My 3 Favorite US Cities To Go For A Run

August 27, 2011

This is a guest post by Jacquie.

The everyday stress and hubbub on the streets of our nation’s biggest cities is expected. But does it surprise you that, even in the busiest cities like New York City, places like Central Park are havens for early morning runners looking relieve some stress in the picturesque setting? You might think you know everything there is to know about the city you live in, but taking a jog at sunrise or sunset might give you a fresh outlook on the city you already love.

Also, if you’re travelling, setting aside time for a run can boost your energy after a flight and even get your endorphins going, which will help you be a great mood to get all you can from your trip. A jogging stint will also help you adjust to your new surroundings by having time to leisurely take in the sights. You might even notice some local dining or activities to want to return to visit.

City one: New York City

New York City

If you’re in New York City there’s no better place for runners than Central Park. It’s the original home to the New York City Marathon, which says something about its appealing landscape for runners. Whether you call NYC home, or you’re just in town for the weekend, Central Park is the perfect escape from the hectic city streets and subways.

Maps are posted at the entrance to the park that will help you navigate the trails and determine which route you want to try. If you’re a veteran runner, or you just want to add a challenge in your workout, the Upper Loop stretches about 6 miles around the park. If you’re a novice runner, or you just want a leisurely path to relieve stress, the Lower Loop is a good starting point and is much shorter, reaching about 1.5 miles.

City two: Minneapolis


If you’re in Minneapolis and looking for a place to hit the trail, you’re in luck. Minneapolis is one of the greatest cities for runners. So, throw on your running socks and sneakers and take advantage of the chance to see this great city in the best light possible. Between running options along the river, lakes and at local parks, you’ll find a trail that’s perfect for you. There are several routes near Cedar Lake, Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. There are also trails along the Mississippi River in the city and along Minnehaha Creek.

One place I recommend to break a sweat is The Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. It has several options of trails through beautiful scenery. Its paths also include markers along the route, which will help you keep track of where you are and how far you’ve come in your run.

City three: Charlotte


Charlotte offers many wonderful streetscape views that are perfect for an early morning jog. If you live in Charlotte, there’s nothing like the city streets early in the morning. It’s great to get in a workout, check out new places and get in a little people watching. Of course, there are also several options for hitting a more off-beaten path if you’re looking to get out in nature. McAlpine Park boasts a 5-mile dirt trail with picturesque gazebos, wooden bridges and a fishing pond along the route. You’ll also find markers alongside the trail so you can track your progress.

One of the best places to run in Charlotte is the U.S. Whitewater Center. It has a variety of trails and beautiful scenery. If you’re looking to get a quick escape from the city, the trails here can make you feel like you’re out in the country. It does cost $5 to park, but it’s well worth it if you want to take in some scenic, quiet views of nature while you get in a run.

As you can see, tons of running hotspots are available to try if you want to get some exercise and try out a new city. Indeed, if you’re lucky enough to live in New York City, Minneapolis or Charlotte, then you are lucky to have these trail networks available in your backyard. You could even get out and jog the streets and take in the city views.

Running is about healthy living, achieving goals and getting stronger by pushing yourself. Many cities host annual marathons and half-marathons to get involved in. You can even check out local running clubs and hit the trails with fellow runners who share your passion.

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