I'm not what you would call an "outdoorsman". I enjoy being outside, grilling, swimming, riding my bike, etc., but Bear Grylls I am not. If I were to ever find myself lost in the woods, left to rely on my surroundings to survive, I'd just lay down and die. With that said, during my family's first camping trip of the year at Scales Lake in Boonville, I took some time to explore the trails, and was really impressed by what I saw.

According to a Boonville native I know quite well (my wife), the 5 Mile Loop at Scales Lake was created by another Boonville native, and mountain biking enthusiast, Brian Scales. Over the course of an unknown amount of time, Brian and his mountain biking club have created a trail filled with twists and turns, steep hills, and in some cases, man-made bridges each of which provide every level of difficulty imaginable. There are even a few ramps in place for the aspiring X-Games athlete. Natural obstacles such as roots, large rocks, the occasional small creek, and fallen trees which require a duck of the head to clear, only add to the experience.

It should be noted that while my bike does have 21 speeds, it's nearly 15 years old and probably not designed to tackle super tough terrain. However, it handled the parts of the 5 Mile Loop I explored pretty well. My legs on the other hand were screaming by the time I was done.

Despite my burning thighs, and the fact I ended up walking my bike up most of the hills (for the record, I did try riding up them first), I found myself wanting to push forward and see what challenge the trail presented next. The same can be said during part of our camping weekend where my son and I decided to do some exploring and hiked a portion of the trail. I was like a kid again. I saw a steep incline with thick tree roots protruding from the ground, and I felt compelled to at least try and climb it.

From my perspective, as someone who enjoys biking and the occasional hike, but isn't "hardcore" about either, the 5 Mile Loop at Scales Lake Park is a great way to get outside and enjoy nature while also getting some exercise out of the deal.

Check out a few of the obstacles I ran across during my trek.

TSMEvansville's Scales Lake Bike Trail album on Photobucket