"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Running Salem Lake (Winston-Salem, NC)

Technically, the 20 minute drive from Shady Maple Lane to Salem Lake (just a couple of minutes southeast of downtown W-S) does not exactly qualify this route as a Travel Trail.  However, this run is just so outstanding that I have to include it. Over the past two years I have spent a majority of my Saturday mornings running some variation of the Salem Lake trail.  It is my favorite place to run ...... anywhere!

Salem Lake is managed by the Winston-Salem parks and recreation department.  It also benefits from a few volunteer organizations and trail maintenance fundraisers, such as the annual Salem Lake Trail runs (see 30K Run ).  The primary route is a 7 mile loop around the lake.  The elevation gains are not significant, but it is by no means a flat course.  The most drastic hills occur in the first two miles and in the final mile along the paved path back behind the dam and leading to the parking lot. 

From main parking lot, most start here running counter clockwise around lake
In addition to the lake loop, a path leads from the dam area on the trail back past Winston-Salem State, the Old Salem Visitor Center and concludes at Marketplace off of Peter's Creek Parkway.  This route is just over 4 miles from the lake. Often, I will park at Marketplace and run to the lake.  When taking this path and completing a loop at the lake, you can get in a great 15 miler. 

There are many things to like about Salem Lake. A nice, wide trail that has recently been smoothed out, yet left natural for most of the path.  The seasonal changes that allow for running under the full canopy of summer trees, to running through the leaves in fall, to my favorite season at the lake, the winter path with trees bare and views that are truly inspiring. Finally, it's a great runner's run.  Cross country teams routinely practice there on Saturday mornings, as do many running clubs and groups.  

Miles are marked throughout
If you live in the Triad, you really are missing out by not running Salem Lake as often as you can.  If you ever visit the area, I highly encourage you to plan a run there. The bonus is that I can point you to a nearby Krispy Kreme for which to enjoy a post-run treat!
Salem Lake Loop (Max Elevation 934’ - Min Elevation 782’ : Gain of 435')
View from far end of lake (Linville Road)

Lake in top right, map shows extension through WSSU, Old Salem & Marketplace
Past dam, right goes to 4mile out and back, left goes back to parking lot

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