What do I mean by not runner friendly? Well neighborhood routes are often too short. Non-neighborhood routes are difficult in that many roads are narrow and have no sidewalks; roads with sidewalks have a lot of intersections and aren't in the best parts of town.
|I think this sign was husband's favorite park of the park|
I had never been to this park before, but had wanted to check it out. It was built just a few years ago and contains a network of hiking and multi-use trails. If you know what you're looking for the park is fairly simple to find, down a road off of Panama City Beach Parkway (aka Backbeach). If you're not looking for it though, it's easy to not know it's even there. The road dead ends at an information center with a small parking area, clean restrooms, and a water fountain. Entrance to the park is free, but parking is limited. The information center was closed so I can't comment on what they have inside. Outside of the information center are large maps of the park along with information about the environment, animals, plants, and so forth.
|Map provided by the park website|
The trail started out with light tree coverage and was mostly dirt, as the trees thinned out the ground became more mulch covered and the trail narrowed for a stretch before widening back out. Around this point I realized I had left my GU in the car(!), so husband, who was riding a mountain bike alongside me went back for it. About 3 miles or so into the run, the trail turns onto dirt roads, connecting to hunting ground (wear bright colors!) and I passed a group of hunters in pickups.
I usually like to have my GU around 4 miles, but husband still hadn't got back to me! I was also getting pretty thirsty and he had my water, I started to worry if he got lost. About this time I approached a section where the trail turned into deep beach sand and had to walk, this is also when I finally spotted husband behind me. The sand was impossible for the mountain bike and he had to walk it as well. Thankfully these sandy stretches weren't too long and then we were back to dirt. There was even shade for a little bit. And then we were done!
|Here you can see one of the swampy areas|
|Map of Gayle's Trails|
Have you tried out any new trails lately?