Rave Run - Titusville

Titusville has many beautiful places to run.  One of them is The Enchanted Forest, a nature preserve containing miles of unspoiled trails through a forest, which offers terrain from high and dry to swampy areas where you cross bridges to stay out of the water.  The first photo shown here was taken during the Ancient Oaks 100 trail race.  That race runs 29 laps though the park.  The runners shown here smiling were already a few hours into that effort.

The Enchanted Forest is part of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program and is maintained by the county and local forestry service.  It contains several miles of hiking / running trails, but is never very crowded.  It offers beautiful scenery and a softer surface to protect your body.  I have had 2 stress fractures from pounding out 60 - 70 miles per week on sidewalks and roads.  I now am trying to minimize the pounding on concrete and get some of my miles in the Forest.  I find it a wonderful and refreshing experience.  Stu Gleeman, founder of the Ancient Oaks 100 (who I ran with in the Forest this morning) claims that running in the Forest gives you energy and feeds you with life.  I don't know if it is actually nothing more than the elevated oxygen environment of a dense forest, combined with the quiet and beauty of getting back to nature, but I have to agree with his observation.  I always feel recharged by a run there, especially on a cool Spring morning.

Another choice for a place to run in Titusville is the Chain of Lakes Park.  It is also a county park with several miles of mostly open trails, bridges, and bike paths surrounding a very long twisting lake.  It is more of a golf course feel than a forest, but still quite beautiful.  The photo taken was shortly after the start of the Chain of Lakes Cross Country 5K.  It is also the setting for FL Runners' weekend of racing each Fall, featuring top high school and collegiate runners, as well as open races for those brave enough to jump into a mostly elite field, as well as one or more high school cross country meets each year.

Not pictured, but another beautiful location is the River Road, with its view of the VAB and Shuttle Launch Pads across the Indian River.  A sunrise or sunset here can make for a memorable run.  For those familiar with the race, this is the location of the Space Walk of Fame 8K.

Submitted by Frank Norris, Founder of Florida East Runners, a resident of Titusville, a sponsor or at least volunteer at these and many other local races.

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