This route combines two separate, and adjacent, lake loops and is among the most popular spots to run in Ghent. The Watersportbaan is a man-made lake that looks more like a canal. It’s a major rowing and water sports center. A loop around, on a soft surface consisting of wooden chips, is almost exactly 5 km, using the Noorderlaan (north) and Zuiderlaan (south) sides. You’ll pass rowing clubs, and the Topsporthal sports hall.
As an option, our route includes a 3 km loop around the Blaarmeersen lake. There’s a dedicated path, and it’s quite pretty. In summer, there’s a popular beach. Use the Vissersdijk path to connect from Watersportbaan to Blaarmeersen. Just east of Blaarmeersen, there’s a great outdoor running track, in the Gent Rugby Club.
Add-On: Just northwest of Watersportbaan is the Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen nature preserve, which has several km of lovely paths for running. Or, add on the Leie River paths, just south.