Published on: August 2nd, 2011
Midway through the month of July, outdoor lovers and athletes alike, start to feel thereal heat of summer. Overworked muscles start to ache a little, the arches of the feet become more resistant to the idea of becoming one with whatever hiking, biking or climbing shoe that covers them. That pre-existing knee or shoulder injury starts to flare up again, and that trail run and canyon bike ride start to seem a little more daunting and a little less fun than outdoorsy workouts executed in the spring.
After months of outdoor cycling, nightly runs and weekend hikes, my body is starting to complain a little, and an old knee injury is busy doing the talking. In an effort to still get out and soak up some Vitamin D, I’ve put together a list of my favorite “R&R” walks that I use to give my body the rest that it needs, while still enjoying the great outdoors. Relax and Recover along the following low-key trails that will give you the breath of fresh air that every outdoor enthusiast craves and leave your body feeling, well, manageable when it all comes to an end.
Pella Crossing (Hygiene)
This scenic cluster of ponds boasts 3.7 miles of trails for your walking pleasure. Beautiful views of snowcapped mountains can be seen around every turn, and clear, blue ponds offer a nice peaceful place to take a load off and relax during your workout. Dogs are allowed and fishing is permitted at Pella Crossing, so bring your four-legged or your two-legged friends, and burn some calories while resting your muscles and relaxing your mind.
Wonderland Lake Trail (North Boulder)
Tucked at the base of the foothills in the highly active North Boulder area, Wonderland Lake Trail is a great place to take a walk if you’re dealing with injuries on the lower half of your body. A fairly flat dirt trail winds its way around Wonderland Lake and in and out of local neighborhoods. If you’re feeling strong at the end of your workout, test the waters and strengthen your leg muscles by hitting some of the trails that make their way up into the mountainside. This path stays pretty busy with a mix of walkers, joggers, runners and bikers—so bring your walking shoes and step up your work out just enough to sweat a little, while keeping it low-key enough to keep all ligaments and muscles intact.
Night Hawk Trail at Hall Ranch (Lyons)
Hall Ranch attracts a mix of nature enthusiasts and dedicated athletes to its many miles of trails each day. While most athletes opt to test their strength and endurance on the difficult Bitter Brush Trail, those seeking a moderate, quiet workout take the path less traveled and burn their calories on the Night Hawk Trail. This 4.7 mile (one way) hike has a strict “no bikes allowed” policy and gives walkers a steady mix of moderate inclines and declines to keep calf muscles toned.
Bobo Link Trail (Baseline & Cherryvale Road, Boulder)
And last but not least, grab a friend and a cup of coffee and hit the very easy Bobo Link trail that winds along a riverbed shaded with trees and adorned with beautiful flowers. Give your body the day off and take this 1.5 mile stretch of flat land perfect for an afternoon stroll and optimal for soaking up some good ol’ Vitamin D.
Enjoy taking the path less traveled, and stay tuned for Part II of this series, dedicated to the local trails that will get your butt in gear… and in ridiculously good shape!