Ever found yourself wondering “where does that path lead?” It’s got to the point now, after months of exploring new trails, that this has become somewhat of a catchphrase for us. At first, it was a passing comment about a public footpath that we would pass regularly. Then, when lockdown struck, it became a challenge. Where does that go!?!?! Well, there’s nothing else to do so let’s try it out. It was a game changer. All of a sudden there were new trail routes to share with one another and our friends (socially distanced of course and in groups of 6). A whole new world joined up like a dot to dot puzzle and a sense of satisfaction, like all of a sudden you were a great explorer.
It’s important to stress that safety is a priority when it comes to trying out new routes. If you’re alone, off the beaten track and unsure of where you are then don’t start exploring unfamiliar paths. Wait until you next run with a friend or make sure that you don’t venture off too far. Test out the path, see where it leads and then revisit it another day.
Discover New Trail Routes
If you’re not alone, you have your mobile phone with you, you have a rough idea of where you are and the technology to find your way (or an OS map), then by all means take that path. It will open up a whole new world, join up the dots, give you new routes, extend current ones, expose you to new views and give you a sense of accomplishment. It may just be that path that gives you an additional couple of miles or that shortens a run. It may just give you a whole new labyrinth of trail routes to explore.
If you happen to have the Garmin Fenix or other GPS watch that you can programme routes into, you can start to explore even further afield. With track back features you can find your way back again. For those that favour technology, you can use Strava to explore the area further. Use the desktop version to create a route and see where the paths are before you go out. The trouble with Strava is that you now have to have a subscription for their routes feature so it depends how much time you actually spend trail running as to whether its worthwhile. For us, the fun is in actually being there, in the moment, and choosing that path, unless of course it’s a dead end at the top of a steep hill… then it’s not so much fun but if you don’t take that path, you’ll never know.
So, our challenge to you, next time you see a public footpath across a field, down a wooded path, or in the middle of one of your usual routes take it! See where it goes, join up the dots, find a new route and then tell us about it.