Friday, 20 April 2012

Chrysler Greenway Rails-to-trails Pt. 2

For a trail map, see previous post, Chrysler Greenway Rails-to-trails Pt. 1

I set off to explore my second segment of the Chrysler Greenway today, planning to do an LSD (that's Long Slow Distance, folks - fooled ya!) of 9.4 miles which ended up being 9.8 miles (apparently either the distances on the map are off somewhat or my km-to-miles calculator was having a bad day). Mike dropped me off near Oldcastle, at the official beginning of the Greenway, and my goal was CR 18. It was very windy, and of course I had chosen the wrong direction to walk!
The trail is straight and flat. It is an old railbed, after all.

The road goes ever on and on....

I really do like walking on this surface - hard packed dirt covered with a light layer of fine gravel. Very easy on the legs. Initially going past farmlands, there were lots of areas where the trail is lined with tall shrubs and small trees, making the wind less of an issue than it might have been. You pass some lovely forests, dark and deep:

Bucolic areas with horse farms:

and swampy bits (but not on the trail):

Although in many sections the whine of tires on roads wasn't far away, there were long stretches where one could only hear the wind in the trees and lots of birdsong. There were wildflowers like wild geraniums and wild strawberries, and the goldfinches (aka wild canaries) were in their brilliant breeding plumage. Here and there, crabapple trees in full bloom lined the path:

As I approached the bridge near CR 12, I heard an unholy din in the bushes, kind of a cross between a screech and the sound a very angry donkey would make. I stopped and searched and there, in the rich bushy hollow beside the trail were three guineafowl passing the time of day as only guineafowl can.

In the whole walk, I only encountered three cyclists and a runner....until I was almost near the end of my walk, and looming out of the distance came these seven:

..that is, 3 people, 3 horses and a very friendly dog.

I practiced the horse-courtesy etiquette one uses in the Southwest (that is, when hikers meet horsemen, the hikers step off the trail and stand quietly as the horses pass so as not to spook them). Apparently, I didn't have to do that here. These horses were very calm and steady, and not even curious as to why I was there (the dog was, though - as you can see, he is running towards me for a big headrub).

I had phoned Mike from CR 12 and he was waiting for me at CR 18.

All in all, a lovely spring walk.

Beware though - places where toilets are indicated on the Greenway map don't necessarily have one! Luckily, this didn't impact me, but don't put all your hopes into finding one where there should be one!


  1. Greenways! Awesome! I don't remember this concept while growing up - when did it start?

  2. I'm not sure when they started, but I sure don't remember them way back, either!