Today is National Trails Day, a great time to get out and "hit the trail" for health and personal rejuvenation.
We here in Emmet County have been indeed fortunate with a resurgence of interest in trails and trail development.
In Estherville, we have a great three-quarter-mile walking trail in South 14th Street sports complex and the prairie, Whitetail Ridge, Spring Creek and original trails at Fort Defiance State Park.
The Emmet County Conservation Board also offers some great trails in our county parks. And then there's the Emmet County Water Trail which is getting renewed interest and should be seeing a lot of new improvements soon.
One thing we should remember is that trails are not only for 'outdoorsy' types. They're intended for everyone. Fort Defiance has designated equestrian trails, and people come from miles around to use them. And, while hiking trails are seeing some frequent use, we should all remember that they're there and ready to use.
One area where we could use more trails would be for biking. Having designated bike lanes - or at the very least designated bike routes - would make drivers aware that bikes may be in the vicinity.
Another thing that's needed is public education about bicycle rules and safety. For example, it's NOT a good idea for bikes to dart across intersections in pedestrian lanes. But it IS a good idea for other vehicles to make room for bikes. And to say there's a dire need for a bike trail in Estherville would not at all be an understatement.
Hopefully, these are all goals we can work toward. Meanwhile, let's enjoy the trails that we do have.
So let's get out on the trail and get healthy.