26 December 2012


I thought Google already has everything categorized and indexed, but that is not the case with the nature trails in Marine Park's Salt Marsh.  A few weeks ago I discovered that the nature trail at the Salt Marsh was re-opened, http://www.qaptainqwerty.com/2012/11/scenes-from-run-salt-marsh-trail-in.html.  I made the loop but at the southeast corner I saw that there was some path leading potentially all the way to the Belt Parkway.  I didn't have time to explore the path.  A few days ago, I tried to find more info about that elusive path but it didn't seem to exist.  Aerial views from different map programs don't show any such path.  Maybe it's not an official path.  What I discovered by chance though is that what I thought was THE trail is just one of two trails in Marine Park.  It was the eastern loop that I visited.  I was aware of some other path that runs along the water and Burnett Street, but I didn't know that it's so long.  Why, it's the western trail!

For today's run, I went mostly along Avenue X to Burnett Street.  I really wanted to find the official entrance to the trail but going along Burnett toward Avenue U there was no entrance to be found.  There were no breaks in the low rail.  It would be easy to step over the rail and in some places there were clearing immediately on the other side of the rail.  Eventually I found the entrance, as shown below, on Avenue U.  A man with yarmulke told me that there was only one entrance and one exit and this was it.  In other words, you go in here and supposed to trace your way back out.  From what I saw on the web, the trail is pretty long, so I was sure there must be some other way to leave the trail, official or not.  I went in anyway and soon hit the beach.  And the mud and other terrain.  A runner who I saw on the road earlier running in the other opposite direction re-appeared in the marsh, also running in the other direction.  I shouted to him asking him how he got in but he had headphones and was oblivious to me, or maybe he didn't want to acknowledge my presence.

At the intersection of two paths, I met a man walking a white dog coming from street-side.  Just to be safe, I asked him if that was the only way to get from Burnett Street to the trail.  He said there were other exits and headed further south, ahead of me.  I decided then that I did enough exploring for this cold day and headed out.  Sure enough, just around a big pile of branches and such I soon reached the street.  There was not an opening in the low rail, I just had to step over it.  I noticed that there was a piece of yellow police tape on a tree near the "exit".  Maybe it's supposed to guide hikers where to enter the trail.  I am sure I will be back, perhaps on a nicer day, to explore the rest of the trail.

By the way, one thing I discovered from my online search for info about Marine Park is that size-wise Marine Park is actually bigger than Prospect Park.  Maybe not more beautiful in the traditional way, definitely not runners-friendly, but surely many acres bigger in size.

The entrance to the west trail of Marine Park Salt Marsh, on Avenue U near Burnett Street.
The pilings in the water was used when there was a mill in the area, whatever the use I don't know.
Maybe on a nice sunny day, this area can make a good picnic mattress?
This yucky terrain reminds me of some scenes in the Chinese classic literature Water Margin: Outlaw of the Marsh (水浒传)
This is the kind of path us runners like.
A glance back at the trail I just left.
No sign to indicate this path as a way to reach the west trail, other than the yellow police tape on the tree on the left.

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