It was an outing that arose out of necessity. With bad weather and a hectic holiday schedule, it had been over a month since our last hike, and Santa had brought the photographer a new multipurpose camera lens that she was eager to try. The morning suggested reasonable January weather with full sunshine and temps in the low 40s.
Two days of heavy rain made this a good time to experience another paved “All Persons” trail. All Persons trails serve many needs: More sure footing for those who might be unsteady. An opportunity for a walk in nature when inclement weather has made other trails impassable. A well marked path for those with a anxiety about getting lost in the woods. A predictable terrain and length for someone who is rehabbing or just trying to get in shape.
When we left home we were excited about getting in a sun drenched hike before an expected cold front. Unfortunately, following our 30 minute drive southwestward, the sky quickly became overcast and a cold breeze had already developed.
English Idlewild Park is a 290 acre multi-use semi-rural park that hosts a 1.84 mile paved all person trail that weaves amongst many park amenities including fishing lakes, ball fields, a large disc golf campus, small arboretum, and mountain bike trails. It is consists of a smaller and larger loop.
This trail, when compared to other paved trails that we have written about, has more rolling terrain, which while advantageous for a cardio workout, could be more challenging for those with lesser mobility.
That said, if one would utilize the smaller loop to the east as noted on the earlier map, the terrain is relatively flat.
At times the path is bordered on both sides by mowed grass, but generally one side is grass and the other is meadow or succession woodland.
Those sections that bordered fields and woodlands allowed for some birding and for the photographer to try her new lens.
Perhaps the most unusual sighting were seeing these three Flickers at one time. We had actually seen two others fly into the nearby woods before capturing this photo.
While we were there, despite the breezy chill in the air, the park was well utilized, primarily by walkers, but also some playing disc golf. The disc golf holes looked challenging including the placement of this basket well within a wood that had a small creek running through it.
If someone’s goal was to work on their overall fitness, this trail has more to offer as it has numerous fitness stations placed along the route. There was equipment in excellent shape and signage offering guidance.
Importantly for an All Persons trail, there were well placed benches, especially at the top of some of the grades.
In addition, there are numerous picnic tables along the route, both with and without shelters.
As part of a small arboretum, there is a broad collection of native trees but unfortunately they are not marked at this time. The placard is there but lacks information.
Other wildlife enhancements noted included some bat boxes,
and bluebird boxes that had fishing line placed on them. The fishing line reportedly deters house sparrows from moving in, as with relatively poor vision the fishing line interferes with their entry into the boxes.
Along the route several bodies of water were noted. They tended to have at least one side that was undeveloped and therefore of more value to wildlife.
This small pond, which was surrounded by deciduous trees, held clear water and featured a wood duck box. By its appearance I suspect that it hosts numerous amphibians in the spring and summer.
Lastly, every winter hike features textures. (Sycamore bark, Goldenrod, Red Bud seed pods, Aster, Thistle).
In summary, the English-Idlewild paved trail certainly met our needs. It gave us a fair workout in the fresh air on a day that we would have otherwise been relegated to the stationary bike or elliptical. A brisk walk on a paved trail that takes you through varied settings is much more enriching than the indoor workout. In addition, it allowed the photographer to utilize her new lens. I encourage everyone who is rehabbing from a medical condition, or perhaps just trying to get in better shape, to familiarize themselves with the All Persons trails in their area. The secondary benefit of being out in nature will aid their state of mind and hopefully encourage them to remain active.
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Photo credits to Peggy Juengling Burns.
Location – 5550 Idlewild Road, Burlington KY 41005
Parking – Multiple asphalt lots.
Facilities – Several porto-lets noted.
Trail Conditions – Rolling blacktop path.
Benches – Yes
Picnic Tables – Yes
Kids – Kids 4 and over should do well here and could even ride their bikes. Strollers would work well here also.
Dogs – Welcomed on a leash.
Suggested Paired Hikes – None