Operating Hours:Winter

Monday Closed

Tuesday/Thursday 130-300pm

Wednesday -1-330pm

Friday 9am - 12pm

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Walking trails are  open for your enjoyment 365 days a year during daylight hours.

It is said 10,000 steps leads to a healthy heart and a number of professions could achieve the daily requirement, but it doesn't necessarily mean the individual is getting  healthy steps.  The achievement should be based on the type of steps and how it has a positive impact on health, such as going hiking or walking increases endorphins and enhances a connection to the outdoors. 
There are some that cannot achieve 10,000 steps and that may include the wheelchair bound, children and older adults but they could get some other form of exercise.  The Joe Ford Nature Park trails can accommodate the steps, nature and other beneficial health aspects.  The trails are flat and little to no elevation, they are smooth enough that mountain bicycles can be rode and then connect on to the Green Belt, as well as easy to navigate by children, older adults, and wheelchair bound nature lovers.  The children's sensory area promotes movement of running,  jumping, playing the sensory drums and just being kids in nature and the picnic area gives the freedom to watch and listen to birds that may be nesting or feeding in the park.  The goal is by summer to have 10 fitness stations along the trail, so if the 10,000 steps can't be achieved by walking this can be another option of incorporating exercise.   If steps is the ultimate goal, well never fear the Green Belt is only a hop, skip or jump from the Willow Pond Trail. 
Nature is the gift from God as our play ground of exploring and renewing the body and recently I was with the Owensboro Hiking Group at the John James Audubon State Park.  That day I did not achieve my 10,000 steps but what I did receive was great conversation, being in nature, and steep elevation recorded 30 flights of stairs.  It was a beautiful sunny 38 degree day with nice crisp air and instead of sitting inside doing not much of anything I was in nature and it felt good.  One point of hiking in steeper rougher terrain, a person will tend to keep their head down making sure to not stumble.  While on the trail stop for a moment take in the surroundings, tune your ear to the sounds and look up, you never know what will fly overhead.   Obviously there are other ways of acquiring the 10,000 steps, such as using a treadmill and watching television to help pass the time.   I can attest the time does pass much quicker while walking outside rather than on a human conveyor belt. Another way to get outside and exercise is to get a dog, but if you walk the dog on nature trails be sure their waste goes off the trails and not on them.
The human mind is being filled daily with negative information and a person will spend up to 20 hours a day inside breathing stale air, receiving little sunshine and listening to artificial sounds from electronics or machines.  That type of scenario doesn't sound like the correct recipe for a healthy mind or body.  Careers can be a fast paced day end day out routine and I may not achieve my daily 10,000 steps as the Director of Joe Ford Nature Center but I am getting so much more, such as being outside, spending time with the Nature Camp children and grabbing aha moments.   If any of that sounds appealing then consider volunteering because it develops a sense of purpose and combats negative stresses, plus the  Nature Center is always looking for a few good volunteers.