Back in the woods, already

Well, that didn’t take long.

I thought it would be weeks until I was able to hit the trails again. Wrong.

Just 24 hours after a snowfall that was believed to keep me out of the woods until maybe St. Pat’s Day, I found some runnable trails on Friday. Thanks to some snowmobilers.

I figured that since the shoulders of most main roads would be under snow, I headed to the quietness of neighboring Harvard. The roads are quiet enough that I ran down the middle of the road for the most part. It ended up being no problem; didn’t get splashed by any passing cars and I didn’t have to plunge into any deep snow. I ran over a bridge that goes over Route 2 and headed up Pinnacle Road. Yes, it was quite steep. Thus the name. But by then, I was about 40 minutes in and was ready for something a bit harder.

Once at the top of Pinnacle, I turned around to head back home. But since I hate doing out-and-backs, I took a detour. Yes, it was a trail through the woods. I almost turned around after a minute since the snow was deep and difficult. Then I noticed a trail that was packed down by a snowmobile. Instead of running in six inches of snow, it was more like two. Doable for sure.

Snowmobile trails are great because there are arrows pointing you in the right direction and if you cross a road, all you need to do is look into the woods for another arrow.

My run Friday took me along some Harvard Conservation Trails, which seem everywhere in that town. As I neared Route 2, the trail directed me to Poor Farm Road, which has a bridge that goes over Route 2. Not long after the bridge ended, I spotted another trail. Back in I went. There was one river to cross that made my shoes wet and dirty, but otherwise, it made for some easy running. Easy on the knees for sure. Soon, I was approaching another road. Now, the thing about finding “new” trails is it’s fun to find out where they lead you. So the next time you’re out, you have two options: the start orthe beginning of said trail. Helps when you want to make loop and to figure out how long you may be out on a certain day.

As I came up to this road, I wondered where the trail was going to dump me out. I figured I was near Old Shaker Road, but wasn’t sure. I was right, with a bonus attached. When I came out onto the road, there was a parking lot across the street. It was the trail head for a series of trails I’ve been running on lately. Once I found this out, I didn’t even break stride. Just headed for more trails. I even let out an audible “Yes!” as I crossed the street.

Eventually, the snowmobile trail takes you back to Route 110, which is a narrow road heading back to Ayer, so I didn’t want to go there. So I ran on some snowy trails that had some x-c ski tracks on it. It was a bit unsteady and I walked a bit, but it wasn’t long before I was back on Shaker Road and about 10 minutes from home. It turned into a 1:43 run. A bit longer than I wanted, but, oh, to be back on the trails again so soon.

There’s rain in the forecast for Saturday, so that could mean trails are out again for a while. Or at least for the weekend.


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