is well maintained, with good surface, and is plowed in the winter.  It is never so crowded that exercise is difficult, although it is less congested on weekdays.  But there are shoulders to run on, if you need to pass someone.  And there is a little nature trail turnout, if you need to run on dirt.
The sign at the east end of our trail.
On the west end of the trail, the historic Rounds Coal House sits.  Moved several years ago from its original spot, where it was in danger of being torn down, it was moved and renovated. 

All along the trail are wildflowers and wild plants, which I have photographed time and again for my blog. Other rail trails have sculpture, and even community gardens.

Are you ready to take a run on your local rail trail?  

1 comment:

Giorgio said...

Running along a railroad track seems great! I picture that I could run for miles.
There is an old railroad track where I live. I'll give it a try!

with regards to your question about German language (I've just read your comment which you left on my blog), I don't speak German, Christina, although I'd like to learn that language because I love Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
I speak French (I learnt it when I got my political science degree), Rumanian (I worked in Romania for about 6 months) and, of course, Italian.

Today I've worn your "21 Annual Midnight Madness" shirt :)

Have a nice week!