Making Tracks: In search of the perfect spot for a daily walk

I’m looking to get back into the daily habit, which helped me lose 40 pounds last year.

By Kat Bryant

Making Tracks

As I placed last week’s column on the page, I thought: Okay, now what?

When I named this column “Making Tracks,” I envisioned first telling the story of my life transition over the past couple of years, and then — as I settled in and started taking my shepherd mix, Rose, on long walks again — talking about the places we’d go and the things we’d observe.

Now that I’ve completed the first goal, I need to take steps — literally — to reach the second one.

In Bismarck, Rose and I had a daily trail just a half-mile from our home: a 3-mile loop from a large wooded park through a nature preserve along the Missouri River. On nice days when I was off work and had more time, I’d drive us to a state park or one of a few other spots within a 50-mile radius where we could get away from it all for a good hike.

I’d like to find some local trails here to get us back into that daily habit, which helped me lose 40 pounds last year.

But, as the Harbor’s wet weather continues, daily walks are not yet an option. And it’s not so much because I don’t want to be out in it; I can handle the light rain we have most days. But Rose, who was born and raised in Arizona, is nervous walking on squishy ground. She doesn’t understand it. (If you only knew how much of a challenge it was during our first week here to get her to leave our semi-sheltered porch and do her business in the wet grass.)

We went on three short walks on the only sunny days we had in March: one simply exploring our neighborhood, and two on local walking paths.

I discovered the first one near my home just by driving past it one day: the Basich Trailway. It’s a paved path that starts at DeWitt Park in Cosmopolis, then runs northwest through a wetland area and Pioneer Park, ending at Cushing Street in Aberdeen. It’s 2.4 miles up and back — a mild distance for us.

While I enjoyed the wetlands area, a large portion of that path cuts through wide-open public space. I’m sure it’s great for those looking to go to Pioneer Park, but I need more trees, birds and critters to soothe my soul on long walks. And so I vowed to continue my search for the right daily spot.

More recently, we tried Makarenko Park in Cosi, which was recommended by a couple of our readers. It’s gorgeous, with moss covering the pathway and the trees, and it’s also very close to our house; but it’s only a 1-mile loop. We could circle the park three or four times, I suppose — and we just might do that that in the future if I don’t find another place nearby that’s the right combination of beauty and mileage.

I still have several trails on my list to check out because some of you have sent me information about your favorites, which I greatly appreciate. (Keep those suggestions coming, please!) I know I’m going to find some “happy places” among them.

I’m just waiting for some less squishy weekends to do it.

Making Tracks: In search of the perfect spot for a daily walk