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Jogging through Beauty

Melissa Clauson & Joe Woodbury
Melissa Clauson & Joe Woodbury

If you are staying in the Hammock, working in the Hammock, or just passing through the Hammock, we want you to stop by Washington Oaks for a workout one day! You won't have to fight the crowds or even pass a lot of people.  You will mostly be passing flowers, trees, birds, gopher tortoises, the occasional deer, and every once and a while a human.

Melissa Clauson, another fellow insider, and I get off work at 4:00pm and the second we are both done with our day we throw on our work out clothes and hit the trails!  We find that the best time to exercise is right after work, and set a schedule for a one hour workout! When you get to the park for your workout be sure to grab a park brochure on your way in because it has a detailed trail map, and also keep in mind that the park closes at sunset.

One of our favorite routes is the Bella Vista Trail, jogging through ancient maritime hammock.  Hammock means a “shady place” and has been home to Native Americans in the area for thousands of years.  A hammock habitat is a good place for a workout because it is a very sheltering environment and is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  It is a great place to spot wildlife like deer or even a bobcat if you’re lucky.  One section of the Bella Vista Trail was a portion of State Road A1A from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.  You can jog along Old A1A and look for the yellow stripe in the middle of the road that appears from place to place and has withstood the test of time.  You can imagine people who may have traveled this way pre 1955, maybe one of your relatives visiting on vacation?

Another favorite route of ours is to jog from river to sea. This route is Joe’s favorite because he starts with a short river meditation and then runs the one mile across the island to the ocean, stopping to absorb the positive energy flowing from the sea. It only takes about ten minutes and is a very unique experience: The view from the river is absolutely pristine, the beachside is breathtaking ( It was once featured in Oprah’s magazine), and the middle of the run takes you through a world class botanical garden!  

It’s springtime and the gardens are bursting and thrumming with color and life.

On your jog you will see bees buzzing and pollinating, birds nesting, and flowers budding, making this a truly sensual experience.  Jogging here at Washington Oaks will provide you with a great way to stay healthy while connecting to the beauty that is your life.