Although I seem to be catching feelings for Nashville, there are things that make me downright homesick for New York. One of these is walking. New Yorkers are a fit breed. We stroll through parks, power walk to work, and climb subway steps two at a time. Some of us even voluntarily stand on the subway.
I’ve always found that activity breeds more activity, so I would forgo the subway for a bike ride across the Brooklyn Bridge to work, run the Prospect Park loop a few times a week, and actually pay to go to the gym in the winter. This extra curricular walking is just that, extra; but nothing beats the simple necessity of getting to where you’re going as quickly as possible.
After living in Nashville for a year, I realized I had been in a fitness slump. If you’re thinking of moving here, let it be known: it’s not really a pedestrian city, or a biking one at that. Some would argue that point, and there are people who use bikes as their primary mode of transportation, but I feel like every time I turn around there’s a “Share the Road” article running about some law-abiding biker getting hit by an impatient motorist. After complaining on Facebook for a while, a friend inspired me to seek out places to walk, and what do you know. I found nature.
Radnor Lake and its 1,332 acre-park is just 15 minutes south of WeHo. It has six trails of varying difficulty and a pedestrian road that circles half the lake where you can run, bike, and walk your dog. A full loop around is about 2.5 miles. I’ve done the Lake Trail, which was good power walking because it’s mostly flat and offers a pretty view. I really liked the Ganier Ridge Trail though. It’s hilly and often narrow, which kept my heart rate up and my New York legs pumping.
This time of year, the view can’t be beat. Living in any city makes you appreciate getting out of it, and that’s just what I needed. Afterwards, my head is clearer, my anxiety level is lower, my fears are at bay (and the science agrees!). What I like the most about walking there is something very unlike New York: I appreciate the quiet interactions with other walkers, the little nods and smiles that amount to an acknowledgement, as if to say, Yes, it’s a beautiful day, and we are walking.