By now my guess is most of us are fatigued hearing about the coronavirus and all that surrounds it: the growing number of cases, ways to prevent its spread and the fallout from the pandemic, most notably the closure of schools, businesses and the limited access to restaurants and eateries.
Recreation and fitness have also been impacted with the cancellation of organized sports leagues and the shuttering of venues where they are staged. Even the Cleveland Family YMCA has announced its temporary closure.
As a preventative measure the city of Cleveland recently posted they will no longer be issuing permits for events for the foreseeable future. This includes group events that were to happen on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway, including at least one 5K race.
For those who find themselves at home for an extended period, particularly households with school-aged children, the greenway offers a recreational alternative! As we all practice “social distancing” — avoiding crowds and enclosed spaces with others — the greenway can be a place to be vigilant and still get the exercise and movement we all need and crave.
In addition to the five miles of available greenway between Mohawk Drive and Willow Street and the Casteel Connector, now is a good time to remember that there are additional venues available via the Greenway Network, perhaps closer to where you live.
With limited exceptions, the “mini-greenways” on all Bradley County elementary school campuses are open for anyone to get in those steps on a path designated for walking or running. These include the Fox T.R.O.T. at Black Fox, The Ram Run at North Lee, Oak Grove’s Freedom Trail, Taylor’s Tiger Track and Parkview’s Knight Walk.
Behind the Rolling Hills subdivision is a one-mile loop incorporating the former “back nine” cart paths of the Rolling Hills Golf Course. Other sites include the beautiful two-mile paved trail at Fletcher Park, the YMCA’s outdoor fitness track, a wooded trail at Westwood Baptist Church and Lee University’s half-mile trail in Schimmels Park, which connects to the “spur” at 20th Street that leads to Spring Creek townhomes and shopping center.
There is also the “downtown connector,” a designated 3.7-mile path that begins at Willow Street and incorporates the historic neighborhood, downtown and Lee University. Visit cbcgreenway.com for specific directions on any of the spurs and network.
Finally, the relatively new Cherokee interpretive trail that begins at the Hiwassee River Heritage Center and snakes through Charleston City Park is a great reason to visit Charleston if you haven’t been in awhile.
As we all navigate this new normal — albeit temporary — let it be a time when we discover new places, create new habits and develop a greater sense of connectivity with each other. The Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway offers all three!
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