As a child growing up in Danville I used to love to go to the nearby county and state parks with my grandparents, aunt Marcia, and brother Travis. We would go hiking and fishing for hours on end. Kickapoo, Kennekuk, and Forest Glen were my favorites. As an adult living in nearby Urbana I still visit these same parks, though I forego the hiking and fishing in favor of trail running and occasionally mountain biking.
This morning I went with a group of local trail runners over to Forest Glen county park southeast of Danville. We ran the backpacker trail, which is somewhere between 10 & 11 miles (there’s so much elevation change the GPS I was wearing did a poor job measuring the distance). I’ve run this trail twice before and every time I come away thinking this is one of the hardest trails in the area to run.
The first third of the trail is deceptively simple. The middle third becomes challenging. The final third is brutal. The latter half of the trail follows the Vermilion river bluffs and the trail traverses many hills that are steep and/or tall. This most difficult section comes right at the end when you’re already tired from all the previous hills.
A few of the runners brought their dogs out. I was half expecting pandemonium, but it worked out pretty well. I only tripped on a dog one time :)