For many bicyclists, fall is their favorite time to ride. The air is crisp and clean, the sky is a deeper blue, and leaves are magically changing from green to yellow, red and brown. In Jackson county, the Sandhill Cranes are beginning to gather into larger flocks, their feathers turning from tan and brown to steel grey as they prepare for their long, southern migration. Canada geese can be seen in their telltale “V”s as they crisscross the county, fattening up on whatever seeds or grains are left behind after our local farmers have harvested their crops. All in all, there is much to see from the seat of your bicycle this time of year.
Riding your bicycle on the Falling Waters Trail is a great way to enjoy fall. Slip on a light jacket before you start out, and within a few minutes of pedaling you’ll be comfortable. When you are on the trail you don’t need to be concerned with cars approaching from behind and passing you, so you will be able to relax and enjoy the sights, the smells and the scenery of fall. When you are on the trail feel free to stop and take a break whenever you like. Comfortable park benches have been placed at regular intervals, and there are even more along the banks of Lime Lake.
If you’d like to take a break for a meal, the village of Concord has several options and it is only four miles west of the Teft Road parking lot. Or you could take a break and enjoy the Falling Waters Park on Hammond Road where you’ll be transported back in time. To get there ride north on Cross Road about ½ mile, then turn left on Hammond. The park will be on your left.
If you’d like to explore Jackson’s newly expanded trail system, you could start your ride at the New Leaf Park on Fourth Street and ride south through the grounds of Parkside Middle School and Ella Sharp Park to the Sharp Park Academy. From there you will very soon be able to connect to the trail alongside Horton Road, which will take you to the trail alongside Weatherwax Road, which leads to the Falling Waters trail.
Whether you start in Concord or at Teft Road or at Weatherwax Road or at the New Leaf Park on Fourth Street, you’ll have an an opportunity to relax and enjoy the beauty fall has to offer from the seat of your bike.
Author Bio: Mike Woizeschke is president of the Cascades Cycling Club and is a lifelong bicycle enthusiast. He enjoys bicycling on the Falling Waters Trail, on the mountain bike trails of Ella Sharp Park, and on the paved and unpaved roads of rural Jackson county. Mike promotes bicycling every chance he gets, including personally volunteering as ride leader or ride sweeper for all of the Tour de Troit rides, and through his club’s sponsorship of the Pedal and Whine Bike Tour.