You feel the earth beneath you and the wind caressing your face as you approach the two-mile mark.
Once you finally reach it, you take a small break to catch your breath. The trees that surround you provide ample coverage from the sun and provide a cool, shaded area for you to rest. As you fully take in your surroundings, you notice the little things that remind you of why this is your favorite place to be. The bubbling sound of water rushing over the rocks in the river and the birds chirping and singing bring a smile to your face as you prepare to begin running once more. The gravel crunches under your feet as you take off into the woods on the trail. Unlike your first two miles, the last two miles you take a little slower because you want to enjoy the beautiful nature surrounding you. Finally, you begin to see a break in the trees as the trail comes to an end. Breathlessly, you turn around and take one last look at the trail hidden in the trees before you get into your car, excited for your run again tomorrow.
The Pony Hollow Trail begins off of the Elkader River Walk and stretches four miles into the woods outside of Elkader. The trail itself is gravel and has a few benches to sit and enjoy nature. It is a popular running trail, but can also be used by walkers or bicyclers, and is a fun place to tame the kids on a walk. It is not necessary to do the whole trail. You can walk to the half-mile marker and turn around, or you can go all the way to the end of the trail. The Pony Hollow Trail allows a bit of an escape from the town and offers a beautiful place for a run or an evening stroll. Having the trail located in such a secluded area allows you to be completely emerged in nature, even when you are so close to town.
*Post submitted by Samantha Wiedner