Sorry, I’m a bit behind in documenting these sections of the trail. I actually walked this section about a month ago.
Here’s a photo of the route. This section is very different from the previous paths, which were through urban/suburban/industrial areas. This walk was almost exclusively through “metroparks.” Should I know what a metropark is? I mean, I can put two and two together to figure it out–seems like a state park, not a city park, not a county park, but a multi-county system of parks. But there were no metroparks where I grew up, so it’s a new concept to me.
Apparently you have to pay to get into a metropark, at least if you want to drive in, or drive through. No charge for walkers, though.
Walking through a metropark is clearly closer to what most people think of as “hiking” than my previous walks. Is it bad to say that I found it kind of boring, though? Maybe part of it was that there was zero navigation to do, and I enjoy looking at maps and figuring out the route. But the landscape was pretty monotonous, almost all like the first photo below.
Then I had the problem of how far to hike. Thus far I’ve been able to catch a car-share at any point, when I feel like stopping and going back to the beginning. But at about mile ten, I had to decide whether to call it a day, or walk six more miles through the next metropark. I mean, probably a car could still pick me up inside the park, but the $10 fee seemed like a pain to deal with. Ten miles is pretty short, so I decided to press on.
A couple of miles later I decided to take a break on a bench. My calf was bothering me a bit, kinda itchy. So I took a look and…hives! Awesome. I’ll spare you photo of the hives. So apparently heat-induced or exercise-induced hives is apparently a thing I have now. Fantastic.
Despite the hives I decided to press on. Along the trail were these mileage markers. Let’s just say that they go by reallllly slowly when it’s hot and you’ve got hives.
Finally, the end is nigh! Escaped the metropark, caught a car, enjoyed some AC, and returned to where I began. I wouldn’t really recommend a sixteen mile hike on a hot day through boring metroparks.