Those who regularly travel the #52 highway west of Steinbach, or only visit the arena in this town, may be surprised to find that more than 2,500 people call Mitchell home (Stats Can, 2016 Census). But the “Mitchell from Space” image at right shows many homes are south of the highway. Some neat running exploring opportunities there.
Examination of an 1870’s map of the Russian Mennonite East Reserve shows two settlements in this area: Vollwerk and Reichenbach.
As a means of assimilating Mennonite settlers into Canadian culture, the government built schools and gave school districts English names. A commemorative sign across from Co-op marks the site of the original Mitchell school built in 1919. You might remember the school house in its more recent role as the Ham Dog House.
Having drawn its name from a school district, it is clear 100 years later that Mitchell continues to emphasize children and family when developing the community. This route highlights the two schools and many recreation areas in town, following some of the many foot paths that connect the town.
From Steinbach, Mitchell is a quick three miles west on the #52 highway. We have been invited to park at Mitchell Express Foods on Centre Street. This is then where you’ll want to grab ice cream or a cold drink after the run.
From the corner of Centre and the #52 highway, run west on the grass, keeping the ditch between you and the traffic. This is a bit off-camber, but it’s only 200 meters. Turn left and cross the highway to Center Street South. Less than 100 meters south, join the path on the west (your right) side of Center. Take the second right onto Oakenwald Crescent and follow it west, then north. Where Oakenwald turns east, go straight on the gravel path to return to the highway and turn right toward the crosswalk. Cross to Ash Street and almost immediately go left on Maple. Turn right on Willow and follow it straight ahead onto the path toward Mitchell Elementary School. Run straight ahead on Third in front of the school, then left on Walnut. Right on Peters Lane, then right on Neufeld, then look for the path on your left to get to the school yard for the Mitchell Middle School. Turn left on the path and follow it all the way around the school yard.(Remember junior high when you were really fast?) Stay on the north edge of the school property and follow the path that connects to Norwood Bay. Follow Norwood to Ash, then right and run down to Walnut and turn left. From Walnut go left on the path (across from Elm) to Stahn Field and follow the path past the ball diamonds and washrooms, across the parking lot onto Ebenfeld and turn right. Right on Walnut and follow that back to Ash and turn left. Go south and then turn left at the arena, cross the parking lot and follow the path past the tennis courts to connect back to Elm Street and turn right. Back at Oakview, turn left, then finally right on Center to return to the car and ice cream.