Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hoxie Gorge State Forest--A Place of Beauty

Just the other day, I ran a long run at Hoxie Gorge State Forest just 5 miles down the road from my house in Cortland, NY.  I will say that since Ashlee and myself have called Upstate New York home, it really is a great place for recreation and the amount of protected forest resources and trails are just crazy scary.  You cannot go 10 miles in any direction in this state without a decent trail system.  Anyway, it was a crisp day as the fall and winter temperatures are looming.  I drove to my usual spot and decided to run out along Freetown road through the state forest property and out into Freetown.  The rolling terrain was amazing and the weather was perfect for endurance running. I must say there is nothing like the solace of winter running and fall running as people are forced to stay inside because of cold temperatures and the loss of sunlight means running while the sun is up is often a challenge.  I set out along my run and it was amazing to be able to just feel apart of nature.  With school and life just being crazy, it is always a sweet thing to be able ti disengage oneself from the rigors and responsibilities of life to just zone out and reconnect with the wilderness that is only found in small pockets.  The run started out nice and controlled and was an endurance-based climbing run where the pace was not too crazy as the steep inclines slowed me down but on the flats and downs I had the chance to open up.  I wore my new Craft Nordic XC ski tights and let me tell you they are awesome. For being so lightweight, they insulate the crap out of your legs.  Listen, Craft is serious! They make some of the best technical apparel out there in my book and the quality is well worth the price tag!  This run brought me back to what I really like about Upstate:  The roads here can be so peaceful and drivers are very courteous of you.  I never feel like someone is about to attempt to run me over which I did have to endure quite a bit in OK.  The weather is cooler which makes for nice endurance running as never once have I felt like my running was compromised because of the weather.  Yes, people are from New York but many of the farmers and townspeople wave and smile at me and even their pets that often chase me are so loving and kind. I will say no dog that I have found off leash has been without there owner screaming at the dog to come back.  Not what I was used to as my dog encounters were one thing I despised about running in the Sooner State.  And I will say there may not be big mountains here but the hills and the roads are steep and long and really make you work on being a strong mountain runner.

I ran 1 hour and 35 minutes and had a great time!  Hoxie Gorge is totally a place to check-out as it is nice and peaceful and has a nice trail network and smooth country roads that go on forever!

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