Top 5 places to run around Ann Arbor
Some cities boast of mountainous views, exciting and treacherous terrain, or beautiful oceans and beaches — all of which can add to the fun of going for an everyday run. While Ann Arbor doesn’t have mountains, lakes or oceans nearby, it does have lots of interesting and beautiful places to run. Here are a few of my favorites:
1) Bird Hills and Sunset: On the west side of Ann Arbor, a beautiful trail awaits. After crossing over the highway on Newburgh Road, Bird Hills provides some hilly and technical trails to distract from the endless miles on the road. After logging a few on the soft dirt ground, running down Sunset (and back up) will give you a butt-busting hill workout to end your run and keep you in shape!
2) Gallup Park: If you’re sick of running the hills around the city, Gallup Park, right on the Huron River, provides a flat respite from both hills and traffic. Whether you’re out for a longer run or interested in some speed-work, Gallup Park is a great place to go. A few loops in Gallup will get you 5-10 miles, and in many places there are markers every Â¼ mile-great for those speed workouts and much more interesting than the local high school track. After your run, you can rent a canoe or kayak at the Gallup Canoe Livery.
3) North Campus: Surprisingly hilly and green, the University of Michigan’s North Campus is usually reserved for musicians, artists, and engineers. Go for a run, and you’ll see the beauty that is missed while in the classroom all day. If you’re coming from downtown, running up Broadway hill will give you a challenging start. Make sure that after that challenge you run down Murfin, or you’ll be going up two of the most rigorous hills in the area. The North Campus diag provides a pretty shortcut through campus, and most of the run back toward downtown will be downhill — a beautiful route.
4) Argo and Bandemer Park: After a quick game of disc golf on the course in Bandemer, take a trot around Bandemer and Argo Park. The paved trail, next to the Huron River, is mostly flat near Bandemer. Go past Argo Canoe Livery and up Longshore Drive and you’ll get a few more hills as you complete this route, which is nearly three miles. Bathroom and water stops make this a nice route for a long run or a hot summer day, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see crew practice in the spring and fall on the river.
5) The Arboretum: A gorgeous, picturesque area that brings runners, walkers, and nature enthusiasts alike, the Arb is a great place to run. With a trail loop that runs along the perimeter of the park, you can log around three hilly miles of trail. Run off the trails and you’ll find soft, luscious grass and maybe come upon a pick-up game of ultimate frisbee. In the spring, the peonies along the hospital entrance provide a fragrant and beautiful start to any run.
These are just a few of my favorite areas to run in Ann Arbor. If you have any favorite runs that you want others to check out, post them below. I’m always interested in exploring new areas of A2!
Chelsea Earls is a runner and works at Running Fit in Ann Arbor. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org