When asked where is your favorite place to run? I immediately thought MOUNTAINS! But then I came to the conclusion. I am always at Stone Park running up what I consider mountains on a regular basis, so I decided perhaps Stone Park is my favorite place to run…..
When you don’t live by mountains, you must make your own mountain. Iowa is not totally flat and I am lucky to live in some of the hilliest area. Stone State Park contains 6 miles of equestrian trails, 6 miles of mountain bike and snowmobile trails and 8 miles of hiking and cross country skiing trails. I run them all. The park is part of the Loess Hills of western Iowa- Sioux City! It offers scenic wooded valleys, dry prairie ridges, Look outs of the Big Sioux River, and neighboring states of South Dakota and Nebraska.
I run a lot of my long runs at Stone Park. No matter what the weather it is a great place for up and down twist and turns, long steady climbs, fast downhill climbs, and through it all there are some stairs sprinkled in the trails to keep you on your toes. One of my favorite trails is labeled “Broken Toe” luckily I haven’t had any of them…yet. I run loops and loops, but not always the same path. I mix and match and some days I still get lost and wonder where I’m at. That’s the best part about Stone Park. It never feels like you are on the same path. I devise many different routes to keep me entertained for hours and hours. When I say “devise” I really mean I start running and decide if I am going left or right when I come to a fork in the trail HA! Ruth Ridge, Big Sioux , Broken Toe, Loess Trail, Marks Glen are a few of my favorite trails I tend to stick on.