August 31st is National Trail Mix Day. Sure, you can celebrate with some homemade gorp or one of the myriad store-bought mixtures. But, you can also make the observance complete by hiking some easily accessible trails right in downtown Utica.

The Southwoods Switchbacks
Part of Roscoe Conkling Park, this trail features 12 fitness stations within a 2.2-mile perimeter. Do it on a Tuesday and enjoy Picnic in the Park, with food trucks and live music.

The Phillip A. Rayhill Memorial Recreational Trail
Adjacent to and visible from Route 840, the 4-mile paved trail is great for walking, cycling or rollerblading.

Proctor Park
A gradual 2.15-mile trail offers an easier warm-up walk for folks looking to build up to those "bigger" hikes in the Adirondacks.

Erie Canalway Trail
The 360-mile Erie Canal has some great options in Rome and Utica. Just beware of that gang that has allegedly been preying on folks along the canal in Utica.

The trails in the Adirondacks are fantastic, but don't forget about the trails right in your own back yard. And, pass the trail mix.


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