05 January 2013


Marine Park eastern trail
Goes beyond circular path
Be sure to heed "Fore!"

Back in November 2012, during a routine run I discovered that the east trail of Marine Park was finally re-opened to the public.  The Corps of Engineer did some rehab work in the area and it was closed perhaps as far back as 2009.  I ran a loop, or was it two, of the newly re-opened trail and noticed that at the southeast corner there seemed to be a path leading toward the Belt Parkway.  I did not follow the path, both because I had to get back and also because I did not feel it was safe to venture into the woods.  On the nature trail, there was a male dog-walker and a Chinese couple, while it still appeared to be in the middle of nowhere, the reeds were shorter than before and the area is pretty much open.  If something afoul happens, there was a chance someone somewhere would see it.  In the woods, if someone robbed me, or worse, there was a good chance would see it.

Running is a solitary sports.  I think most people run alone, either because of time constrain or they choose to.  It is hard enough to find a few free hours to run, it must be even harder to find someone to run with during those precious hours.  When I joined the Daily Mile runners social network, I thought I might hook up with someone to run with.  I did not try that hard to friend people and the few that I am friend with either don't live in the same area, are too fast, or for some other reasons wouldn't make a good running partner.  I do envy those people who have roommates, or life-mates, who share the love for running, live near a park with great paths, and work decent hours to be able to run together.

Next I joined Prospect Park Track Club to get to know more runners in person and perhaps find a running partner.  Having a running partner is not a high priority, but it's something nice to have.  PPTC has great group runs, but appropriate enough most are in the area of the park itself.  I live too far from the park, and weekend mornings often find me spending time with the family.  There was a weekly summer run on Friday nights, along Ocean Parkway from Prospect Park to Coney Island, but my son's music class is on Friday evening.  Theoretically I can be home in time to run to Ocean Parkway to meet the group, but most of the time that's dinner time.  One of these days, I should be try really hard to get to a weekend morning run.

I made many new friends through PPTC, either via the Facebook group or at races, and one of them, J. C., lives not too far from Marine Park.  We entertained the idea of having a group run, "group of 2" that is, and finally able to pull it off today.  With strength in number, we went and explored that mystical path at the southeast corner of the Marine Park east trail.

One thing I noticed right away was that the trail actually consisted of two paths, separated in the middle by plants and such.  Most likely the two paths were made by someone driving a vehicle.  The paths were mostly clear, except for a portion where a tree had toppled onto it.  Maybe the tree fell a long time ago, maybe it was the work of Sandy, who knows.  Not too far after the fallen tree we came to a short, but steep, ascend in the road.  Right on top of the climb was some golf fence.  From Google Maps, I know we should hit some golf course at some point and expected to see some kind of fences to separate the golf course from the public park, but there was none.  There was a fenced area, but I think it was more to prevent the golf balls from going off the range.  Man-made dunes and lakes, golf holes, etc, were all within sight.  We stayed on the dirt road and ended up at circular dumping ground of sort.  Going any further would involve actually running on the golf green or through dense woods, so we headed back.  I had my glasses on and double-checked but there sure weren't any signs to indicate the border separating the golf course and the public park.  I suppose if golf course management really wants to defend their property, they would have someone on site with manly Bushmaster rifles to mow us down.

Can you spy a boat?  Or what's left of it?
The sun glare makes it impossible to see there's a path leading upward.  We didn't take the road on the right fork, but it seems to end at the beach, which may be too muddy to run on.
I love to see pictures of a road disappearing into the distance, which seems to whisper "Run on me, come on..."  The photo would be better without shadow of the photographer, but sometimes it couldn't be helped.
On this second visit to the east trail, I discovered that it is not just a circular trail.  There's a trail going through the circle, with a hill in the middle.

1 comment:

  1. Another nice post about your running - I'd rather like the photo with shadow, makes it more realistic. BTW, not too worry, law abiding armed citizens are not just shooting people without just cause.
    I had to look up the definition of Valley Fold. Thanks - first new word in 2013 for me ;-)
    Have a good week.