Resolution Goal #1: Introduce New Puppy to QC-Area State Parks!
When Clarissa and I adopted our puppy, Inkling, in November, we did so with the intention of having her do everything with us that she safely and legally could.
That means going on all of our trips, hikes, and adventures!
She’s not ready for long backpacking trips yet, but a few miles at Morrison-Rockwood State Park was a great place for her to romp around and for us all to enjoy a day in the woods.
In the summer you’ll find people boating and camping, but this time of year you’re likely to have some privacy on the 3.5 mile foot trail, though you may see some ice-fishing on Lake Carlton, and even some ice skaters.
You may also see some riders on the equestrian trails, cross-country skiers, and folks like me strolling with their pups.
Resolution Goal #2: Maximize Tiny Moments to Move
Recently I had to spend about 6 hours near Burlington, IA, with nothing to do.
True, I could sit in a coffee shop and get a little work done. Or I could check out a cool outdoor spot that a reader recommended right around the corner. That spot was Starr’s Cave Park and Reserve.
The park’s namesake cave is closed now, in an effort to protect its resident bats from white nose syndrome, but you can cross Flint Creek and see the entrance.
The trail meanders along the creek, where you can look up at limestone bluffs before the trail turns and leads through the woods and then back to the Nature Center.
Only the main floor of the center is open at the moment, as they’re installing new exhibits in the other floors, but it’s a great place to warm up after hiking a couple of miles!
Resolution Goal #3: Rediscover Forgotten Places and Spaces
When Clarissa and I moved to the Quad Cities, the pedestrian bridge to Sylvan Island was already closed, so we never had much of a chance to explore it.
People had told me stories about having a great time here, and we’ve often wanted to check it out. So, shortly after ringing in the New Year, we leashed up the pup, put on our puffy coats, and explored a few miles on foot.
For a small island, there is an extensive network of trails! These are mostly for bike use, and we saw plenty of mountain bike and fat bike tire tracks.
If you’re on foot, I’d recommend sticking to the path on the island’s perimeter, and be very conscientious about who you’re sharing the trail with.
I hope these 3 parks will help you get started exploring in 2018!
I know it’s still cold and there’s snow on the ground, but that doesn’t have to keep you inside. Just remember to wear layers, keep hydrated, and stay warm.
Here’s to 2018, everyone. I’ll see you out there!
|Meet Wade Ellett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Outdoor Blogger. Wade is an outdoor adventurer who shares his passion for QC outdoor adventures here! Read his other posts by clicking here.|