I love to walk in Cooperstown.
The streets are lovely and treelined.
Many of the buildings are old, well-kept, and magnificent.
The people are friendly — even the tourists. I think being in a beautiful place brings out the best in folks.
When I read about Automattic’s Worldwide WordPress 5K, I decided to come up with a sidewalk route in Cooperstown. For walkers, like me.
L (my youngest daughter) and I sat down with Google maps and tried to come up with a route. The event runs Monday, September 19th to Sunday, September 25th, but I decided that there’s no place or time like here and now — so we set to work.
The three criteria for my 5K were that it had to be:
- In the village of Cooperstown
- All on sidewalks
- 5K or 3.1 miles
We dragged the lines around on the map — 2.8, 3.5, 3.3, 2.9, and finally, the magic number 3.1.
I printed the map and walked the route last night, clocking the distance on an app called MapMyWalk. (Not that I don’t trust Google maps, but, you know…)
The route started and ended at the Village Library — because so many good things begin at a library.
Right across from the village library stands an historic marker for a log cabin in Cooperstown. The village stuck one of their parking signs next to the marker — kind of a reminder of the old and the new. You know — you used to be able to chop down trees and put up a log cabin here, now you have to pay if you want to park your car here for a few hours. But parking is free after 6 PM and usually plentiful at that time of day, so that’s another reason I park at the library and walk in the evening.
It was my first time using MapMyWalk on my iPhone. I had planned to take pictures along the route, especially at the intersections, so future walkers would know where and when to turn.
I paused the workout at the first intersection. Oh, look! A little camera icon showed up on the screen. I touched it. Would I like MapMyWalk to access my camera? Why, yes! Yes, I would.
For the whole walk, at every intersection where I turned, I took a picture. When I got home, I found out that those pictures don’t actually show up on my camera roll. They are trapped in the MapMyWalk app. Future walker-photographers, beware.
But here’s the route:
- Park in front of the library and walk east on Main Street.
- At the first intersection, turn left onto River Street.
- Walk one block north. River Street ends at Council Rock (a little park down a steep set of stairs) and Lake Street.
- Turn left onto Lake Street. Head west.
- Watch for the Otesaga Hotel, an imposing building that will be on your right. When you’re just past it, turn left on Pine Boulevard.
- Head south on Pine Boulevard, admiring the lovely Victorian homes on your right.
- At the end of Pine Boulevard, you’ll see the County Courthouse right in front of you. Turn right onto Main Street, heading west again.
- Just before the steep ascension of upper-upper Main, turn left onto Grove Street.
- (Dang! No sidewalks here!) Walk south the length of Grove Street. There will be a stretch of sidewalk in the middle, when you’re going past the beautiful Thanksgiving Home, but, at the end again, no sidewalk. Sorry.
- When you arrive at a funky intersection that looks like a math problem — Grove Street, Chestnut Street, and Walnut Street — you want Walnut. Cross the railroad tracks and head east down Walnut.
- At the end of Walnut, ignore the little cul-de-sac and turn left onto Susquehanna Avenue.
- Walk two blocks north-ish on Susquehanna until you get to Elm Street.
- Turn right onto Elm.
- At the end of Elm, turn left on Pioneer Street. (That’s the street in town where my mother’s Boston accent occasionally showed up. “Pionee-a” she would say.)
- After a very short stint north on Pioneer, turn right onto Church Street.
- After one block on Church Street, turn right onto Fair Street.
- About two blocks down, turn left onto Atwell Road. Bassett Hospital is there.
- Walk one short block, with Bassett’s fieldstone building on your right and a parking lot on your left, then turn left onto River Street. (Yes, the same River Street as at the beginning)
- Head north on River until you reach Main Street.
- Turn left onto Main and — voila! the Village Library and your car are waiting for you.
I checked the distance at the end. 3.24 miles. Dang.
I failed on two of my three criteria. Grove Street failed me on the sidewalks and the distance was too long.
Time to try again today.
Fortunately I like walking in Cooperstown.