Whether it’s a beautiful summer morning or a crisp autumn afternoon, there is nothing better than a healthy dose of the outdoors. Nearly every morning, I pack my kiddos up in our double stroller and off we go on our journey on the amazing Marshalltown trails. A body in motion stays in motion, and walking is an easy way to involve your kids in a healthy habit. Plus, a major perk is the kids are STUCK and along for the ride so I can enjoy a little me time. Now, this me time is used loosely, since pushing close to 50 pounds makes it pretty hard to forget I’m far from alone! Any opportunity to keep them momentarily immobile is worth the effort, and encouraging the occasional nap on a rough day is like winning the lottery. Now you may be thinking it sounds like a lot of work, but let me tell you why you won’t regret it!
5 Reasons to Love Marshalltown’s Trails
1. Marshalltown’s trail systems can cater to all different skill levels, desired distances or even just means of travel to your destination for the day. Depending on the day, the kids and I either choose from a short 2 mile loop, a 5 mile walk to the amazing Grimes Farm Nature Center, or we use parts of the trail system to get us to the Marshalltown Library, playgrounds, or even the grocery store. Total, the trails offer you 17 miles of hard-surfaced recreation with several short loops and paths from Riverview Park to the town of Melbourne. For more details on specifics, distances, and trailhead locations check out ci.marshalltown.ia.us and the Linn Creek Recreational Trail map.
2. The trail is multi-use friendly. Don’t want to walk or run with the kids in a stroller? Optinstead to plunk them (with helmets) in a bike trailer. Even take the dog along! When the snow flies and if your kids are older, pull out your cross-country skiis. There are so many ways to enjoy the trails all year-round.
3. Marshalltown even grooms the trails in the winter!! No excuses to avoid some brisk healthy fresh air, just bundle up your kids a little They’ll have fun getting to stay in their warm pajamas and bring their blankets along for the ride. The trail is cleared of snow from 12th-18th Avenue and from Center Street to 12th Street.
4. The scenery is AMAZING. You and the kids will get to experience ample picnic areas to rest at, take in beautiful views of the Iowa River and marshes, Linn Creek, as well as prairie grasses and wildflowers galore. You’ll thank me next year during peak fall foliage. The kids will also get an opportunity see nature at its best with deer, bunnies, birds, owls, and chipmunks to mention just a few.
5. Last, it’s a perfect opportunity to disconnect. If you are anything like me, my phone can feel like another limb at times. It’s not easy to disassociate ourselvesfrom our devices. Getting outdoors is a perfect way to show your kids another healthy option for entertainment. My phone still tags along, primarily for safety, but it’s set to Do Not Disturb so I can focus on enjoying my journey. So get out there and hit up the Marshalltown Trails. I promise they won’t disappoint!