It’s been awhile since a did a pulmonary review of a place. But I recently took Marin for a hike through the Hendricks County Sodalis Nature Park. Which is just a little south west of Indy… and I figured it was time I did a new one.
This park isn’t that far from where I grew up, but wasn’t all that impressive when I was a youngster. Meaning it wasn’t a place I visited often. Why go there when I had a huge public park with soccer fields, ball diamonds, woods, a creek and a swimming pool not 5 minutes from home?
But as I strolled it’s trails as a post transplant patient… I couldn’t help but notice how nice walking here as I pre-transplant patient could have been. Especially when there wasn’t a whole lot of get out and go options my lungs could handle.
So… it’d probably been ten years since I’d visited Sodalis Park. I remembered it being on the tiny side. Not that there is anything wrong with tiny parks… I remembered it being nice also. Just not really worth an out of the way trip.
But after a morning of running errands with Marin in tow. The pup seemed to have grown a little annoyed, with the fact we’d yet to indulge in a walk as promised. So I found myself thinking, “Sodalis is close. I’ll take her there.”
To my surprise quite a bit of trail has been added since my last visit. Aaaaaaand Marin was determined to venture down them all.
I don’t know if the park has acquired more land since I was a kid. But it has 210 acres to explore. With 3.5 miles of walking trails. It’s pretty obvious they’ve got more planned too. As there are paths cleared and marked. Though not yet ready to be strolled upon.
Before I got really bad… I could have done these trails. They would have tuckered me right out. But I really think I could have. At least until I got up into my much higher Liter Per Minute days. And I known there has to be other patients out there looking for a change of scenery to enjoy… just like I used to.
Honestly there is so much an IPF sufferer would love to attempt… but knowing there isn’t parking near by…. there will be stairs… or the oxygen tanks will get in the way… etc.. etc… Stifles many a patient’s desire to be active. It did me and it can be difficult to overcome.
Anyhow… The trail on the northern side of the park’s pond is a nice short walk. It’s paved, it’s pretty darn level, and it doesn’t have any steep inclines or declines. Plus there are several benches around the path and a couple shelter houses where a person can sit and catch their breath.
It should be well suited for someone with oxygen on a pull cart, needs to use a Rollator, or requires wheelchair to go very far. Plus it starts right next to the handicap parking spaces.
There is a dock along this trail you can enjoy without worrying about any steps. And if steps are not an issue yet… Then there is also an elevated “wildlife viewing platform.” Its really just an elevated dock overlooking the pond. But you might enjoy it watching the birds skimming the water from a slight elevation.
If you follow the Beaver trail (marked with a beaver icon) south of the pond. You’ll cross a nice little bridge before finding yourself on a gravel path. This path is going to be a little more difficult. Simply because its a good bit longer.
But the gravel is well packed and easy to traverse. Level and free of any drastic inclines and/or declines. There are also several benches to rest at. Not as many as the paved trail however. And they’re farther apart to boot. So keep that in mind.
The vast majority of this trail is through the woods. Which is nice on a sunny day. I’d Spray on some insect repellent though. I wasn’t swarmed by little flying blood suckers, but I did get tagged by a mosquito on my ankle. (Itchy)
This trail seems smooth enough that a O2 tank on a cart shouldn’t provide any major issues. A Rollator is probably not out of the question depending on it’s wheels. Likewise a wheelchair could be doable. But the ride might be a bit bumpy.
If you’re into fishing the pond at Sodalis is stocked and visitors are permitted to cast a line. It is catch and release only. Which to be fair… I don’t want to eat anything from a public body of water this small anyway.
Don’t get me wrong it’s a decent sized pond at five and a half acres. If it was a private pond I’d probably look at it differently. But people are people and public means all of ’em. Soooo…. yeah. Who knows whats made its way into the water.
Speaking of cleanliness. Dogs are allowed… if my taking Marin wasn’t a big give away. And there are doggie bag dispensers in several spots. A good number of trash cans scattered throughout the park. Plus a leash requirement. Though again… people are people so watch were you step.
I was there in the late morning and there wasn’t much of a crowd. Which in my mind is a nice bonus… Especially when you’ve got a fibrosis hitch in your giddy up. And with the park not having any playgrounds or ball fields. I can’t see it ever getting as crazy full as some parks.
All in all it was a nice little spot, that could be a decent stop for a patient with low to moderate supplemental O2 needs. If you live in the area or find yourself traveling through the state near Indy, it might be a forth your time to visit and stretch your legs.
If you do decide to swing by and give the trails a try. Please, please, pleeeeeeease… Don’t go endangering yourself. Know your abilities and your limits both.
Though… Maybe push ’em a little. Nothing crazy. Just a tiny bit. I’d be a hypocrite if I told you not to.