Guess who is a happy happy girl when she gets to run on new-to-her trails! Last week I had to go to the dentist to get shiny clean teeth. A while back my dentist had the nerve to move his office away so it’s half an hour from my house. That drive is a giant pain in the patoot, but it presented an opportunity to try out some nearby trails at Peters Canyon Regional Park in Orange, California.
The wide dirt trails at Peters Canyon make for excellent beginner trail runs. I started out with the easy Lake View Trail, which provides nice views of both the lake and the mountains.
Soon I veered off onto Peters Canyon Trail and then linked up with the East Ridge View Trail and the Gnatcatcher Trail. “Easy” became “difficult” in a hurry!
By the end of my meandering I had run 6.2 miles in 1:07. I love how hill work is another form of speed work, even when you’re not going very fast! Some of the hills along the East View Ridge Trail were so steep that I could walk up faster than I could run.
I would definitely go back to Peters Canyon Regional Park. Enough people utilize the trails on the middle of a weekday that I never felt unsafe. The beautiful lake and mountain views alternate with interesting views of the surrounding homes — I mean, mansions. Wow there are some spectacular estates tucked into Peters Canyon! Tip #1: bring double the amount of water you think you’ll need! The park entrance features two drinking fountains but the rest of the park does not have any water. With the exposed trail in sunny conditions, you can become dehydrated very quickly even in winter. I took 20 ounces of water in my bottle and should have carried another bottle. Tip #2: grab a park map at the entrance as the trails get a little confusing in spite of the trail signs. I took a nice unintentional detour on the Basin Trail. Tip #3: Parking costs $3 at the main entrance at the north end of the park, but if you park at the south end you can park for free on the street. Tip #4: bathrooms are located at the main park entrance and porta potties are available out on Peters Canyon Trail.
Do you run on trails? I haven’t done many trails but I find I love it when I get the chance! Question: At what point should I invest in trail running shoes? Do you have a brand that you recommend?