It’s possible to put together a very pleasant run in downtown Raleigh, and adjacent North Carolina State University. Rather than a specific route, design your own run, using some of our recommendations below. These are all accessible from a centrally located downtown hotel, or the Convention Center.
- Downtown. Good sections near the stately Capitol, using some of the streets surrounding it. We also like E. Hargett St. and E. Martin St., heading west toward the NC State campus, which goes by pretty Moore Square and Nash Square.
- Oakwood Neighborhood. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and known for its Victorian architecture. Lovely neighborhood streets for running, just east of the Capitol. Enjoy the residential streets bound by E. Franklin St. to the north, E. Edenton St. to the south, N. Person St. to the west, and N. Talbot to the east.
- Rocky Branch Trail. Heads west from downtown, paralleling Western Blvd. toward the NC State Campus. About 1.5 miles, to Pullen Park. There are some nice trails around the park and a small pond.
- NC State Campus. Can easily put together a few miles around the campus. Central campus has some pleasant paths. On the east end of the NC State main campus lies Pullen Park. You can run around its 1.25-mile perimeter, and at a little lagoon at its southern tip you can access about 3 miles of greenbelt bike trails along Western Boulevard that stretch from the park to the southwest corner of downtown. Immediately south of NC State’s main campus spreads the nearly-twice-as-large NC State Centennial Campus. Here you can combine loops of 1-, 2-, and 3-K on grass (training circuits for the Wolfpack track and cross-country teams) for longer distances. The 2-mile-long Centennial Parkway Greenbelt borders the eastern edge of campus.