Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The Duke Cross Country Trail (The Al Beuhler Trail)
What it is: I was looking back at all of the previous blog posts and I couldn't believe that I left this one off. This has always been one of my husband and I's favorite trails in the area. Is is a 3.1 mile loop that surrounds the Washington Duke Inn and their golf course. The trail surface itself is gravel and dirt and is surrounded by some nice trees and forest. In addition, it's quite hilly so it gives a pretty good workout. It is well-traveled and usually full of walkers and joggers, so I feel fairly safe by myself, but it is always safer to go for a walk or jog in the woods with company.
What we liked: While I've heard stories of people that have taken their toddlers to walk around the WHOLE trail under their own power, I don't think that this would be possible for my son. If he did manage to walk the whole way, I think it might take the better part of a day. So, this trail is much better for use with a stroller. While toddlers can't walk the whole way, one of the benefits of this trail is that you can run for while and then let them out to play on a bridge or in the trees without the worry of traffic.
It's also nice if you're trying to get in a run of a certain distance because there are mile markers to tell you how far you went. In addition to that, it's great practice with hill running or walking. Before we had kids, my husband and I saw a couple running up one of the biggest hills pushing a jogging stroller. We looked on in admiration at them passing us on that hill and swore that when we had kids, that would be us. While we haven't run it yet with our new double stroller, we're looking forward to it!
What we would change: Since the surface is dirt, it can get muddy in wet weather. In addition, as I've said earlier it's pretty hilly which can be a little challenging when you're pushing a stroller. In addition, there are no restrooms along the way.
There are two parking lots, but they can both fill up pretty quickly on a busy day with nice weather, so be prepared to have a bit of difficulty finding parking.
Website and other important information:
Address: The Duke Cross-Country Trail is located off of Cameron Blvd. near it's intersection with Erwin Rd. If you exit 15-501 at the Duke University Exit, head toward Duke's campus and the first trail parking lot will be on the right on Cameron Blvd.