For most people, the concept of hiking conjures up visions of dirt paths, rocky trails and scenic mountain passes. But what about our very own unique urban landscapes, historic buildings, side streets and old railways?
When it comes to hitting the trails, enjoying a little outdoor exercise or even unstructured time to contemplate, sometimes those living in cities may feel a little boxed in. But for those in Kokomo, there is plenty of adventure to take in and enjoy within minutes of home.
It’s about embracing the whole world just outside your door and journeying into it with wide eyes and an open mind. It’s about forays into unique neighborhood nooks and unexpected natural havens.
It’s become a familiar site. People jogging, walking and riding bikes along the smooth, winding asphalt path. In some areas it’s easy to forget you are actually within the city limits as trees and nature envelope the surroundings. In others, there are constant reminders.
Kokomo is fortunate to boast of two, comfortably wide, multi-use urban paths drawing in hundreds of visitors every day of the week.
“I walk this path four times a day,” said Delco retiree Joe Young. “I think it’s beautiful and there is no better place to get my exercise.”
He was referring to the Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence. This particular path spans roughly 2.4 miles and runs from Mehlig Park on the city’s west side to Waterworks Park located in Kokomo’s eastern fringe.
The Walk of Excellence links together six city parks, Kokomo Beach, historic neighborhoods, schools and our downtown area. In most places it hugs the Wildcat Creek, where towering cottonwoods and sycamores shade the gently flowing waters.
“I never knew there was this much wildlife in town,” mentioned Betty Sanders as she took her regular morning stroll. “I have seen a fox, beavers, muskrats and all kinds of birds.”