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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cowan Lake State Park Run..er Hike

I went on a little out of town trip with my husband, down to southern Ohio (the other side, the western side.) I found a little state park to run in.
Cowan Creek was named for the area's first surveyor, John Cowan. A dam was completed across Cowan Creek in 1950, and in 1968, Cowan Lake was dedicated as a state park.

Six hiking trails are available in the park:
  • Beechnut Loop Trail - 1/2 Mile - Easy
  • Dogwood Trail - 0.7 Miles - Easy
  • Emerald Woods Trail - 1.8 Miles - Easy
  • Lotus Cove Trail - 0.7 Miles - Moderate - Offers a boardwalk view of an American Lotus (water lily) colony
  • Oldfield Trail - 0.8 Miles - Moderate
  • Lakeview Trail - 1.1 Miles - Moderate
Cowan Lake State Park has one Mountain Bike Trail - 1 Mile - Easy-Difficult


It poured rain on our drive to southwest Ohio, so I had no high hopes for this hike.

You notice  I said hike. Not run.

I've jacked up my back, to put it in runner medical terms.  I overdid lifting and carrying stuff at YUTC.  It hurt that day at YUTC, but I just figured "I overdid it" as I am apt to do, and the strain would be gone soon.

It has not gone away.  At mile 8 of my 10 mile run on Thursday, it came back with a vengeance. It made it difficult to turn over while sleeping.  I still got my Friday seven mile run in, with lots of pain through out.

It still hurts pretty bad.  It is in the small of my back, so it's not just muscle strain.  And what I am worried about is that is has hurt more, rather than less, as the week went on.

I took 800mg of ibuprofen this morning before we drove south and that thankfully helped.  Monday  I will see about getting a doctor appointment set up.  That will take about one week or so.  Really, it will, in my limited health care area.

I still decided to go with my husband and check out this state park.  The rain and gloom suited my mood entirely.

 I had difficulty finding the trail head. In fact, I just found a trail and blundered down it.  There were no markers.

 Not a bad little trail. It stopped raining, as I arrived.  Dark and wet.

You can tell the Trail Goddess doesn't feel good.  Glasses and no Buff.  I think I look tired.

I pop out of one trail, and see this sign across a drive. Hey, that's where I want to go!

Some old slippery timber steps lead down to this...non view...


So I go around this trail, and then walk down the drive, where I could see the lake and all the lilies.


The American Lotus colony was pretty cool.  It was huge!
 Probably a couple of acres of lotuses..loti?  I could see why this park is popular for kayaks, in nice weather.

I could see the seed pods on the plants, but they were all facing away from me, no pic except this off the web:




And you can eat the American Lotus!!



I brightened all the other pics except this one so you could see the lilies better.  It was a dark and overcast morning.

I never found the boardwalk either.


I wandered down this trail called "Deer Trail" which is not on the map of the state park.


It then intersected with what I believe was the mountain bike trail, but I was kind of done for the morning and took another trail back to the vehicle.

I drove into the campground a bit while recceying for the trail.  They have both cottages and RV hookups.  The part that I was in was fully wooded and looked pretty nice.

So if you are ever in southern Ohio, Cowan Lake State Park is about 11 miles out of Wilmington.  You could cobble together a short little run there, on some easy, non-technical singletrack.  I bet the water lilies are beautiful when blooming!

P.S.  The only positive aspect to my hurting back is the fact that I don't have a big race, or any race coming out right now.  Hellgate is a consideration, but we'll see.  I am hoping that some rest will help me out tremendously.

1 comment:

  1. Pretty place. Hope the back feels better soon. When I hurt mine, it took Bikram yoga to get it to come around. Back bends, properly done, almost always help. Put hands on lower back, feet together, weight in your heels. Push pelvis forward, support back with hands, tight butt, suck in tummy, try to see the wall behind you.

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