Saturday, April 05, 2014

Running the Fells with the Trail Animals

I've spent the past few days working in the Boston area, and before my flight left to come back to Colorado, I managed to squeeze in some time for a trail run at the Middlesex Fells Reservation with the Boston-area trail-running group, the Trail Animals Running Club. The TARC runners were friendly and welcoming, and showed me around the Fells, a 3400-acre scenic area that has served as a natural retreat from the city of Boston since 1894.

More than 100 miles of trails wind their way through the Fells, and although they are somewhat marked by color code, it's helpful to have a guide, as it's easy to take a wrong turn. Not all intersections are marked. I was lucky; the TARC runners ran with me for a 6-mile loop of the Reservoir Trail (marked in orange flashing on the trees) and pointed me toward the 8-mile loop of the Skyline Trail (marked in white flashing on the trees.) Though the weather was quite good, the trails - especially the Reservoir Trail - were wet and very muddy in spots. I fell three times over the course of the 14 miles, as the roots and rocks on the trails were wet and slippery. (This Colorado runner, from the arid west, is unaccustomed to that basic element - water - that is a usual part of an east-coast runner's routine.)

I took a number of photos along the way today. Thanks, TARC runners... and see you on the trail!

One of the many ponds & reservoirs along the trail.

A rocky part of the Skyline Trail. A thin coating of moss made a lot of these rocks very slippery.

Follow orange for the Reservoir Trail, green for the mountain bike loop, and white for the Skyline Trail.

Another lovely spot along the Skyline Trail.

Another reservoir (there's a pond around every corner here!)

Steep stone steps on the Skyline Trail.

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