Finding New Trails

It’s always nice to try new things and have them work out well. As part of my Healthy Bucket List, I decided to check out a new trail here in the Tampa area this last weekend. As a result, I’ve found a new love: Morris Bridge Park!

It started on Saturday. My husband works until 4pm Saturdays, which means we don’t normally do much those days. This weekend, though, I wanted to try a new park so I picked my husband up from work so we could go straight there.

hiking, getting healthy, hiking trail

 

For me to love a trail, it’s got to have a few important traits:

  • Tree cover. This is especially important here in Tampa, where temperatures can sometimes drive you to stay inside rather than exploring.
  • A “natural” path. Paved paths are ok, but give me dirt any day. I prefer the natural feel when I get out for a walk or hike.
  • Seclusion. I like hiking because it gets me away from technology and the craziness of the world. So I really want to feel like I’m “away.”
  • Length. I want to hike for as long or as short a time as I want so when a trail is too short it’s a little disappointing.
  • Variety. The more trails there are in a park, the more opportunity there is to explore.

The great thing about Morris Bridge Park is it has ALL of these elements. It includes:

  • 20 miles of main trail
  • 15 miles of side trails
  • Primarily natural trees
  • LOTS of tree cover

When my husband and I first arrived there was only one other car at the park. Excited to know it’d be a quiet day in the park, we checked out the trail map, grabbed our water, and headed out.

Right away, I knew I would like this place. Almost immediately it felt like we were all alone in the park – exploring and enjoying the scenery. The entire length of trail does double duty as a hiking and biking trail so we listened out for cyclists, but didn’t run into anyone else.

hiking trail, getting healthy, healthy habits

We didn’t stay long on Saturday but right before we turned back, we came across the first divide of paths. It was a series of hills and dips that made me think of a dirt bike park.

Almost immediately, my husband started salivating. He loves to mountain bike so, as you can imagine, that cinched the trail for HIM. We left that day but went back on Sunday to mountain bike.

I enjoyed the park even more from the back of the bike – probably even more than my husband. I like to joke that I’m a non- mountain mountain biker. I enjoy mountain biking for a number of reasons:

  • The off-road aspect
  • The whole body workout it provides
  • The ease of flying over roots and over hills
  • The scenery that comes with it

However, there are a few aspects of mountain biking that I’m not a fan of:

  • Riding over narrow bridges
  • Riding along a deep drop off on one or both sides of the trail
  • Crazy steep hills with no let up

The beauty of Morris Bridge Park is it has all the aspects of mountain biking that I love, with none of the ones I dislike. We had such a great time biking on Sunday that, after an hour and a half, I was still reluctant to leave.

hiking, healthy habits, getting healthy, hiking trails

As a result of my Healthy Bucket List, I can confidently say that I’ve now found a great new park to love and I can’t wait to get out to explore it more! My husband and I are already planning more trips so we can explore the efferent trail options as part of the healthier habits I’m trying to build.

That all makes this yet another day that I’m extremely happy to be working toward getting healthy and working on my Healthy Bucket List.

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