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Trail Dog Reviews: Jack explores Greensboro Watershed Trails

Trail reviews for you by Jack the Trail Dog

Bur Mil Park and the Lake Brandt marina are great starting locations, but limited parking lot access along the routes.

Not huge climbs, but rolling.

We run on these trails a lot for training. They are easy to get to from our house with plenty of options for routes and distances. The City of Greensboro, it’s a big city with street crossings on some trails, maintains these trails and they are always busy. They say you can get 40 miles on them, but I am not really ready for all of that.

So we ran a trail marathon on these trails in March. Yes, my pawrents asked and were given the okay by the race director to let me run. I don’t like races because of having to wait around too much at the start. I just want to go.

There are a couple of reasons why these trails are great for me…

First; they follow the lakes in the city, so there is always plenty of water stops either in the lakes, or the streams that feed into them.

Second; we can pick the distance that we want to run on the trails. Third; they are great natural surface trails with plenty of rocks, mud and roots, (oh man, the mud and roots on Owl’s Roost).  

Lastly, I love these trails because that means after the run I get a puppuccino from Starbucks! It’s awesome and so good. Hmmmmm. Yummy whip cream!

Oh yeah, back to the race.

Sorry, I was daydreaming about puppuccinos. We started the race at Bur Mil Park which has great parking and restrooms for my pawrents. So sad they can’t just pee on a bush like me. We take off and hit Owl’s Roost Trail first. You know what the weather had been like all of February and early March with rain? It made this trail muddy. We stick to the inside fire lanes of the trail instead of skirting the lake. It is a rolling trail and coming back at the end of the race is going be tough here with all the mud.

After Owl’s Roost, there is short stretch on the paved greenway and then we hit Nat Greene Trail. This trail skirts Lake Brandt and ends at the marina. Then we cross onto Laurel Bluff Trail. I think this is one of the prettiest trails in the system. It has great wooded areas as it follows the creek and then gives way to the Lake Townsend. There is usually lots of birds on this trail. The Peninsula Trail is pretty cool too, there are deep thickets of rhododendron and really close in on you. There are some open spots along the Osprey Trail as it is dotted with several large powerline towers. Next we turned onto Reedy Fork, starting the return trip to the finish line. This trail is a lot like the Laurel Bluff Trail. When we make to the end of Reedy Fork Trail, we turn back onto Nat Greene Trail. Those hills get you on the return trip.

I was happy to see the finish line. I was tired but it was a good run and great weather for me out and about. I was even given something called a finisher medal. It looks like a large dog tag to me, but people seemed happy I had it. I would have rather had a treat. And I really wanted that puppuccino.

Before starting long distance running or multi day hiking with dogs we had to ensure that I was safe a protected against diseases that are found in nature.  I have been vaccinated for outdoor exposure that is found in my area. Talk with your veterinarian to get the appropriate vaccines for your area and activity plan.  

Proper Rabies tags and ID- always have a current rabies vaccine and the tag/certificate.  I have nice tag that has my name on it and pretty picture of the mountains.

Running races with your dog~ ALWAYS ASK the Race director!! Most races that do allow your dog require you to be on a short leash so you don’t impede other runners.  You will need to have a poop bag ready in case nature calls while you are running.

I also require my pawrents to carry my food and gear for me.  I require figgy pops (banana almond butter flavor) broken into appropriate sizes, a taste of their stroopwafel or Cliff Bar.  Pack a water bowl~ my favorite is Ruffwear Trail Runner bowl~ Duh! Water is a big concern with many of the trails and over time I have learned to drink out of the water bowl and my pawrents can give me some of their water so I can drink on the run.  

Some days I have a little trouble getting moving I am 10 years old.  For those days, my pawrent gives me an Adequan injection. It is an injectable Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan, that I get from time to time for a joint supplement.  

You need to build up to the milage.  With using a model of building up to the goal distance over the prior few months, you too can run with your pawrent.  I helped my pawrent train for one of the toughest 100 milers on the east coast.

Flea and tick preventative is a must!  There is lyme disease and many other other tick diseases out there.  Fleas are present out there and they too carry nasty diseases, remember the plague came from those nasty buggers!

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