GUEST COMMENTARY: Happy trails to you, just as they are for me

2012-11-27T00:00:00Z GUEST COMMENTARY: Happy trails to you, just as they are for meBy Russ Snyder
November 27, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Walking is my health hobby. For years, I set a goal of walking on every street in Munster. Keep in mind that I did (and do) drive to a starting point and then begin the morning's walk. Each year, with the Munster street goal accomplished (in total miles about equal to walking to Iowa), I would then set out to walk on all of the park paths and trails in Munster and then in communities around Munster.

The problem I started to run into was that new trails were being developed, year by year. I did not have enough time left at the end of the year to walk on all of them.

Last year, I changed my annual goal. It is now to walk on all of the trails and park paths that I can in Munster and surrounding communities.

To illustrate the growing number of trails and park paths, the first five on the list below had parts added in 2011-2012. Also, the Penn Central trail in Schererville was added.

Following is a list of the major trails and park paths I have walked on this year, and recommend to everybody:

  • Penn Central trail from Main Street through Munster, Lansing and Calumet City to River Oaks Drive.
  • Monon trail, Hammond and Munster.
  • The Little Calumet River Dike trail, Calumet Avenue to Cline Avenue in Hammond and Highland.
  • Westlakes Park paths, Munster.
  • Erie Lackawana trail from downtown Hammond to Avenue H in Griffith.
  • Cook County Forest Preserve District trail from 186th Street in Lansing to Glenwood.
  • Centennial Park trails in Munster.
  • Community Park/Bieker Woods/Heritage Park trails in Munster.
  • Wicker Park trail in Highland.
  • Carlson Park trail in Hammond.
  • Oak Ridge Prairie County Park trail in Griffith.
  • Hoosier Prairie trail in Griffith.
  • Pheasant Hills Park in Dyer.
  • The NIPSCO easement trails in Highland and Munster and the Fran-Lin and connected trails in Munster.

My favorites: Centennial Park in Munster, Carlson Park in Hammond, the Little Calumet River dikes from Calumet Avenue to Cline Avenue in Hammond and Highland, and the Oak Ridge Prairie County Park in Griffith.

By the way, I do not just walk. I take a camera and get pictures of the beauty along the way. On three occasions this year I was able to get photos of deer browsing. And I saw a variety of waterfowl. In August, the wild flowers along some of the paths are spectacular to photograph. On one occasion I counted 12 different varieties in bloom.

These trails and park paths are for quality of life. I am meeting more people on the trails -- bicyclists, runners, pleasure walkers and commuters to schools and to work. I recommend the use of our trails and park paths to all.

I will turn 85 in January.

Russ Snyder is a broker associate with the commercial division of Partners Real Estate. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.

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