Guess what? In 2 hours I will be running in my first distance race since 1999!!! The 5K is hosted by Willistown Conservation Trust, a local non-profit land preservation organization in Willistown Township, Pennsylvania. To prepare for the race I’ve been running like crazy on my treadmill AND, because the real world isn’t as flat and smooth as a treadmill, Matt and I have also been hiking (and sometimes jogging) in lots of local parks and preserves.
This week in honor of the upcoming race we visited Willistown Conservation Trust’s Kirkwood Preserve.
Kirkwood features 83 acres of grasslands along a stretch of the picturesque Crum Creek. The preserve has been classified as an “Important Bird Area,” meaning that you’re likely to see some endangered grassland birds on your hike. More importantly (for me, at least) this also means that dogs are strictly prohibited from all areas of the preserve.
I actually have a very personal connection to the rolling hills of Kirkwood Preserve because I grew up about 2 miles away from here. When my brother and I were kids we would walk here from our house with my mom all the time. This was back before the land was preserved (it was just a cow farm then) and we spent hours and hours of our childhoods here hiking, playing, cross-country skiing, fishing, picnicing… you name it! With all of those memories in mind it was really neat to come here with Matt and see that the land is still here and open to all. (Of course the barbed-wired cow fences are all gone and the fields are full of natural grasses now, but that’s fine with me!) Here are some photos from our walk:
Kirkwood Preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset and has well-mowed walking trails. We did the outer loop on our visit and our total walk was just shy of 2 miles. The only access to the preserve is via the gravel parking lot on Grubbs Mill Road.
OK… time for Matt and me to start stretching and getting ready for the race! Here’s my running tally as of yesterday evening:
Miles since last post: 60.2
Days since last post: 11
Average Daily Miles since July 18th: 5.56
TOTAL MILES: 361.2
Wish us luck at 4pm…! 🙂
Other local hikes, parks, and preserves:
• Ridley Creek State Park (Edgmont Township, PA)
• Okehocking Preserve (Willistown Township, PA)
• Darlington Trail (Middletown Township, PA)
• Linvill Trail (Middletown Township, PA)
• Stroud Preserve, (West Chester, PA)