October is National Walking Month
The City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department, along with LMH Health, Douglas County Emergency Management/CERT, Friends of Lawrence Area Trails(FLAT), and Rockland Apartments encourage participation in living a healthy, active lifestyle and this October are offering a program to celebrate National Walking Month with Walk the Loop. Besides providing a uplifting cardio-experience, participants will also learn about the nature, history and neighborhoods encountered during scenic walks around segments of the Lawrence Loop Tuesedays and Thursdays in October.
Walks begin each evening between 5-6 p.m. Start when you can; the staffed trailhead closes at 6 p.m. Bus transportation from the end point of each night’s walk back to parking will be provided by The Rockland Apartments. Please note, there may be a short wait at the end of the trail for the bus if they are in route. There will be no bus transportation on the final walk segment as we will return to the starting point as our ending point. Also, please be aware that there are no restroom facilities along most segments of the walk. Please wear sturdy walking shoes, bring water, a hat, sunscreen and bug spray. Also, please be alert for and use extra caution when crossing those areas of the trail that intersect with a roadway. In case of severe weather, the walks will be cancelled. For weather related as well as other information, go to the Friends of Lawrence Area Trails Facebook page @flatks. You also may call 785-505-3066. If the walk will be cancelled, a message will be left on this number by 4 p.m. on the day of the walk.
Walks begin at 5:30 p.m.. Trailhead closes at 6 p.m..
Tuesday, October 16
- Parking: 906 North 1464 Road
- Route: To Sports Pavilion Lawrence
- Length: Approx. 2 miles. This route is the shortest of the planned walks and also has the most hills.
- Rest Station Host: Friends of Lawrence Area Trails (FLAT)
This section of the Loop has great historical significance. The Oregon Trail crossed the Lawrence Loop, just south of Sixth Street and continued west toward Big Springs and Topeka, near the route of present day U.S. Highway 40. The Oregon and Santa Fe Trails passed through Douglas County and were part of a network of wagon trails that headed west. Use of the trails declined following the Civil War when railroads pushed across the plains. In some places along the old trails, you can still see evidence of wagon tracks.
Thursday, October 18
- Parking: Sports Pavilion Lawrence, 100 Rock Chalk Lane
- Route: Sports Pavilion Lawrence to the north end of loop and back
- Length: Approx. 3.1 miles
- Rest Station Host: LMH LMH Health Performance and Wellness Center
You will be walking parallel to the South Lawrence Trafficway for a short while before the paved trail begins to wind through forest, riparian areas and fields. You may see multiple species of birds including cardinal, chickadee, Carolina wren, wood pewee, turkey vulture, among many others. When you get to the end of the trail, you will turn around and walk back to the Sports Pavilion.
Things to Remember
- Talk to your healthcare provider before beginning any new physical activity, especially if you have been sedentary, have a health concern or are taking prescription medication.
- Walkers must depart no later than 6 p.m. in order to be off the trail by dark.
- Walk slowly for about five minutes to warm up. Then gradually increase your pace. Slow your pace during the last five minutes of your walk to cool down.
- Carry a cell phone and identification with you, including emergency contact numbers.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Walk with a companion or listen to music but make sure you can hear traffic and bicycles.
- Don’t overdo it. When you are starting, plan walks of distances you know you can accomplish. Walk a comfortable pace. If you experience chest pain or other signs of a heart attack or stroke, dial 911 imediately. Trained CERT volunteers from Douglas County Emergency Management will be on the trail to assist in case of emergency.