Picnic Point

Oh how I miss you so.  A number of my favorite places are in or near Madison, WI, but Picnic Point takes the cake.  I can't remember when I first discovered it; probably during a girls engineering camp the summer before my senior year of high school, or maybe it was on one of my first runs as a college freshman.  Either way, it is simply a beautiful spot.

A view with the capital sticking up in the back, and the engineering building on the right.

Madison has a great system of bike trials, including one that goes right past the entrance of Picnic Point for easy access.  A parking lot is right there too, so you can find all walks of life out on the path.  Everyone from college kids on a run to old folks on a bird-watching stroll.  The Point itself is about 3/4 miles long.  Beyond that there are a few different shoots of trails that wander along Lake Mendota's coast around Eagle Heights and Shorewood Hills.  All are excellent running trails with a few challenging hills thrown in the mix. 

Trails and running go so well together.  The crunch of leaves.  The lapping water nearby. The squirrels, blackberries, adventure and sweat.  It all just works.

Another view from PP.  Makes me smile :)

My last nostalgic trip to Picnic Point was just over a year ago.  I was living in Madison by myself during a somewhat sad time, desperately waiting to hear back about a job interview and trying to keep my hopes up.  I drove over to make myself feel better and just walked it so I could savor the moment (wow...tearing up now just thinking about that time).  The sun was out with a crisp fall breeze around.  It was lovely. 

This last visit brought me a surprise though.  They were doing construction on the end.  I think the goal was to create a nicer public meeting circle and fire pit.  In the process though, they seem to have taken down a number of trees (good for the view, bad for the trees).  The project is probably complete, so I will have to stop by on my next trip to Madtown to see how it all turned out. 

Fenced off with the plans.

You can see the other side of Lake Mendota through the trees.

More fencing.

What is your favorite running spot?

1 comment:

  1. I think I read somewhere that the end of PP might be a reservable space. Not sure how that would work though.