For something different, we love running around the extensive campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Adjacent to downtown, this is one of the great university campuses for running. A series of walking and biking paths take you by the iconic buildings and key landmarks of the university. The residential streets near the campus are also pleasant for running.
It doesn’t make sense to design a specific route. We recommend you do a tour using the several paths, defined on this excellent campus map. Click on ‘open spaces’, or ‘roads and lanes’. It is about 1 mile west-east between the downtown BART station and California Memorial Stadium, and about 0.5 miles south-north between Bancroft Way and Hearst Ave. It’s easy to do 4-5 miles on the main campus. Some of the running highlights on campus are Chancellor’s Esplanade, the Eucalyptus Grove, Grinnell Natural Area and Path, and Free Speech Bikeway. Campanile Way is a good east to west road that leads by several key spots on campus. Note, the campus is hilly!
For longer runs, or variety, head east on Centennial Dr., along the various facilities in the Stawberry Canyon Athletic Complex, for about 1 mile to the fantastic Botanical Garden, where you can enjoy the trails there. Or, enjoy terrific trail running on the Fire Trails just south of the Stadium, or other parks and recreational areas nearby, such as Tilden Regional Park and Siesta Valley Recreation Area.
The residential streets near the campus are also pleasant for running. Highlights are Hearst Ave. and Ohlone Park, the Poets Corner area, and the South Berkeley section.