This morning I took part in an epic East Central Indiana running experience. I ran around the big loop at Westwood Park, near New Castle. I have heard much talk about this particular course and was finally able to take part with 2 other running buddies. We had a great time and ran it in about 93 minutes. What is the distance? That’s a good question. The park brochure calls it 10.5, my friend has biked it at 11, and DINO calls it 10. We marked it down as 11 for an 8:28 pace.
That pace sounds slow but this isn’t an easy run. Westwood’s website calls it one of the best and most challenging bike trails in Indiana. With hundreds of switchbacks and hills of all sizes and lengths that could be true! This trail hasn’t been rutted and is approximately 3 years old. But watch out there are plenty of roots and overhanging branches. I was constantly alternating between watching the ground and catching branches in the face. Unfortunately I was the only one in our group to actually hit the dirt, but another did stumble a few times as well. Another drawback of this particular course is that there is no water stops. Well, there is a picnic shelter 100 yards or so off the trail with water, but its hidden and without studying the map you might miss it. We did see that someone had dropped water bottles off for a later run!
The trail meanders through open fields, forests, pine forests, and much more. It roughly follows the contours of the 180 acre lake with bridges crossing some parts. Overall this was a great run, we took it nice and easy!
Don’t be too afraid, there are other trails as well. There is approximately a 6 mile hiking trail and a 6 mile horse trail, both circumvent the lake but cut out lots of the switchbacks.
NOTE: There is a $2.50 entrance fee, even at 6:30 when we got there. The park is West of New Castle on SR 38.