Thursday, July 31, 2008

Know your local Park hours

This morning I got in a nice 10 mile trail run in Greenbelt Park before work. As I got to the park at 6am I found that the gates to all the parking areas were still locked. Doesn't the sign at the entrance read "Park Hours Sunrise to Sunset"? I waited a few minutes, thinking that since the sun had just risen, maybe the Park Ranger hadn't gotten to this gate yet. I considered my options:
  1. Go home and run on the roads. No, too much road running this week already. I need trail running!
  2. Keep waiting. No, there's this thing called "work" that I have to get to eventually.
  3. Drive Jeep around blockade and proceed with original run plan. Hey, the sun is up so the park is open.
Being the patient individual that I am (seriously, I'm usually quite patient) I chose option 3. Got in a nice run and made it to work at the time I was hoping for. Checking the Park's website it appears I was right that the "Park" is open from sunrise to sunset, but the specific parking area(s) that I was hoping for don't open until 8am.

Lessons learned: Know your local park (and parking area) hours. Also, if you plan on running really early in the morning or finishing after the sun has set, find alternative parking areas along your trail in the event you don't happen to be driving an off-road vehicle.

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