Fairbanks is the seat of Alaska’s North Star Borough, a region located along the Tanana River in the east-central part of the state. This homeland of the Athabascan peoples is a popular jumping off point for tourists visiting Alaska’s scenic outdoor destinations, and it’s also home to the University of Alaska, Fairbanks campus. There are many great places for running in Fairbanks, from downtown multi-use paths to beautiful trail routes.
Among the best places to run Fairbanks is the Chena Riverwalk downtown. Alternatively, many locals use the roads and trails at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, to form a route of any length. A gravel bike path along Sheep Creek Road leads to the Ester Dome area. Other good trail running spots include Birch Hill Recreation Area, Creamer’s Field, Tanana Lakes Recreation Area, Goldstream Public Use Area, the Beaver Sports trails, and Pearl Creek Elementary. Keep in mind that weather in Fairbanks can be quite wintry, so we’ve pointed out which options are suitable for off-season running. Most local sidewalks and bike paths are cleared during the winter, but still can be icy. In the summertime, the mosquitos can be especially vicious, so be sure to bring bug protection. And practice proper bear and moose safety at all times of year.
Fairbanks is relatively small, so most areas of interest are accessible on foot. The MACS bus system offers affordable service to most other areas of town. However, for further-flung trail running routes, a car.
Special thanks to Tobias and the team at Beaver Sports for their help with this guide!