Would a jogging path be a crazy idea?

carolbarrelSeptember 13, 2012

I'm out of shape and don't feel like driving to the highschool to use their track when/if available. I have about 1.85 acres that my home sits on, with a large garden shed off to the side. I'm thinking of installing a meandering jogging path that would go around back of the garden shed, and back to the front of the shed where there's a large flat plot I want to turn into raised beds for veggies. The jogging path would cut through the raised beds plot and then continue through the large front yard where I plan to have trees for shade and for screening the ugly view of neighbor's pigpen (no, not kidding). The jogging path would head down my driveway which is dirt, then I can turn around at end of driveway and return to make the circuit over and over til I get tired of exercising. So...does this sound crazy or not? It's my goal to combine form with function. Thanks for any ideas!

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Good idea if you don't have teenage neighbors.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 1:24AM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I think it's brilliant. The quality of the surface will be quite important though, so you don't end up out there with a broken ankle. And for when your fitness and speed ramp up, you'd want gentle curves, not tight ones. Make sure the curves are banked the right way if at all, too.

Add a station to do step-ups or a pergola on which you can do chin-ups, and you can call it a fitness circuit!

What you put around it can have it looking like a garden path or eventually a forest trail all the rest of the time.

Karin L

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:57AM
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I envy you! :) My favorite place to run is on a hiking trail.

The trail has different parts that are crusher fines, asphalt and plain dirt. I think some of the dirt areas were covered with crusher fines but over time dirt covered them again.

The dirt and gravel sections are very comfortable to run on. The dirt sections aren't perfectly smooth but that hasn't bothered me. After it rains sections can be muddy.

The location and the large trees cause it to be cooler than exposed tracks. If you can provide shade trees for parts of the path it would be nice.

Also create gardens along the path. I think I can run more distance on the trail because the scenery helps distract me about how tired I am. :)

Don't worry about it being perfectly shaped either. A few curves here and there make it more interesting to travel. I think you can get at least a 1/5th mile route.

Contact your local trails conference and see if they can offer any advice for building and maintaining the trail surface.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:18AM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

I agree that it's an excellent idea. Building the trail will be one part of your fitness program, jogging on it will be another, and creating a few pockets of garden spaces will round out your workout schedule. Traveling across a bit of unevenness is a great way to improve balance, agility and core strength.

It would be fun to lay out a path that maximizes length and interest and takes advantage of what your yard has to offer. Sounds like a terrific project!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:41AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Just think, if you build the path yourself, you'll be in shape when you finish, to jog it!
Here's one I built, but I walk, not jog. My serious running days are over at 68.
The path is made from woodchips. The same woodchips I use for mulch, therefore, no clean edge to maintain. A lawnmower, set on high, up the center took care of the Japanese maple leaves for definition. The path is crowned for good drainage, and it makes it easy to stay on in the dark. I can 'feel' the top of the crown with my feet. A blind person can navigate it.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 1:03PM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

That's beautiful Mike! The path just beckons to be traveled down. What a gorgeous landscape you've got there.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 1:39PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

good idea !
Mike , I LOVE seeing photos of your property.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 1:39PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

Thank you. Coming from you two , I really appreciate your comments.
Here it is last Fall.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 2:14PM
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carol, you have a wonderful idea and plenty of room to do it.

Botann, fabulous.

Rosie, Sugar Hill, GA

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:31PM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

Goodness Mike, the bold colors and textures are amazing and they way they are interwoven is masterful. Nicely done and thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:41PM
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It's a good idea, but before you do it, spend a couple of days walking the same route over and over every day. I have found it doesn't take long to get really bored of the same route every day, and especially if you have to make a lot of laps.

That said, you can always mow a path, or clear one, and improve it as time goes on. If you lose interest in walking the route, you'll have created something pretty and added value to your property.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:09PM
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Never mind, I'm moving to Mike's! But seriously, if he weren't in Seattle I'd be asking him about each & every plant and tree he put in alongside that simply gorgeous walking trail! Wow...thanks for sharing the photos...and thank all of you for the vote of confidence. This will be a fun project and a bit expensive...but worth it. I really need to do more research on fitness trail surfaces. Wood chips won't work in this climate so I'm thinking P gravel/dirt combo. Our land is sandy on topside...which btw seems to easily become ant-hill habitat. So I want to thwart ants whilst building a safe and reliably mud-free trail. More suggestions please!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 10:20PM
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