Trail Boy is feeling giddy.
Later this week, I will travel to Northeast Ohio to see friends and family — and run some beloved old trails in the Cuyahoga Valley.
When I e-mailed a running friend from Akron to see if he would join me on the trails, he said “you bet your posterior,” or something like that. Then he suggested a half-dozen trails to choose from. All of them are within a 15-20 minute car ride of downtown Akron.
Trail Boy can’t wait.
The thing is, my friend could have come up with another dozen choices, without breaking a sweat. Maybe two dozen.
Yes, there are that many good trails in Northeast Ohio. You could fill a book with all the hiking and running trails in the Cuyahoga Valley. I have several guides like just like that on my bookshelf. I page through them from time to time, reliving great outings with friends.
During the seven years I live in Akron, I spent many many happy days exploring these trails.
Some people might be surprised to hear that an old industrial town in the Midwest is a trail-running haven. But it’s true. Akron is home to the only national park in the Midwest, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a wonderful gem of wilderness and recreation.
Most every weekend, the trails fill with hikers and runners. It’s pretty easy to find a group ready to hit the trails.
After receiving my friend’s note, I was so overwhelmed with options that I had to leave my desk and take a lunchtime run. I headed down the street to Military Park, the oldest park in Indy, where I ran loops on the grass for about five miles.
Properly endorphined, I came back and e-mailed my choice back to my friend.
I am really looking forward to my visit. Indy is a wonderful town, but the trail options are limited. To run more than 10 miles without retracing your steps, you have to drive nearly 90 minutes to a national forest.
I’m not complaining. Good things in life, such as beautiful trails, are worth the extra effort.