PLACES TO RUN
This is a small town in eastern Iowa, I grew up north of this community and went to school here. I work here during the day, where I run on the Hoover Nature Trail, so I thought I would also add a post about running in the town.
This is a general overview of the town, so there wont be a mileage topic, but getting adventurous you might be able to log double digits without repeating an area. The town hosts a few races which I have run – Bear Stampede & Fergalicious 5k.
Terrain: There is every surface to run. Pavement, asphalt, chip and seal, crushed limestone, grass. Overall the surfaces are all well kept, no need to avoid sidewalks for safety of footing.
Elevation: This town is not flat, it is also not in the mountains. That being said, there are many hills, unless you run the Hoover Nature Trail you will be climbing somewhere.
Scenery: West Branch is the home of Herbert Hoover, there is a National Park here which you can loop through on a run & includes a prairie. There is a small historic downtown area. Interstate I-80 travels through the town splitting the industrial portions from the residential.
Maintainence: As mentioned in the terrain segment, the town is maintained pretty well, there is no need to worry about footing on sidewalks or streets.
Markings: The town does not have any dedicated running or cycling paths with mile markers, however there are signs around town directing you to the National Park or library.
Features: The town has one stoplight which was installed for pedestrians to cross a busier street. You can safely run on the sides of the streets. The Nature Trail offers a peaceful place to run.
Warnings: This is a small town, if you are out and about, you might run into someone that wants to chit chat, stalling your run. Also you have to work hard to get in a long run, or head out to country roads. There are also many street crossings and cars are always looking for pedestrians.
Personal Notes: I really don’t do much running in town unless it’s a race. I sometimes feel the glaring eyes of people and I would rather stick to the trail. However, to me that’s just small town life.
Other: In the warmer months there are drinking fountains on the National Park grounds. You can use the bathroom at the Town Hall or Police department. The gas stations or convenience stores for water/bathrooms are on the other side of the interstate. Parking is FREE.
If you have anything to contribute, let me know!