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Posts Tagged ‘Wissahickon Trail’

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Just pictures today..

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For today’s Saturday  LST I went from Valley Green to Hermit’s Cave, aka the mysterious Cave of Kelpius, with some other Wanderers..then back to Valley Green via yellow trail, then  continued on the yellow trail to Wise’s Mill, then over the covered bridge and back on the orange and white trails for a total of 11.8 miles on trails, with a total ascent of about 400 feet.  Every time I came down to Forbidde Drive I started to run out of gas, so I scampered back up to the upper trails and was mysteriously revitalized.   At the end of the run, I came across a flock of baby goslings hanging around the inn, waiting for a wedding to start. Maybe they were waiting for rice to be thrown. Cuteness galore.

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This was my shortest Saturday run in a long time, but I console myself with the knowledge that Monday is a holiday so I can get in extra miles.

Winter has come, and I am not yet acclimated.  I’ve also completely forgotten how to layer properly for the temperature I guess.  I wore 3 thin layers on top but about 30 minutes into my run I was cooking, and had to stop and take off the top layer, which involved a long arduous process of taking off the gloves and mittens, unstrapping the ipod from my arm, the water belt from my waist, taking off the pullover, and reconnecting my stuff, tying the pullover around my waist  and putting the gloves back on, by which time I was cold from standing still.  Sigh.  I haven’t gotten the hang of this yet.  Actually, I’m just wimpy about starting out cold, even though I know I’ll heat up quickly.

Route: Valley Green to white trail to Bells Mill, cross over Forbidden Drive, up Pain Hill, yellow trail to brown trail to the Meadows, then yellow trail back to Forbidden Drive.  Total of a little over 5 miles with some significant climbs.

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Saturday was a good run..Chestnut Hill through Andorra, via Houston Meadow, returning via Wise’s Mill, Forbidden Drive, and Valley Green. Map Link. There is something ominous about the lighting in the photos of the meadow..it makes the forest look dark and deep. Odd, because it was really a pretty nice day

 

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Sunday, I decided to try to find a good connecting routes between the Wissahickon Trail at Northwestern (where it is Forbidden Drive), and the section that traverses Fort Washington State Park and goes up to Germantown Academy.  I don’t go this way much, because  I am always frustrated when I follow the trail out Northwestern Avenue past Chestnut Hill College and Morris Arboretum only to run out of trail on Stenton Avenue, and the speedy traffic combined with narrow, steep and sometimes non-existent shoulders make it a bit scary to get to the trail head on Valley Green Road.  Today I tried  taking Germantown Pike to Thomas Road, and running along the perimeter of the Whitemarsh Country Club to Stenton Ave, passing Erdenheim Farm and coming to W. Valley Green Road from the opposite direction.  This route, while not completely pedestrian-friendly was MUCH better then the more direct route. And there were sheep! Sheep are cool.

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Being covered with fallen leaves can make it hard to see the trails in some places.  I mean the trails are covered, not that I’m covered with fallen leaves.   (If I were, that would mean I’m running way too slowly.)  Back on the trails this week..hill repeats and running on the white trail and yellow trail, enjoying the fall foliage and fantastic weather.  I was surprised to see so few people on the trails on a Saturday..but just when I was thinking to myself..hmm..it’s sorta deserted here..if I fell and broke my ankle,  I wonder how long it would be until someone came along to help me hobble to my car or go get the paramedics, I saw four Wanderers coming in the opposite direction.  Yay!   After going up Pain Hill and down, I decided to do some speed work on Forbidden Drive, as a result of a conversation with ML in which he convinced me that the only way to get fast is to run fast.  Of course I’d heard that before, but I assumed it referred to other people and not me.  Whenever I try speed drills I seem to get slower.  ML  patiently informed me that this is normal at first, but if I keep at it I will indeed get faster.  So, we’ll see.  I sort of hate it, though.

Back at Valley Green I met up with Rodman, Rick, and Melanie who had just completed their 8 mile taper run.  All three denied being ready for the marathon, which is  just 8 days away.  Personally, I am totally ready.. to distribute beverages to weary runners at the Wanderers Hydration Station  at the 18/22 mile mark on beautiful Ridge Ave.

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A short 5-ish mile up and back in Ft. Washington Park this evening.   Everywhere there was still evidence of the recent floods..grasses and undergrowth still leaning, a part of the bike trail still covered in 2 inches of water, and areas beside the trail very much flooded and looking like  bayou instead of forest or field.

 

To do this run, start at the top of Militia Hill at the hawk watch platform, head down the State Park Road (toward militia hill rd.) to the Wissahickon Trail sign on the right.  Follow the trail signs toward Stenton.  At the “T”, (intersection), go right  to get to Stenton Ave trailhead, turn around and come back for 4.5 miles.  (As an alternative, left at the fork will take you on a trail  over a foot bridge and to the Day Use Area, where there are restrooms. This adds almost a mile if you go there and come back, then proceed on to Stenton.  The trail is mostly paved wide bike trail, with views of Wissahickon Creek, but there in one road crossing that has a crosswalk and a bit of the trail is along side a road with some traffic.

If you want, you can take Stenton to Northwestern and meet up with Forbidden Drive but there isn’t much of a shoulder on the road in places.

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