This summer has been a real challenge for me with injury. First my achilles, and then a bad ankle sprain. I have been rehabbing aggressively, but haven’t been able to run on technical trails. My runs have been limited mostly to smooth rail trail because of my ankle injury.
A few days ago, I decided I needed a change from the K&P and Cataraqui Rail Trails, so did my run on Long Swamp Road near our place. Long Swamp Road is a dirt road that travels north, that eventually connects to First Lake Road at Bellrock. I haven’t run in this area much so was looking forward to the new scenery and rolling hills.
The run went quite well as my body seems to be holding up to the increased training again. The best part of my run though was that I discovered some new trails. I was quite surprised to run past a sign and parking lot for Depot Creek Nature Reserve. Apparently these trails have been donated to the Kingston Land Conservancy to protect this beautiful piece of property.
I decided not to explore these trails during this run alone with my weak ankle, as I still had a significant distance to finish my run, plus I was wearing unstable road shoes.
As soon as I got home though I sent an excited email to Sara telling her about this great new find. The temptation was more than we could stand and Sara and I decided to go for an easy run when she got home from work to check it out.
New trails never get old. The feeling that you get from exploring different areas by running is so exhilarating. For an area this close to our home we were very surprised at the ruggedness of the trails. The ponds, creeks, large rocks, old tree growth and pine needle trails offered so much variety in a very short distance. There was even a very solid bridge crossing Depot Creek that had a spectacular view of the rushing water beneath.
The entire trail system totaled less than 4 kms, but offered such diversity that it seemed like you were out there for much longer. The highlight of the run was at Elephant Rock where we found a large patch of the best tasting blackberries I’ve ever had.
In the future, I would definitely look to do a couple of loops of the trails to make a nice run, or add-on by running the rolling dirt road of First Lake Rd. I’m actually really looking forward to going back and doing some snowshoe running on the trails this winter.
I would encourage others to check out this beautiful gem. Just don’t forget to close the gate behind you in the pasture as the first part of the trail is shared with cows.