Now that summer has winded down and fall is in full swing, I am beginning to hit the trails again. While it’s hard to stay away from my favorites, I’m trying to continue with last year’s goal of hiking as many new trails across the state as I can before winter hits.
My first new park of the season is Kennedy Memorial Park, located in Webster County, about four miles north of Fort Dodge. This park boasts two miles of hiking trails around the lake (for walking, biking, and cross-country skiing), fishing (shore or boats with electric motors only), swimming, picnic shelters, a bird blind viewing and feeding station, butterfly garden, and many more family-friendly activities.
I started the trail at the east side of the park from what looked to be one of the main parking areas. The trails were a mix of timber and prairie and consisted of well-maintained gravel or mowed paths. While the main trail loops Badger Lake, there are a couple jut-offs that wander off on the outskirts of the park.
While I really liked these trails and this park, I have to admit, I did a bit more speed hiking than I normally would. The mosquitoes were awful on this particular morning and I was covered in bites by the time I was half way around the lake. As it turns out, I’m a bit of a mosquito magnet and, while it made the whole hike quite miserable, turning around would have taken me just as long as finishing the loop. I also didn’t take as many photos as I might have otherwise. It’s a bit challenging to aim a lens and swat away bugs. I found it to be better if I kept moving, so that’s what I did. As far as exercise goes, it was fantastic. I will be going back to this park. The bug spray I used on this particular day didn’t seem to phase them, but I will be trying again.
This park also has an area designated to veterans. While I didn’t stop this time, I could see that the flag-lined path around several stones and memorial benches looked to be a beautiful tribute to our fallen hero’s.