Take on the trails this Fall!

Now that the weather is finally cooling off and it’s becoming bearable to workout outside again it is time to shake up your workout routines and try some local running trails! Gainesville is home to many diverse running trails that are perfect for trying out this new craze. It is important to run with a buddy (especially your first couple of runs) and avoid running after dusk. I would recommend bringing water with you, because you won’t find any water on these trails.

Listed below are five well shaded running trails in Gainesville:


5. Morning-side Nature Center

Roughly five miles east of campus, Morning-side Nature Center features about 7 miles of trail throughout 278 acres of beautiful running terrain.  Morning-side has ample amount of shaded trail, particularly on the center’s 3-mile perimeter trail. Don’t be surprised to see any large deer roaming on the trail.

4. Sweetwater Preserve

Sweetwater Preserve has it all: short trail loops, long trail loops, elevation changes and varying running surfaces.  The preserve is free to enter, and you can park right at the trailhead. You can even hop a wired fence past the “closed trail” sign in order to run all the way out to Payne’s Prairie.

3. San Felasco Park

San Felasco is the most beautiful place to run in Gainesville.  Its tens of miles of trails meander through varying landscapes; you will never get bored running here.  The only downside to the park is its distance from campus, but it’s certainly worth an occasional trip. This park does have an entrance fee of $4 but it is worth the price to run in such a gorgeous environment.

2. Loblolly North

Located just a half mile from the north side of campus, the Loblolly trails are ideal for relatively short and straightforward trail runs.  Loblolly North, in particular, is extremely shaded and connects 8th Avenue with 16th Avenue. This park is considered the best birding spots in the country, so expect to see some flying friends.

1. Clear Lake Nature Park

The most-shaded trail system in Gainesville.  On a hot summer day, the Clear Lake trails are 20 degrees cooler than outside temperatures.  Because the trails are without designated parking, they are relatively infrequently run. Parking at the Woodlands of Gainesville would be most convenient and is located about a quarter mile from the trail.

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