Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Conditioning Hikes: Rib Mountain State Park & Sylvan Hill Park

As Charlie mentioned in her last letter to Dudley, we've been doing a bunch of conditioning lately, working up our endurance for longer trail hikes to come. Since I think I've mentioned a few times previously that I work a regular day-job Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm, this leaves us with little time to hike during the week. Our long hikes that require travel time are reserved for weekends only. So we've "resorted" to training on the trails available within the Wausau area... and I say "resorted" as a kind of joke since Wausau is full of some pretty awesome trails!

Currently we've been alternating between Sylvan Hill Park and Rib Mountain State Park. Both have their own particular challenges and pack a great workout in very little time. Rib Mountain offers a total aerobic workout as we traverse the rock-strewn terrain up and down the top of the mountain - and the view isn't bad either. Honestly I just love the rocky trails! This park has so much to offer that I'll have to reserve an entire blog post to cover it all.

Sylvan is very wooded with little spring-fed streams running down the hillside, giving us some wet/muddy terrain. The cross-country ski trails switch back and forth across the hillside providing a good aerobic workout. And although the trail is pretty wide and flat, there are still rocks and roots to add a little challenge. Charlie is constantly on alert watching for deer and squirrels in the woods and her hiking efforts are often rewarded with a quick swim in Jim Moore Creek at the bottom of the hill.

We've adjusted to dealing with the mosquitoes but have noticed the biting flies are starting to emerge; just another challenge to conquer. I met a man wearing a "Bug Shirt" at a park last weekend and immediately got online to order one for myself - I can't wait to try it out! (Watch for a product review once it arrives!). We have some pretty exciting trail trips coming up that I just can't wait to share with you.

*All photos were taken at Sylvan Hill Park.
Got any good tips on "conditioning" hiking spots in Wisconsin? Where do you go to get fit in the outdoors?