For years, many of us in flatter counties (including myself) have spent our time, energy & resources to travel to areas with mountains, elevation, waterfalls & features that appeal to our inner wilderness hunting compass.
Often, we can neglect, forget or take for granted what is on our doorstep. It becomes too comfortable and/or familiar, it lacks the lung busting ascents, leg destroying descents & theatre of forceful weather patterns and exposure
I put my hand up and identify with this
I opted for road over trail, choosing the convenience of tarmac, to facilitate a run in the shortest time possible, sterilising the experience, limiting opportunities to experience all that the trail can offer, the bounty of life nestled either side of the strip of dirt, instead, switching it for aggressively maintained hedgerows, laced with trash like a patch work quilt, as all manner of vehicles spew fumes into hard working alveoli.
These local trails may be footpaths or bridleways through fields harnessed for agriculture, woodlands both commercial or protected, a small ridge or following a water course. They may pale into insignificance when compared directly to a trail contouring a Lakeland summit, Welsh crag or in the vastness of the Scottish Highlands, but they’re accessible, within in reach.
I’ve been exploring small trails I’d have previously dismissed, used my eyes, rather than getting through my time outdoors on autopilot.
The time to enter the great mountainous theatres will come once more, but till then, there is adventure, intrigue & tales to be told on local trails.