By Wade Ellett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Outdoor Blogger
Have you decided on your New Year’s resolutions yet? How about resolving to add some balance and simplicity to your life by building in more outdoor time?
Being outdoors does more than just make you happy (although it does that, too). Research shows that being outside lowers stress, improves memory, reduces inflammation and offers many more benefits. Plus, it feels fantastic! Try visiting these 3 QC-area places to get started!
Resolution #1: Visit QC-Area State Parks!
Have you visited Morrison-Rockwood State Park? It’s a great place 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. Once it’s cold enough, you may also 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 when we get some snow, and folks like me strolling with their pups.
Resolution #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 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.
It was only a couple of miles all told, but the perfect way to spend a little extra time.
Resolution #3: Rediscover Forgotten Places and Spaces
Location: Sylvan Island, Moline, IL
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. Turns out they were right. It’s a great place to wander!
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 2019!
Don’t let the weather keep you inside. Just remember to wear layers, keep hydrated, and stay warm.
Here’s to 2019, 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.|