Beautiful 12.5-mile trail is probably closer than you think

The well-marked Algonquin Cross-County Trail is in rural Worcester County. I ran there on Saturday, Feb. 27, with members of the Pemberton Running Club. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I had noticed the sign for the Foster Public Recreation Area on Snow Hill Road while driving from Salisbury to Snow Hill for some court cases I was covering for the newspaper. I was curious.

One day a while ago, I drove over there in my running clothes and made my way down a gravel road to see the Algonquin Cross-County Trail. It felt too remote for me to run alone, but today — Saturday, Feb. 27 — I had a chance to run from one end-trailhead to the other with members of the Pemberton Running Club.

I knew somewhat what to expect after reading Trent’s blog post. I ran with Chris, who I’m sure was slowing down for me, as I have been slow recently (and even slower on a trail), during most of the run, and he talked about how many parts of the trail had been flooded when the group ran last time.

He pointed out spots that had been flooded last time that thankfully weren’t during our run. A road that he said also been extremely muddy last time they ran wasn’t this time. So, that was good, since I was already tired by that point.

Here’s a view from the Algonquin Cross-County Trail. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

There were a few times I got my feet wet, but only one time where my feet were really submerged. It didn’t bother me too much, aside from the fact that I ended up getting blisters on both feet. That, however, could have been from the fact I wasn’t wearing running-specific socks. (I’m doing some laundry today!)

This trail, as I mentioned, is off of Snow Hill Road. It’s basically in between Salisbury and Snow Hill in rural Worcester County, and it took me 15 minutes or so to get there from my home in Salisbury.

If you’re coming from Salisbury, look for the Foster Public Recreation Area sign on Snow Hill Road and turn right. Keep going on the gravel road; it does seem long, but eventually, you’ll get to a parking area.

The trail is 12.5 miles, but because we took some detours, my watch had already logged more than 13 miles when we got to the other end-trailhead. Then, we ran to Chris’ car, which was parked nearby, logging 14 miles before driving back to where we started and the rest of our cars. There were five of us on the Saturday morning run.

The Algonquin Cross-County Trail is 12.5 miles long. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Some parts of the well-marked trail were wide, others were narrow. Most of it seemed to be going through the woods, but there were a variety of views.

During some of the run, I was on hard sand, but the sand wasn’t a flat surface. There were also the regular woodsy-trail type surface along with some road for the detours.

I really felt like I was in the middle of nowhere during this run. It’s not really the type of trail I would expect to find on Delmarva, but I’m really glad I got a chance to explore it with PRC.

Since I’m three weeks out from the Shamrock Marathon, I had a 20-miler scheduled for this weekend. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, because I started out with shin pain on the run, and even though that faded, I later had breathing issues, similar to what I experienced during my second Rehoboth Seashore Marathon.

As soon as I got in the car, I felt like doing the rest of the run was more attainable, particularly since we’d done 14 rather than the expected 13.1 miles. I ended up walk-jogging the remaining six miles in Salisbury after a break, and I was still having the breathing issues during that time.

I’m not sure if that was because of seasonal allergies or what, but I’m hoping that doesn’t come up during Shamrock. That feeling has only happened to me twice — during my second Rehoboth Marathon and today.

My run today put me over 200 miles for the year, so I celebrated by cutting “2” “0” and “0” from a banana. Of course I also indulged at Rise Up Coffee, my go-to post-long-run spot. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I’m not a morning person, but the Pemberton group runs are always early, so I was able to make it out of bed at about 5 a.m., or maybe a little after, for the run, which probably began around 5:45 a.m. or so. I’m glad I did.

Interested in running the Algonquin Cross County Trail? Here’s a map. (And the rest of the website where I got that map.)

I also made it past the 200-mile mark for 2016 today. So far, I’m on track to hit my 1,200-mile goal!

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