A famous Kansas character named Dorothy once said "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard."

How true. As we continue to face restrictions during the COVID-19 health crisis, we're enjoying the great outdoors more and more--and finding some of the best spots within a stone's throw of home. Here's another great example in our Explore CNY series. And you won't even have to click your heels together three times to go there.

The South Woods Switchbacks Trail is a portion of Roscoe Conkling Park, which totals 625 acres and includes the Utica Zoo and Valley View Golf Course. The Switchbacks were restored in a joint effort executed by the Utica Roadrunners Club and the City of Utica.

The trail winds through some of the upper holes of Valley View Golf Course and includes numerous fitness stations, where you can stop and do push-ups, sit-ups, and other activities. There's a shaded pavilion at the bottom of the trail.

Here's our gallery of photos:

We found about a half dozen golf balls during our walk, which totaled about two miles. The trail is often utilized by runners while preparing to take part in the Boilermaker road race. If you can handle this training run, you should be able to conquer the Boilermaker 15k.

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