Break Free From the Winter Blues - Get Active in Huntington this Spring with Trail Walking/Running

Temperatures are starting to creep ever higher, daffodils are beginning to emerge and crocuses are about to explode in a montage of spring color. Spring is about arrive in Huntington -- and with it the realization that it is time to get more active in anticipation of summer’s arrival! Beach weather is just 2 months away!!!

With a little determination and some solid strategy, you can turn the late winter doldrums into a time of exhilarating outdoor activity that your body will thank you for.

Not sure where to begin? Embrace technology!

For Huntington area residents looking to plan fun walks or runs this winter, free apps/websites like mapmyrun.com or mapmywalk.com sponsored by Under Armour can serve as excellent inspiration.

These sites host lists of great local trails – all contributed by area residents. With over 1,500+ area walking/running trails and courses listed between the two sites there are endless options. And, the app/website shows you the exact distance, ascent and maximum elevation of each route as experienced by other local walkers/runners – a great added feature when planning an outing.

Whether you want to enjoy a 6 mile run that skirts portions of Huntington Bay - or start slow with a half-mile course that takes you through town to Heckscher Park - just seeing where other locals choose to walk/run can be helpful as you plan your own outings.

You can find these great apps with all the Huntington area trails in both the iTunes and Google Play stores. Download one today and give it a try – you will thank yourself come summer.

If technology is not your thing then take advantage of the Huntington Trail Guide. A terrific resource provided by the town’s department of park and recreation. Click the link for a detailed tour and map of every trail and park from the Town of Huntington.

A couple of our favorite spots are the Cold Spring Harbor Trail and the beautiful trails in the Caumsett State Park – both right here in our neighborhood.

A few friendly tips before you get your adventure started:

Sensible “active wear” and running shoes.

Trail conditions can vary around town depending upon the early spring weather. The chances are that, at some point, you will be out in “iffy” weather dodging puddles amidst the remnants of winter runoff.

Although the initial inclination for many contemplating an outdoor adventure this time of year is to continue to bundle up in your warm winter parka and set of matching mud-boots, this may not be the most practical garb for an active outing.

What you may actually want are a couple of light layers of thermal, self-wicking, active wear, a fleece hat and gloves and a pair of quality winter running shoes with motion control, superior traction (for slip avoidance), plus arch and ankle support (as with a normal running shoe). The thermal layers will keep you warm and dry once you have gotten your walk/run started (especially if you maintain a brisk pace) and the shoes should help you with your form on the trails.

Visit our friends at the Super Runners Shop on New York Avenue in Downtown Huntington if you are looking for suggestions. They have a great selection of winter active wear and running shoes and have been taking care of runner’s feet in Huntington for years!

Mind the wet spots. Stay safe on the roads.

Early spring is both a time of increasing daylight hours and wet and potentially slippery conditions. All of these add-up to safety concerns for the active walker/runner on our narrow roads.

If you choose to be on the roads, stay safe. Walk/run against traffic so you can see what’s coming and make sure you are wearing some “Hi-Vis” or reflective gear. For those of you that like to get out in the pre-dawn hours or after work this is especially important - and you may want to add some reflective gear and a headlamp/flashlight to your kit just to make sure you can be seen by area drivers (the last thing anyone wants is to have to dive into a mud puddle to avoid one of our “overzealous” local drivers as they race to and fro around town).

Now that you have some great ideas and resources (and hopefully a little extra inspiration!) let’s get out of the house and enjoy some fresh spring air!

Happy Trails!