Minto Brown Park

January 5, 2016.

Minto Brown Park is one of those urban parks that has a ton of trail packed into a small space. Looking at the trailhead map was a bit overwhelming. There were loops marked for 0.82 mile to 6.2 mile outings. Everyone there looked like regulars who knew the trails backwards and forwards. I just wanted to find a distance that would suit my time demands and make me feel like I got a decent amount of walking in. In my hour and a half window I managed to cover about 4.5 miles. I think.

Right from the outset, I noticed trail closed signs. The park was right along the river and the river was running high, so some trails were underwater. Even the open trails were pretty wet and muddy. And it was cold. Only the true survivors were out walking today.

The air was thick with moisture. A low fog clung to the top of my hat. It was like walking through pea soup. Icy pea soup. Did I mention it was cold? The trails were a mixture of pavement, mud, wood bridges, ice-covered pavement and more mud. While it wasn’t a picturesque day by conventional standards, it had a beauty all of its own. Of a landscape just trying to get by in a miserable, cold damp that seeped into every nook and cranny.

I plodded along, hoping my feet would warm up but knowing they probably wouldn’t until my hike was over. No worries, it was only a few miles.

Squeezing in quick, local hikes to complete my Hike366 project has been an interesting challenge. I’ve spent time in lots of places I otherwise would have overlooked because they were too small, too boring, too normal. But each time I visit one of these ordinary places I find reasons that make them special. No hike is truly ordinary; every venture out is a new challenge.

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