Heading down the white trail at the beginning of my run in Abraham Lincoln Park, Penfield, NY.
Big city running can often mean sticking to the roads or running around the edges of some small park. But, if you really look and seek them out, many cities have great trails hidden in parks that perhaps very few take advantage of or even know exist. One that meets these qualifications is hidden within Rochester, NY, in the suburb of Penfield, in the midst of a busy commercial area right near Irondequoit Bay. The park is called the Abraham Lincoln Park, formally the Irondequoit Bay Park East prior to February 2009. The name was changed that year to honor the 200th birthday of the former president of the USA. Abraham Lincoln Park
Irondequoit Bay from one of the trails at Abraham Lincoln Park.
The park trails are color coded, with the white trail being the main thread linking together most of the trails. However, note that there are also several linking trails marked on the park map in black, many of which on the east will take you up right behind someone's home or business as I found out the first time I ran in Abraham Lincoln Park. Today when I ran there, I had learned my lesson. Keep the white trail in mind as the connecting thread linking all the other colors, but not circling back. In order to return to the parking lot, you have to eventually retrace your steps even when running the mini-loops that make up the yellow, green, red, orange, and blue loops. (Though I didn't actually ever make the blue loop.) Doing this, and rerunning a few parts, I had a nice, but extremely hard 5 mile run this morning.
The trails may be on the bay, but they are not flat. There are several hills where your hands will be pushing on your quads going up or reaching for trees to slow your descent. There's even a few spots where you are so close to the edge of the bay and the trail slants that you need to tread very gingerly. Running this in winter time must be exhilarating between the views and the danger a few places would provide. All in all though, the trails here are pretty sweet. Just make sure to either take a map with you, memorize it, or follow the color swatches, because all the little side trails can really get you heading in the wrong place when you are seeking to head back and finish. Go find a local park and enjoy the trails!!!
|No, you won't fall in, but be careful!|