Sunday, December 2, 2012
Stolen from the pages of Running Times, the "Rave Run" that I went on today was at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary outside of Lexington KY. My only knock on Lexington's park system has been a lack of really rugged natural lands with trails available. I've been spoiled by the epic trails of Jefferson Memorial Forest in Louisville, Otter Creek in Brandenburg, and by living in the country where I can actually access the backside of Bernheim Forest Arboretum and research forest with some sleuth parking and a long fire road approach.
But, for me Lexington has always meant training on the roads and UK Arboretum's 2 mile loop, Henry Clay's track, or the very nice paved Legacy Trail (providing a 22+ mile day from my girlfriend's house). Finally I made the short drive to Raven Run Nature Sanctuary to see what it had to offer. Masters national records holder, Kevin Castille, told me that he does a lot of his long runs out there, so I figured it had to have some mileage to offer. Featuring over ten miles of foot-traffic-only trails, this hidden gem gave me all I wanted today. Initially, the trail enters the woods and is wide and groomed. Lucky for me, within a 1/2 mile I was skipping from rock to rock and grinning from ear to ear. While a person moving faster than a walk will have to knock out multiple loops to get a decent day out of it, the trails are just technical enough to keep you paying attention and don't have any punishing vertical challenges so you can just roll and roll. They also offer a spectacular visitor center with running water and restrooms. Check out the link the below, or if you're in the area, pay Raven Run a visit. It's worth the trip.