Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nice Place to Run: Port Aransas Nature Preserve

Last weekend was our annual family gathering at Sandcastle Condominiums in Port Aransas.  We've been going there for over 30 years; when I think of going to the beach, this is it! 
The boardwalk during the day.
Although we've been going to Port A for decades, I was not aware of a new addition to the Port A landscape, the Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie's Pasture.  After the kids were settled in for the night, a few hours after the hot sun had set, I took off for a couple of night runs.  The Nature Preserve is just a couple of miles from Sandcastle.  After a brief run on the concrete bike path behind the softball field, the nature trail begins, with a mix of crushed gravel trail and boardwalk. 

The primary use of the Preserve is nature walks, particularly for bird watchers.  But birdwatching is not much of a night time activity, so I had the whole place to myself both times I ran there.  With the moon nearly full, I turned off the headlamp and enjoyed the quiet solitude as I ran.  My only regret was that the trail didn't go on and on.  I took several loops and out-and-backs to extend my time there.
As you can see, there is NO shade. So in July, night running is best!

Adjacent to the Preserve, you can run along the seawall beside the ship channel.  It's cool watching the big tankers and cargo ships slide by in the night.  But watch out for the fishing lines!  It's a popular place for night fishing, and fishing line is hard to see in the dark. . . .

I always look forward to the family beach weekend in Port A, but now I have one more thing to look forward to--night runs at the Nature Preserve!
Aerial view of the loop around Salt Island.
Picture credits: top 2 from Bury Partners, aerial shot from City of Port Aransas.

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