Finding new routes on your doorstep

With our new-found, or rekindled enthusiasm for running this is the perfect time to get exploring.

Some of us have enjoyed Strava segment hunting, some of us have benefited from some great initiatives like virtual relays, and points tables for most miles and ascent clocked, which meant trying new paths and routes close to home.

Finding new places to run

Dot Kesterton of Steel City Striders agrees. “During the lockdown, in pursuit of a little height and stillness, I took the path off the road towards Blacka Hill and discovered in its lee less than two miles from home a beautiful nature reserve full of native trees, streams, pathways, ascents and descents, brilliant blue and buzzing with wildlife. It will be one to explore over the coming uncertain weeks ahead.

Similarly, Anne Stockley says “I have lived in St Albans for nine years but only discovered during my lockdown runs that there is a mile-long path through a steep-sided ditch called Beech Bottom Dyke. The Dyke is an Iron Age territorial boundary probably constructed between 5 and 40 AD and an excellent trail running route; you need to pay attention to your footing due to some steep sections and plentiful tree roots. During lockdown it has been beautiful, full of bluebells, but I think it could be eerie on a dark day. It is an atmospheric place.”

Trig Point Bagging

Simon James from Run the Wild  explains: “The beauty of the trig point challenge is that because they are spread throughout the UK, they are very likely to be found hidden away in your local area and as you discover them you can start to venture further afield as lockdown regulations allow! Very approximately they are spaced out at about an average around seven miles apart, so they can form either a multi or a singular bagging objective.

The website (or their handy App) is a great resource to get you going, by creating an account you can find the trig points closest to you as a means of getting started. The points are defined by their appearance. When you have bagged a trig point, log it onto this site and go in search of your next one! Some are out in the open, but there are also quite a few that now sit in forests or more hidden spots and it’s a real achievement when you spot them!”