Question: Let’s get off road — what (and where) are your favorite trails to run (with in a 1-hour drive of Erie)?
Asbury woods… Hills, stream crossing… Just did Erie Bluffs and they have developed a lot more also. — Jan Comi
Asbury Woods and Oil Creek State Park — Karen Manganaro
Pleasant Ridge Park. — Megan Corbin
Asbury Woods! — Dennis Albrewczynski
Depending on how fast you drive and where in Erie, for me, Oil Creek State park is always worth the drive down. — Christine Vassen
Re. the O.C. trails: You can catch the trail in Titusville near Drake well museum..park just before Jersery Bridge. Walk up the bike trail about 1/4 mile & the entrance to the Gerard hiking trail will be on your right. Also…at the parking lot is a large display of the trail system where you should find a free map of the park. —Linda Young
Presque Isle has miles of well-groomed trails that are not extensively populated. Enjoy them before the snow flies! — Tom Toale (Editor’s Note: You can enjoy them after the snow flies with a pair of cross country skis!)
Edinboro U. Cross country course (Perry Lane on the wooded side between Scott Road and Darrow Road) and Bull’s Dam (see below) — Ginny Sackett
Some of my favorite places to get off-road:
Penn State Behrend has myriad trails snaking through the woods around campus. They are not marked, but they’re pretty well worn and, so, not hard to follow. None of trails go for very long before emerging on a road or spilling onto campus, but you can usually pick up another trail across the sidewalk/road, etc. Trail heads start in the upper left hand corner above the soccer/lacrosse field, on the left side after crossing the bridge just past the “Behrend fields” sign, and at the foot of Cooper Road (run up the gorge trail, pick up smaller trails at the top).
Bull’s Dam (also known as Eaton Reservoir) has a three-mile flat and wide grass trail around the reservoir, but….there are also miles and miles of single-track technical trail in the woods surrounding the reservoir. Just venture in wherever you see an opening and explore.
Harborcreek Community Park (Clark & Firman Roads in Harborcreek) has a paved trail around the park, but there are also lots of trails through the woods that the local cross country teams run. Again…none of them are more than a couple miles, but they are relatively easy trail running (flat, not too technical), but still give you a nice off-road experience.
Headwaters Park has three miles of trails that are well marked and easy to run without having to look down the entire time. We just discovered this park recently…it’s tucked behind the Country Fair off Route 8 in what I thought was an industrial park. Who knew there were 70 acres of wilderness back there?
Headwaters Park and the Headwaters Natural Resource Center was created by the Headwaters NRC Trust.
Located near I-90 and Route 8 is a unique area creating the headwaters of Mill Creek. 35 acres adjacent to the Thomas E. Bundy Industrial Park was donated by Erie County for the creation of our conservation park.
I’ve also been meaning to check out Harborcreek’s Six Mile Creek Park (off Clark Road). Some trail running friends have said there are nice paths there.
Trail running can be dangerous for a several reasons. You can get lost. You can fall and get injured (and be miles from help). And trails are, of course, usually not populated and are found in remote (isolated) locations. So…please heed these tips:
* Run with a friend, if possible.
* Always carry a cell phone (but understand it might not work if you’re in a very remote location)
* Dress in layers. Things can cool off fast…and if you get too hot, you can always take off layers.
* Pay attention. Make it a point to pick out landmarks or certain trees, particularly if the trail forks, so you can find your way back out.
* Wear gloves to avoid bloody palms when you fall (it’s a given that trail runners occasionally fall).
* Carry ID.
* Don’t wear headphones.
* Tell someone where you are going and when you’re leaving. This is good practice…no matter where you are running.
Trail running rules
Just as there are etiquette rules in racing, road running and group running, there are trail running etiquette rules, too.