Family Fitness | Walking the Chatham Bike Trail

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Just a little warning … this blog post is photo heavy. As in, I took 223 photos total during our little family walk today. But I spared you most of the odd ones and narrowed it down to 14 of my favorites which was an almost impossible task. I’m a snap happy person and love to capture everything I can with the camera.

Over the past few months fitness has become very important to not only myself and my husband but for our family as a whole. They also say, lead by example and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do. After having lost 20lbs myself and my husband over 40lbs, together we’re getting fat out of our lives by hitting the pavement. We walk, a lot. Most of the time it’s in our neighborhood but today we wanted the kids to have some fun exploring so we took them on the Chatham bike trail.

chatham illinois bike trail parking

This 5 mile paved trail runs from Springfield, IL to Chatham, IL and is most often used for avid bicyclists but we’ve found it’s an amazing scenic walk that combines everything I love about Illinois living into one little stretch of pavement.

The trail starts at a little parking lot between the railroad tracks and a cornfield, something you just can’t avoid seeing living around here. And you know what, I don’t mind. I use to think I lived in the flattest, most boring part of country but truthfully, I love greenery, openness and all around serenity you’ll find here. What can I say, I’m small town.

chatham il bike trail cornfield

Knowing the little legs of Miss Emma and Kaydee-did would wear out pretty quickly we kept our walking limited to a mile or so from the lot to the bridge and a mile back. Little did I know, most of them puttered out before even finishing the first mile.

family walking the bike trail

Even though we didn’t get to walk the full 3 miles we’d hoped for, we did get an hour of quality time together.

jon cat davis

Being able to walk hand-in-hand with my husband as the kids explored the trail was amazing. Not having the distractions of daily life, cellphones AND being able to burn calories together …. well … it was nice to find something we can both be passionate about together.

walking partner

Oh gosh and Miss Emma, she just cracks me up. Every few minutes we’d be walking along and look back to see her plopped on the ground digging in the rocks, sticks, weeds, whatever she could find.

emma playing in rocks

It never took long for her to realize she was about to get left behind.

emma sitting on trail

The fun of taking a walk outside of our usual places is being able to discover so much beauty like this cluster of wild flowers. I don’t know what they’re called but the rainbow of colors on each bloom … just wow!

bike trail pink bell flowers

And, and, and (yes, I’m excited) I found my FAVORITE tree out there! I remember as a kid during one of our school projects one of the leaves we were suppose to find was a sassafras. Well, it was impossible, I couldn’t find one anywhere but today, I did! I always look at these and think of a little alien foot print.

sassafras leaf

And my little adventurer, Emma, she found a fallen log to walk across. I’m starting to wonder if maybe I should enroll her in gymnastics.

little girl walking a fallen log

One mile later we made our way to the bridge that overlooks lake Springfield. It’s a lake that we live next to, drive by every single day yet we never really appreciate it. I don’t know why. But it really is something to just stop and take in.

lake springfield from trail bridge

And Miss Kaydee, God love this girl she managed to find a gigantic weed (like 5 times the size of dandelion seeds) and proceeded to blow it all over the place. Thank goodness she doesn’t have the same terrible outdoor allergies that daddy deals with all year long.

giant dandelion seed puff ball

Halfway back down the trail and Emma just tuckered out. She picked a spot, plopped down and refused to go any further. Have I ever mentioned she’s a stubborn child?

tired on the bike trail

Fortunately she’s also adorable and sweet so I willingly scooped her up for a piggy back ride. Then hubs took over and carried her the rest of the way.

toddler piggy back ride

 The day really couldn’t have been anymore perfect!

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  1. says

    I love that picture of you and your husband walking! And Cat you look amazing!!! I think you need to update that avatar picture soon with the new thin you! You are an inspiration! Your children will benefit from both you and your husband taking on the task of getting rid of that fat! And Emma and all your kids are absolutely adorable! Love how she just popped a squat!

  2. says

    Cat, this is such a sweet post — and beautiful photos. I think it’s wonderful that you’re spending time together in a healthful way. :)

  3. says

    Holy wow Cat, you are tiny! You are seriously looking so amazing. The pictures in this post are absolutely beautiful. From you perfect family to the vivid colors in the scenery shots.

  4. says

    Oh how fun, I love hiking with the whole family. Not sure if we’ll do much this summer with the new baby but I sure hope to.

    I love the picture of Emma plopped down not going any further.

  5. says

    Looks like the perfect family exercise adventure and a great day to take in nature, sunshine and spend time together. The Whole family is lookin’ great

  6. trisha says

    what a nice day! It hasnt stopped raining here since monday….blah.


  7. says

    Beautiful photos. Those flowers look like they belong in a rainforest, not Illinois. :) And you are so thin! I’m trying to lose weight too and I do good with the food part, but not so much the exercise.