While we’re aware that much of the country is in the throes of winter and a run outside probably isn’t on your to-do list, we’ve got some running spots in and around the Twin Cities to keep in your back pocket for when winter’s done wreaking its havoc. Depending on how Groundhog Day goes, that might come sooner than later, so it’d probably be in your best interest to jot down these places for springtime.
For the land of 10,000 lakes, it’s only right that we include a running route that wraps around one of Minnesota’s noted bodies of water. Lake Comma‘s one of the easier paths you’ll find. With one full lap being only 1.5 miles, you’re free to call it quits at virtually any point and not have to travel too far to find your way back. If you’re done running, but not quite finished being out and about, there’s the Comma Zoo & Conservatory close by for a cool down/pit stop.
While a “chain of lakes” would usually mean outrageous crowds, the chain over at West River Parkway is surprisingly low on foot traffic. With a flat terrain and fantastic views of the Mississippi River, it’s a mystery why this spot has remained a hidden gem within the city. The solitude does have its perks though, as you’re likely to encounter wide open paths, free of obstacles and distractions.
While a lakeside run sounds like the ideal scenario, a run through the park is a good alternative. At Fort Snelling State Park, you can get away from the busyness of the urban area for a bit of relative solitude. During the winter, there’s only 7 miles of running room, due to much of the area being covered in snow, but when winter’s over, 7 miles turns into 18. You know you can’t be anywhere in Minnesota without being close to some lake or another, so if you’re feeling up to it, check out the nearby Pike Island, conveniently straddled by the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.
This last one’s a good one, in fact, it’s a perennial favorite in the Minneapolis area, and it goes by the name of the Minnehaha Parkway. Once again, you’re in the vicinity of a few lakes, this time, Lakes Harriet and Nokomis. Among our picks, this one takes the cake as the most peaceful spot as the trail weaves through the most lavish and tranquil areas in the Minneapolis city limits.