At Water Works Park, the path less traveled can be a game-changer

My fellow explorer, the uncomparable Molly Beans, has heard tell of the expansiveness of central Iowa’s trail system, how its tentacles can take you miles and miles to towns in any direction.

But Beans prefers paths less taken, closer to home. And I have no choice most days but to follow her lead.

Each day when we head out – early if the heat is on; later if it’s cold – she charges out in front of me, past Greenwood Ashworth Park, south along the Bill Riley Trail, past the railroad tracks to the Great Western Trail, then into the wilder parts of Water Works Park.

My girl has a nose for sniffing out the good places, where one can run hard through the tall grass, dip a dewclaw in Walnut Creek or Raccoon River, or roll around unencumbered in things truly foul. This is her living her best life — and she excels at it.

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