Despite the generally nice weather we have had this November, there is no denying the cold hard fact that the trailrunning season is coming to a close. The days are chillier, and soon, hopefully, the trails will be covered in snow. For the next few weeks there is one other modest impediment to running in the woods – deer hunting season. While most hunters I know can tell the difference is between a middle-aged runner in lycra and a buck, even when the runner is wearing that goofy hat with the antlers, I have found enough empty beer can caches in my explorations to graciously leave the woods to my sporting friends for a few weeks. As a result, this run is mostly on roads with a small section on an underappreciated stretch of trail in town.
This mostly road run is just a jaunt around the village. Starting from the Middlebury College Fitness Center, head towards town on Rt 30. Shortly before the Otter Creek Bridge, take a left down into Frog Hollow, and across the Otter Creek footbridge. After pausing for one of the most often photographed views in town, slog up the modest hill on the far side.
Continue past the Marble Works, and the offices of my friends at the Addison Independent, who are kind enough to carry this blog on their web page, until joining Seymour Street. Continue north on Seymour Street until it takes a left through the Pulp Mill Bridge, with another immediate left turn on Pulp Mill Bridge Road for the return to the village.
Shortly before the left turn on Weybridge Street, this little jog around town is enhanced by a short trail segment. Take a left turn into the meadow, past the interpretive sign identifying where you are as “Glorious Meadow” (hence the name of this post) and run around the periphery of the open space until you get to the more highly manicured trail heading left. The trail turns into a boardwalk through the marshy meadow until you get to the viewing area at the edge of Otter Creek. Far too few people have paid much attention to this recently built parcel of public parkland, but it has rapidly become a favorite side trail while heading back into town on longer loops. It snakes through the reeds at the edge of the creek, and affords views of Otter Creek previously accessible only to a few lucky waterfront property owners.
The return to my locker at the college brought this lazy late season run up to about 4 miles.
While I probably won’t be posting any more trail runs until the mud subsides in the Spring, I hope to make occasional posts throughout the winter. I will certainly put a few favorite short ski tours up here, and perhaps make a few entries concerning topics of interest to trailrunners, or plans for next summer. I hope everyone enjoyed my posts, and had a chance to try a few of the routes I have described. Good Luck staying in shape over the winter everyone!
Jeff Byers is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Middlebury College. He also writes the Middlebury Trailrunner blog. We'll be periodically highlighting posts from his blog, but for more recommendations for trailrunning in the county, head to his Web site.
This entry was originally posted on Nov. 22, 2009.