Author: Heather Johnson Durocher

Heather Johnson Durocher writes from her hometown of Traverse City. She is founder of MichiganRunnerGirl.com, a resource for all things running and living healthy and active in the Great Lakes State. She is the host of the weekly podcast, the Michigan Runner Girl Show. She’s on Facebook, on Instagram and on Twitter @michrunnergirl. Email Heather at heather@michiganrunnergirl.com.

 

(Photo: nckstagram on Instagram)

Having our four-legged companions join us on the trails makes the experience all the sweeter—there’s just something about being outdoors, watching our tongue-wagging canines so deliriously happy as they sniff and run and check out every turn in the path. Here are a few of our favorite pet-friendly spots to get out in nature and explore:

We’re standing in the middle of a closed street, at times jumping up and down a bit, shifting our weight from side to side, and holding our crossed arms to our chests to warm up on this brisk late May morning. We’re checking and re-checking our watches, adjusting earphones and iPhones, chatting with one another, or maybe just staring straight ahead, alone in our thoughts as we wait for the final countdown to the race start. The excitement and nervous-tension is palpable.

In the midst of the morning rush—breakfast-making, backpack-grabbing, everyone scattering in different directions for the day—I remember to pull out a favorite pair of black running shorts and a red short-sleeve top to take with me. And shoes. Don’t forget your running shoes. While I often log miles from my house on the east side of town—the Vasa Pathway, one of our area’s premier trail systems, is within steps of our neighborhood—I like mixing up my running routine and will head to favorite routes throughout Traverse City.

find yourself in a

pretty great place