Carl Edwards is an elite NASCAR driver who hails from Columbia, Missouri. When he’s not flying around the track at upwards of 200 mph, he likes to kick back with the simple pleasures to be found in his hometown:
“I realized after being away, there just aren’t many places cooler than this,” Edwards said. “So I moved back, and now I live here and I’m really proud to live here.”
The day started at Rock Bridge State Park, 2,273 acres of natural beauty and serenity that is hard to believe is only 10 minutes from the bustling center of this college town.
“This park is one of Columbia’s best secrets. It’s a beautiful place to come mountain biking, hiking. There’s a cave that runs under this ground that goes for over 50 miles.”
The park boasts 15 miles of trails and endless possibilities for adventure, from hiking and biking to canoeing and even cave exploration.
When Edwards gets the need for speed at home, he opts for two wheels instead of four. He grabs his bicycle and heads to the Katy Trail, just up the road from Rock Bridge Park.
“This used to be an old railroad, and now it’s a state park. It’s 10 feet wide, it’s over 200 miles long, and all of this is open to the public.”
Edwards also showed us one of his favorite trail features: a beautiful giant bur oak tree simply referred to by Missouri natives as “the big bur oak.” Edwards says it’s one of the oldest in the state and thinks that it is one of the coolest spots along the trail.
Favorite quote from the video: “I ride my bike on the Katy Trail probably 2, 3 times a week if I can.”
Read more from CNN: NASCAR driver shows off his Missouri hometown