Walking alongside a river, large or small, always revitalizes me in mind, body, and spirit. The water restores my soul, the walking invigorates my body, and I swear sometimes, I can smell life-giving vapors rising off the surface to saturate the air with the sweet kiss of moisture, infusing all around with an additional spark of life.
Our recent relocation away from Austin meant giving up our quick & easy access to the Hike & Bike Trail looping around Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) in the center of town. In just 15 minutes’ walk from our house, I could be strolling the tree-shaded trail, breathing in the rich air. Mind you, to get home involved climbing a steep hill (your choice of 3 different approaches — all steep), so sometimes the strolling got cut short so I still had energy to make the ascent.
That’s why another feature of Cañon City caught our eye as we searched for a new home last fall. The Arkansas River that carved the nearby Royal Gorge (about 10 miles west of town), courses through the narrow walls of the canyon before emerging to pass through town. And a riverside trail stretches along the banks for several miles right here in town, connecting several parks along the way.
Head eastward and you reach Griffin Park, with fitness stations (sit-up/push-up platform, balance beam, parallel bars) and a full challenge course as well as the riverside trail with an abundance of benches.
Head westward and the trail connects both to Veterans’ Park and Centennial Park and continues westward to Tunnel Drive, and even onward to the Pueblo Community College campus.
I’m still new here and exploring all the trail options, but every time I walk by the river, I feel my soul refreshed and my spirit rises, bringing to mind this recent song lyric sung by Bob Weir:
“Only a river gonna make things right…”
Happy to have me another river nearby to walk regularly.