Trail Training – Olde Rope Mill Park, GA

We (my husband and I and whatever friends want to join) head to local trails almost every saturday for a long run. As we get further enmeshed in our Tough Treads Trail Series, I’m sure our workouts will have more purpose than just getting outside for a run, but for now enjoying the outside and discovering new places to run is the primary purpose.

This weekend we met a friend at Rope Mill Park in Woodstock, GA. He is an avid mountain biker and loves the mountain bike trails at this park. Runners and hikers are allowed, but are required to travel the opposite direction of bikes and bikes always have the right of way. We figured an early start time and the cold temperatures would mean not much competition for the trails, and we were highly rewarded!

We ran the Avalanche Trail and a bit of the Explorer Trail were rewarded with a hilly, well-maintained, single track trail leading through the forest. The Little River could be seen in the valley below during the first part of the trail. Running on a mountain bike trail is a bit different than a normal hiking trail in that there are lots of switchbacks and the hills, while copious, are not very long. It was fun running down the trail and seeing my husband and friend headed the opposite direction up the mountain. The signage is great and there’s very little opportunity to get lost.

After the run, I explored the mill ruins on the opposite side of the Little River and the paved walking path along the river’s edge. It would be a great place to have a picnic if the weather was nice. By the time we were done (about 10:30 AM) the parking lot was starting to fill up, but it didn’t feel crowded. There is an additional parking lot across from a Kia dealership up the road, and I imagine during a nice warm summer weekend the trails would be full.

We will definitely be back to run the rest of the trails, but maybe only in the early morning cold!

For more info on the park check out the City of Woodstock Parks Website.

Tough Treads Trail Series By 7 Wonders

Vickery Creek, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Photo by Miranda Wilson

This pandemic has taken a huge hit on running with the cancellation of almost all in-person race opportunities. We have been missing our running community horribly and so my husband and I decided to organize a trail race series to do with our friends.

The idea is to hold 5 “races” throughout the year in a pyramid of distances – 5k, 10k, half, 10k, 5k. They will be spaced 4-8 weeks apart and will all be at local trails around Atlanta. We will meet in the parking lot at a specified time (with masks on of course), say hi, and then run. There will be a staggered start to limit contact, and people will time themselves. All the races will be self supported to limit contact as well.

We are going to make shirts for everyone, as we’ve been wanting to do for a while and if people complete the series, I have agreed to make medals. If people want to compete we will keep track of times for everyone and may have extra medals for those.

We already have 12 of our friends that want to come out. I’m really excited to see people and have something to train for. I’ll keep you posted!