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Terri's Tuesday Trails: Meadowbrook Park

October 15, 2019

It was a little tough to get up and going this morning. The chilly temperatures outside and the idea of a little bit more sleep made it a bit challenging to head out. However, my day is packed with meetings and tasks to complete, so I knew it was now or never. This week, I ventured out to Meadowbrook Park in Urbana, also home to the Wandell Sculpture Garden. The sun wasn't even poking out when I arrived, but I still managed to get some great shots with the moon providing some light. 

Meadowbrook Park, maintained by the Urbana Park District, is a well-known gem in this community with over 80 acres of prairie, trails, gardens and an impressive play structure for kids. Not only is it perfect for visiting for a quiet walk or run, the space is often activated through events from the Park District such as the Jazz Walk, Strawberry Jam, yoga in the park, Sounds at Sunset, and so much more throughout the year. Regardless of the season, it's always beautiful, but I love it in the fall as the prairie is golden and the trees on the horizon highlight why fall in the Midwest is spectacular.

Here's what I saw along the way and what you can expect on your time out on the trail. 

The paths in the park are wide, a feature that allows runners, walkers and bikers to be out together.  The sun was starting to show itself when I made it around the first part of the prairie. Marker, by Peter Fagan, watches over the horizon. This area of the park is known as Walker Grove. The colors were incredible as the sun was coming up. I loved spotting the birdhouses along the trail. 
Coming over the bridge, you'll find El-Arairah from Todd Frahm greeting you. This bridge is a perfect spot for those fall family photos. This is one of the newer pieces in the park, Mr. Beetle Finds His Way by Janet Austin.  The Herb Garden on the West side of the park is beautifully maintained, and the Barn Quilt is on one of the barns from the original McCullough Family Farm.
Directly opposite the barns is the windmill, which looms tall over the prairie.  I didn't catch the name of this piece, but I loved how striking it was against the backdrop of the natural area surrounding it.  Idea of an Apple by Micki LeMieux, is the newest piece in the park.
The sun was finally making its appearance and it coming through the trees made the prairie shine. 

Southern Passage by Cecilia Allen and Roger Blakely greets you as you cross the bridge to get back to the North entrance to the park. 

Time constraints kept this one short, and some technical difficulties (or frozen fingers) meant longer times taking pictures. The park itself will give you 3 miles of trail along with several off-trail areas to extend your run. 

 

I loved every second this morning despite the cool temps. Fall is my favorite time to run, so now the question is—where will I go next week? Comment on our Facebook page!

 

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