Here’s an opportunity to get a taste of the Horse Capital of the World, combining a run around Keeneland and some of the area’s bucolic roads. Start with a brief running tour of Keeneland, an internationally renowned racecourse and the Thoroughbred industry’s leading auction house. It’s gorgeously landscaped grounds are free and open to the public. A running tour of the grounds of this National Historical Landmark is ~1-1.5 miles (see this walking tour map as a guide).
Adjacent to Keeneland are a network of lightly trafficked roads that pass by gorgeous fields and farms. Two well-known horse farms in the area are Manchester Farm and Calumet Farm. We’ve mapped two loops, which can be combined for a longer loop. Both start at Manchester Farm, corner Rice Rd. and Van Meter Rd. (1 mile north of Keeneland). Note: Relatively quiet roads, but note there is no shoulder/sidewalk.
Loop 1: 4 miles. From corner of Rice Rd./Van Meter Rd., head south on Rice Rd. for 0.6 miles. LEFT on Back Gate Dr., cutting through the Kneeland neighborhood, to Van Meter. RIGHT on Van Meter, returning to start.
Loop 2: 4.5 miles. From corner of Rice Rd./Van Meter Rd., head northwest on Van Meter Rd. for 1.1 miles. LEFT on Elkchester Rd. for 1.4 miles, then LEFT, staying on Elkchester, which turns into Bosworth Ln. At 3.8 miles, LEFT on Rice Rd., returning to start.
Loop 3: This 8-miler, more of an out and back, is a popular weekend route of the Bluegrass Runners club. Starts at the Bethany Baptist Church (2 miles south of Keeneland). See separate route here.
- Loop 1 is 4 miles (6.4 km); Loop 2 is 4.5 miles (7.2 km). Loop 3 is 8.4 miles (13.5 km)
- Each is ~200 foot elevation gain
- Depends on route chosen; Parking lot at Kenneland is a good option
- Parking areas at Manchester Farm, Calumet Farm, Keeneland, or Bethany Baptist Church (for loop 3)
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