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Published on January 1st, 2020 | by The Local Staff

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Getting out!

Technology improves many aspects of our lives but at the cost of excess stress, fatigue and increasing isolation (causing more problems). This issue even seeps down into your workout routines and prevents that New Year’s resolution of getting healthier. We are still plugged into our screens when listening to music or podcasts while running or zoning out at the tv screens as you move between equipment. No matter how you are engaged, lights from screens are constantly demanding attention from your brain and never allow you to rest. Thankfully there are several great trails around Dothan to help your brain reset. Opting to go for a run, hike or walk at one of Dothan’s trails fulfills that physical exercise while also giving you a chance to unplug, reduce multiple mental health issues and increase creativity. Here are some trails to check out around the Dothan area for your new workout routine: 

Forever Wild Trails

The Forever Wild Trails at Beaver Creek is 400 acres of untouched land from Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust. Across this natural scape is at least a 10 miles of unpaved trail that you can walk, run, or bike along. There are 1 mile and 2 mile loops if you are looking for something shorter. Although unpaved, there are boardwalks throughout the trail that overlooks Beaver Creek and the occasional turtle! Dogs on leashes are welcomed on the trail too. This trail is open all year from 6:30 am to dusk.

Westgate Park Trail

The Larry and Ronna Dykes walking and jogging trail, and the Kiwanis trail are both located at Westgate. Dykes trail is 3.3 miles with separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians; the cyclist path is paved and the pedestrian path is unpaved. This trail loops around the park complex and through some beautiful wooded areas as well that provide shade and peace on your journey. The Kiwanis trail is a half mile paved trail is you are looking for something quick, or you can combine the two to travel the whole length of Westgate! Pets on leashes are allowed to join the trails.

Harrison Walking Trail 

Harrison trail starts behind Malone Hall and winds all the way through the forest area of the Dothan Troy campus. This trail lasts for about 4.5 miles and features a nice pond with a few benches to rest and enjoy the scenery. There is also a 5.4 mile biking trail that starts at the base of the Campus TV tower. This trial is not only impressive but also informational; there are 110 different tree types labeled with scientific and common names and is great for bird watching!

Eastgate Park Tail

Right next door to Dothan, Eastgate park in Ashford has a relaxing 2 mile trail and boardwalk through their shaded woods, providing a cool respite from Alabama’s inconsistent weather. Aside from a lovely walking trail, Eastgate features an archery range, fishing pond, disc golf course and a dog park with fenced-in areas for big and small dogs. This expanse of land is multifaceted for diverse interests and perfect for committing to a holistic well-being. 

Ed Lisenby Lake

Located in Ozark, this lake has a 3.1 mile walking trail, fishing capabilities and supplies, and an archery range. 2.1 miles of this trail are paved while the remaining 1 mile is unpaved. This trail gives you an engaging tour around the lake and maybe even some close-ups of the ducks and turtles living there! Pets are welcome to join you on this tail as long as they are on leashes. This lake is open for fishing every day except Wednesday, but the trail is always open from sunrise to sunset. 

James O. Oates Walking Trail

One of the newer additions to the Wiregrass area, James O. Oates Park provides a 1.4 mile walking trail to the southwest side of Dothan. This park offers multiple baseball and softball fields, playgrounds and a paved trail that circles the whole park. Bikers are welcome to ride around the loop as well. Many people have commented on the quaint pond and breathtaking sunsets that you can see at the park–and how clean the bathrooms are too! There are lights around the trail for anyone who wants to come later in the day. For those who live on the southside of town, James O. Oates Park gives a closer, clean trail to enjoy instead of always traveling across the city to find a good trail. 

There is always time for day trips to chase waterfalls or climb mountains in our neighboring cities or states, but you don’t have to go far to find peace in nature. Many of the trails in the Wiregrass area offer a great workout, change of scenery and beginning on your pilgrimage to being healthy. Going to the gym is a great start to improving your health and unplugging every now and then to focus on yourself will improve your well-being tremendously. Instead of “working out more”, top off your New Year’s resolution with “committing to yourself” to prioritize a well-rounded health over solely a physical one.  

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