Thursday, September 4, 2003

Walk this way: Edgewood paths encourage strolling

Northern Kentucky suburb designed with exercise in mind

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Janet Unkraut of Edgewood walks along Dudley Road.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
What's so great about this walk?

If you visit the Edgewood city Web site, you will be greeted with a tree graphic and the words: Where everyday is a walk in the park.

That just about says it all for me with this small Northern Kentucky suburb. I used to live on Charter Oak Road in Edgewood and loved to walk nearly every day after work and on the weekends. The city's layout is made for walking - slightly hilly, with sidewalks along most of the main thoroughfares. There's also wonderful deviations, such as parks and side streets.

What will I see?

On a pleasant evening, I've passed numerous walkers, single or in groups, mothers and couples pushing baby strollers; bike riders, skaters and dog walkers. With an abundance of trees and flower gardens, one can see and hear the cardinals, robins and other birds, and see the occasional squirrel.

The main road is Dudley, which zigzags in a sort of east-west direction and extends from Madison Pike (Rt. 17) west to Dixie Highway. However, due to steep hills at both ends, the best and easiest walking route is from the flashing yellow warning light at the top of the hill at Rogers Road-Winding Trails on the east to Turkeyfoot Road on the west.

Distance: A favorite stretch is 1.1 miles, or 2,375 steps.

Difficulty: Easy.

Location: Main road is Dudley, which zigzags in a sort of east-west direction and extends from Madison Pike (Rt. 17) west to Dixie Highway.

Features: Sidewalks, parks, side streets.

Best time of year: Year-round

Information: Web site.

A word of warning - Dudley has heavy and noisy vehicular traffic, so if you take your kids and dogs, be sure you have a good grip on them.

I returned last weekend and parked my car in the R.C. Hinsdale School parking lot at the Dudley and Charter Oak intersection, easily identifiable by the BP gas station near its entrance.

From the school, I walked 1.1 miles west to Turkeyfoot and it took me 19 minutes or 2,375 steps. Coming back took a little longer as I stopped at one of the deviations, President's Park, which is catty-cornered from St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church and school, 348 Dudley Road.

A Millennium Clock tower guards the entrance to this pretty little park. A sidewalk extends from the clock and is paved with 3-foot-by-3-foot concrete squares, which have information on all of the American presidents. This little walk is not only good for exercise but educational, too.

Follow the walk past the ballfields, playground and shelter house to the parking lot and around to Pennsylvania Avenue. Take the avenue back to Dudley, admiring the flowers, scented honeysuckle, viburnam, oak leaf hydrangeas and other shrubs and flowers, trees, and wooden birdhouses. This is a 12-minute or 700-step walk.

Other sights along Dudley are Summit Hills Country Club, St. Pius X Church, City Hall, Fire and EMS building, many lovely homes and lush lawns.

In addition to this route, other good walks are the 1.6 mile round-trip route down Charter Oak from Dudley; 1.8 mile round trip from Brookwood Drive-Thomas More Parkway to Rogers Road-Winding Trails. There are also sidewalks on Thomas More Parkway, extending from Dudley to Turkeyfoot.

Places to park include Freedom Park near the corner of Dudley and Thomas More Parkway, President's Park and St. Pius Church.

Do I have to be in shape?

It's an easy walk, gently hilly.


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