If you go
Length: 3/4 mile loop; 15 minutes
Start: Parking lot
Parking: In downtown Hayden, turn south on Popular Street. Take Popular past the fairgrounds and turn left at Breeze Basin Boulevard across from the elementary school.
Bus access: Regional bus stop at the Hayden Kum & Go, one block east of Popular Street
Other walking distances in Hayden:
U.S. Highway 40 at Popular Street to Dry Creek Park: 1/2 mile
U.S. 40 from Pine Street to 3rd Street: 1/2 mile
Hayden Secondary Schools track: 1/4 mile per lap
Steamboat Springs This trail in Hayden circles the athletic field, passes through the disc golf course and runs along a pond. It is seldom crowded, with the exception of sporting events. The park is flat and provides views of rolling hills to the east. This is a great place to bring your family to picnic in the shade of the covered shelter or just to come for a quick walk. Since a portion of the trail is along water, bug spray or a fast pace may be beneficial during the evenings and mornings.
If you are looking for more of a challenge than the terrain and distance that Dry Creek trail offers, try laps around the park doing intervals. An interval alternates a period of faster pace with a period of slower pace. Modifying your pace will challenge your muscles and heart to improve your fitness level and weight loss quicker.
To use intervals, walk your typical warm-up pace for at least five minutes. Then walk for 30 seconds at a fast pace. Bending your arms at the elbows and pumping them at a faster pace along with a shorter stride will help you move quicker.
After 30 seconds of fast pace, slow down to your normal walking speed and recover for 60 seconds. Try five of these intervals in a row, then return to your normal walking pace. You can vary the length, intensity and number of the intervals according to your fitness level, and remember to keep the recovery period twice as long as the fast period. Pay attention to how you are feeling and don’t overdo it. The best fitness results are achieved by building slowly throughout time.
Janet Hruby writes Stepping Out in Routt on behalf of LiveWell Northwest Colorado.