Though I try to work trails into my runs as often as possible, for the most part my training is usually on streets and sidewalks. I decided to fix the situation this weekend by heading over to the Palos Forest Preserve.
I’ve been to the Palos Forest Preserve many times, it might be my favorite place to run trails around here. I’ve never completed the orange loop, though I ran a portion of it for the Red Bull Trail Daze several years ago. I was not disappointed.
It would be nearly impossible to ask for a nicer day for a trail run – a consistent 40 degrees, no wind, sun, and just enough wet dirt to keep it interesting. The CAMBR map calls the orange loop a 6.3 mile run, while my Garmin registered just 5.6 – maybe the tree cover affected the distance. The loop is comprised of mostly rocky dirt doubletrack, with copious roots and rocks. It has some decent climbs and descents, totalling (according to the Garmin) 300+ feet of elevation change, up and down. This run really kicked my butt, but in a really pleasant way.