Not too long ago we asked our readers about the topics they would like to read more about on The RunDown. We compiled the list then asked RunVermont staff and members of our running community to assist with the writing. Thanks to Joy Dubin Grossman, our Youth Director for this response to the request for suggestions of running routes that include great views and/or interesting terrain.
by: Joy Dubin Grossman
You’re looking for running routes with interesting sites and varying terrain? Look no further than Burlington, VT and the surrounding communities. Yes, you can run hills, flats, potholes, smooth pavement, traffic streets, quiet streets, nature trails, paved bike paths, see the sunset over the Adirondacks, the sunrise over the green mountains and run alongside Lake Champlain all within the Burlington/South Burlington area.
Red Rocks Park, South Burlington, VT: This is a a great park with soft pack trails weaving through pine groves. You’ll find a few big loops with a beautiful view of Lake Champlain and lots of smaller inner loops. Be aware, you can get turned around. However no compass is required, Red Rocks is a great place to get lost and found. The park’s boarders are clearly defined by the lake, a few neighborhoods and a road. Once you’ve enjoyed a 30 to 45 minute summer run, stop at the beach for a dip. Please adhere to all warning signs about the cliffs.
Circle The City (Longer runs with hills): start in Burlington’s South End at Oakledge Park run east on Flynn Ave and North on Pine Street, then west on Maple Street for a few blocks. Turn right and head North on Battery Street. You‘ll be climbing the legendary “Battery Hill” – continue onto Park Street to North Street and go east towards the University of Vermont. This is a nice climb. Go South on North Prospect to Colchester Avenue and descend Colchester Ave. This is a nice downhill. Go left at the bottom, onto Riverside Ave. There’s a handy Dunkin Donuts for a bathroom stop part way up on your right, however there’s a charge here for a cup of water. When you get to Intervale Ave go right and right again on Manhattan Drive to Washington Ave and south on North Ave. Drop down on Depot Street, go left on Lake Street and head south through Waterfront Park. Follow the Island Line Trail south through a few of Burlington’s Industrial areas to Oakledge Park (a little more than 10 miles).
Bike Path (longer flat run) running flat is easy to do here in Burlington and the surrounding communities. You can begin in Waterfront Park and head north to the Winooski River Bridge or the Colchester Causeway and turn around. The Bridge turn around will allow you 9 miles of flat running. The Colchester Causeway will be 16 miles. The latter is a chance to feel like you’re somewhere very special – in the middle of Lake Champlain on a little strip of land surrounded by an enormous amount of water.
Berlin Pond Loop: Oh, you’re not from Burlington or you’re planning a road trip south on I-89. Get off at Exit 7 and run around the Berlin Pond loop. You’ll be glad you did – no scary dogs, lots of nice dirt roads, pretty horses galloping in the field by the red house and beautiful views of Berlin Pond. This run is about 5 miles.
What are some of your trade secrets?