Saturday, April 12, 2014

Running on Cheese Curds

Running Options in Fort McCoy, WI

Running is always a great way to get to know an area and Ft. McCoy is a small enough post that if you are there for a week or two you can get to know the area pretty well. I have been blessed with a couple of these opportunities. While Ft. Hunter-Ligget remains my favorite post for running, there are some fun trails on Ft. McCoy if you want to get away from the military convoys (and some less-traveled roads). This is almost becoming a series that could be called “where to run if you find yourself at various Army posts”.

If you bother to coordinate with range control you can probably run some of the dirt roads in the training areas, but I was stuck on post.


Since this is, to the best of my knowledge, the only blog or web-source that addresses the neglected topic of running on Army posts, I turned to Google Earth. I did not  have to look too far – I spotted some overgrown dirt paths branching out from the very building where I was staying. Even in wooden areas the straight lines of man-made paths and old roads show up pretty quickly. Once you find one path, it is usually pretty easy to find others (which cannot be seen from satellite imagery) once you are on the ground.

Promising trail to try
On-Post Dirt Paths and Trails

The best network on on-post trails is in the southeast corner of post. If you are just looking to run two to four miles, you could do it almost entirely off road and traffic-free. Just park near buildings 50 / 51 (off the lower end of South O Street). From here you can snake back-and forth to get in some running on grass, dirt and sand. You will often stir up a half-dozen deer or more.

Main trail network on the SE Corner of Post
 There are some other isolate short sections. There is one dirt loop on the west post and one to the west of the on-post lodging (Building 51)

Dirt loop on the west side of post
Round the Post

Most loops around the post will get you six to eight miles. Below are some of my go-to routes:

The Y Loop – takes you through the center of post.

Outer Loop

And finally, for the occasional speedwork (or APFT), there is a half-mile track on E Eaton and O Street.

Other options

If I had my own rental car and a free morning or afternoon, I could also have gone over to Sparta (said as if you were going to make a stand against maniacal Persian hordes). Apparently this town in western Wisconsin is the “biking capital of America” (mysteriously beating out Portland, Boulder, Minneapolis, etc.). With that said, it does appear to have an extensive rails-to-trails network that goes for miles and miles. While mostly pavement, it looks like a nice traffic free option for a long run.

1 comment:

  1. Had no idea you were so close! At least you came for the good weather (if I remember the dates correctly)