Parking: An Afternoon in Sand Run Metro Park

words and photos by Grace Ebner

The Mingo Trail. It doesn’t sound intimidating. In fact, it rather reminds me of mangos, which I love. But, the Mingo Trail is a little intimidating, and that is the reason I love it so much! The Mingo Trail is three miles long, rated as a level 3 “difficult” hike and also has a portion of the trail that has a warning for “primitive” conditions. It’s been a few years since I’ve hiked it, and I’ve been wanting to do it again for a while now, so on a sunny afternoon my sister joined me and we drove out to Sand Run Metro Park.

sandrun02-2We started our hike at a brisk pace and before long we were deep in the forest, trekking up steep hills. The wooded, winding path led us right past a family of deer which we loved watching. This workout sure beat running on a treadmill in front of the TV! Though unfortunately, after completing two-thirds of our hike, right as we were about to start the “primitive” section, we realized that the last mile of the trail was closed. The sign posted stated it was due to erosion that left the trail dangerous and impassable. Not wanting to break any rules, we didn’t go on. Luckily, we were at the intersection of the Jogging Trail, which we returned back on to get to the parking lot.

After basking in my car’s AC, we drove to Nervous Dog Coffee Bar on West sandrun03Market Street. I opted for a simple iced coffee, while my sister ordered a cappuccino and scone. We enjoyed our sweet treats inside, admiring the fancy interior before we headed home. We were worn out—but in a good way—and we hope the rest of Mingo Trail will be open soon!

Grace Ebner completes the Summit Metro Parks Fall Hiking Spree, Spree for All, Running Spree and Summer Biking Spree each year.