The 100 Best Runs in America’s Cities

This our list of the 100 Best Runs in America. We’ve two ‘iconic’ routes for each of the top 50 cities. For a more complete list, see ALL of our iconic routes (the 1-3 must-do routes in each city), organized by location. Background & methodology

Download List   View All of Our 'Iconic' Routes, Sorted By City


City # Route Why Iconic?
Atlanta 1 Piedmont Park Crown jewel of Atlanta running scene with fields, woods, and skyline views
2 Freedom Park A green, shaded run from the Carter Library to the MLK Memorial
Austin 3 Lady Bird Lake Trail The signature trail in Austin with 10 miles of trail on the Colorado River
4 Barton Creek Greenbelt Lots of variety from parkland to rugged trail run
Baltimore 5 Waterfront Promenade Wonderful promenade along Inner Harbor, great views
6 Fort McHenry 3-mile loop around this historic fort, at mouth of the Inner Harbor
Boston 7 The Charles River Paths Famous river run with Boston on one side and Cambridge on the other
8 The Emerald Necklace Olmsted-designed greenway, from State House to Franklin Park
Burlington, VT 9 Island Line Rail Trail Views of Lake Champlain & Adirondacks, with causeway and ferry
10 Shelburne Farms Stunning waterfront views on 1400 acre farm, 10 miles of  trails
Boulder 11 Boulder Creek Trail Great views while passing through Boulder’s major areas
12 Reservoir/Valley Ranch Lovely open route with variety of water views and ranch lands
Buffalo 13 Delaware Park Part of Buffalo’s famous Olmsted Park System
14 Bird Island Pier Part of extensive waterfront running in Buffalo
Charlotte 15 Uptown Park/Stadium Loop Downtown route featuring green spaces and Charlotte landmarks
16 Booty Loop Idyllic Myers Park neighborhood with its tall oaks, lovely homes, hilly roads
Charleston, SC 17 Downtown Tour Historic sights & architecture, including jaunt along The Battery
18 Cannon Park to Patriots Point Highlight is the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, with 2-mile incline
Chicago 19 Lakefront Path 18-mile trail is one of the most spectacular urban runs in the country
20 Grant  & Millennium Park A monument to urban planning, with many loop & trail options
Cincinnati 21 Eden Park Cincinnati’s most popular park including important landmarks & lovely trails
22 Bridge Loops Several bridges connect Cincinnati and Newport
Cleveland 23  Lakefront Bikeway A path spanning Cleveland’s 17-mile Lake Erie shoreline
24 Rockefeller Park A 7-mile linear park, passing by several landmarks
Columbus 25 Olentangy Trail Popular path, binding downtown, parks, Scioto Mile
26 Capitol & Scioto Greenway Great downtown run on Capitol grounds & path along Scioto River
Dallas-Fort Worth 27 Katy Trail 3.5 mile dedicated trail is the best bet downtown
28 White Rock Lake 9.6 mile loop around the reservoir is the ‘destination’ run in Dallas
Denver 29 Cherry Creek Path through several parks & landmarks is Denver running centerpiece
30 Three Park Run Enjoy City Park, Cheesman Park, and Washington Park
Detroit 31 Riverwalk Signature running route in Detroit featuring ~5 miles along the water
32 Bell Isle Olmsted designed park on an island in the Detroit River, with views of the Detroit skyline & the Windsor shore
Fort Lauderdale 33 Ft. Lauderdale Beach Run on the sand or wide sidewalk on one of Florida’s best beaches
34 Hollywood Boardwalk One of the most pleasant boardwalks in S. Florida, with great beach/ocean views and lots of crowds and sights
Honolulu 35 Waikiki Beach Beachfront neighborhood, with views of water, surf, Diamond Head
36 Diamond Head A hilly loop around iconic landmark with sweeping views
Houston 37 Memorial Park The heart of Houston’s running community with paths and skyline views
38 Buffalo Bayou Park The centerpiece of a $30 million urban revitalization plan
Indianapolis 39 White River Trail Trail winding through Indy’s cultural and educational attractions
40 Eagle Creek Park One of the largest metropolitan green spaces in the nation
Jacksonville 41 The Beaches 11 mile strip along some of Florida’s most beautiful beaches
42 Guana River State Park 9 miles of trails that wind through undisturbed maritime forest
Kansas City 43 The Plaza Great route highlighting artistic and architecturally interesting area
44 Riverfront Heritage Trail Winds through oldest & most historic parts of KC
Las Vegas 45 The Strip Might not be pretty, but one of the most unique runs anywhere
46 Red Rock Canyon Experience running in the Mojave Desert, 17 miles from The Strip
Los Angeles 47 The Strand Beach Path Few cities in the world rival L.A. for fantastic beach running options
48 Palisades Park Palm-lined greenway with star-gazing & views of Santa Monica Pier
Miami 49 Miami Beach One of the great urban beaches – run on the beach or boardwalk
50 Key Biscayne Run over the spectacular Rickenbacker Causeway to this island
Milwaukee 51 Olmsted Parks Tour Tour of Olmsted-designed Lake Park and Riverside Park
52 Oak Leaf Trail 5 mile trail connecting several beautiful parks in central area
Minneapolis-St. Paul 53 Chain of Lakes Three beautiful adjoining lakes, includes an almost 3 mile loop around each lake
54 St. Paul- Lake Como Perimeter loop is the best choice for a lake run in St. Paul
Nashville 55 Greenways/Nashville Tour Paths & greenways by major landmarks of downtown
56 Shelby Bottoms Greenway Beautiful, paved trail with impressive views of the Cumberland River
New Orleans 57 Audubon Park Run under a leafy canopy, alongside a lagoon, around a famous zoo
58 City Park Large with beautiful canopy, Botanical Garden, Sculpture Garden
New York City: Manhattan 59 Central Park Run “The Res” , the entire 7 mile perimeter, or random paths
60 Westside Highway Fantastic running along the Hudson from tip to tip
New York City: Boroughs 61 Brooklyn – Prospect Park Olmsted designed park with Brownstone-lined streets of Park Slope
62 The Two Bridges Iconic Brooklyn & Manhattan bridges with great water & skyline views
Orlando 63 Orlando Urban Trail 6 lakes, Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Botanical Garden
64 West Orange Trail World-class rail trail through urban & suburban areas
Philadelphia 65 Fairmount Park One of the USA’s largest urban green spaces featuring sights and water views
66 Philadelphia History Tour Historic Philadelphia sites & Benjamin Franklin Bridge to NJ
Phoenix 67 Papago Park A hilly desert park covering 1500 acres in Phoenix and Tempe
68 Indian Wash Greenbelt Oasis of parks, lakes, & paths, traversing 11 miles through Scottsdale
Pittsburgh 69 Three Rivers Heritage Trail A trail along both sides of all three rivers, with fun bridge connectors
70 Schenley Park Nearly 500 acre park with gorgeous gardens, in the university area
Portland, OR 71 Waterfront/Esplanade This is the signature run along the Williamette River
72 Forest Park The largest urban forest in the United States. 80+ miles of trails
Portland, ME 73 Eastern Promenade Downtown to Back Cove, with spectacular harbor and ocean views
74 Cape Elizabeth Affluent suburb with oceanside road and spectacular homes
Providence 75 East Bay Bike Path Path along the ocean, passing through several state & local parks
76 Newport – Ocean Ave. One of the most popular “drives” in the country is also a great run
Sacramento 77 Jedediah Smith Trail Trail along the American River, & lovely Sacramento State campus
78 Capitol Run The Capitol, Fremont Park, Sutter Historic Park, Indian Museum
Salt Lake City 79 City Creek Canyon Quick escape to nature from downtown in a canyon run alongside creek
80 Sugar House & Liberty Park Run either or both of the city’s two signature parks
San Antonio 81 Riverwalk San Antonio’s signature run, with 15 miles of continuous trails
82 Mission Reach Trail An extension of the River Walk, this trail runs by the 18th century missions
San Diego 83 Mission Bay 12-mile loop with water views, beaches, bridges, and an island
84 Balboa Park 65 miles of trails featuring gardens, groves, & important San Diego sights
San Francisco 85 Crissy Field to GG Bridge One of the world’s great urban runs. Water, GG Bridge, Headlands
86 Golden Gate Park Left coast version of NYC’s Central Park. Many features and variety
San Jose 87 Baylands Trails Remarkable trails and parks incorporating tidal marshland
88 Los Gatos Creek Trail 10 mile path through several parks and into Los Gatos hills
Seattle 89 Elliott Bay Trail Waterfront trail along Puget Sound, accessible from downtown
90 Green Park One of Seattle’s most beloved parks, with special loops for runners
St. Louis 91 Eads Bridge-Arch Arch is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Park
92 Forest Park Beautiful park and important landmarks: lakes, museum, zoo
Silicon Valley 93 The Bay Trail Fantastic trail along San Francisco Bay, from SFO to San Mateo
94 The Stanford Dish Open pastureland, lake, & great views of the Stanford Campus
Tampa-St. Petersburg 95 Bayshore Linear Park Trail The world’s longest continuous sidewalk, with 4.5 waterfront miles
96 St. Pete Beach Great beach run with great views of the Gulf of Mexico, sunsets
Tucson 97 Saguaro NP East Loop Great trail running option close to the city with beautiful views and variety
98 Sabino Canyon Rec. Area Mountains, canyons, plants & animals of the Sonoran Desert
Washington, D.C. 99 National Mall & Tidal Basin Scenery, history, beauty in one of the USA’s most memorable runs
100 Rock Creek Park Enjoy shade and Washington’s lush foliage with a myriad of trail options

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6 years ago

Albuquerque: Bosque Bike trail and Bear Canyon!