United States

Hartford, CT

A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Places to Run in Hartford, West Harftord, East Hartford

Ricky Aponte

This riverside city in central Connecticut is famous for being “the insurance capital of the world”. It’s also steeped in a rich history, with some of the oldest schools, parks, newspapers, and museums in the nation, and home to the Mark Twain house, where the Connecticut Yankee penned some of his most famous works. Since the days of Twain, Hartford has experienced somewhat of an economic decline, and lacks some of the infrastructure that promotes running and destination travel in other cities. But there are some good places for running in Hartford.

The best places to run in Hartford include the Riverwalk along the Connecticut River, and the greenery of doiwntown’s Bushnell Park and Elizabeth Park. Visitors can enjoy runseeing Hartford with a historic tour around downtown’s most interesting sights, or do as the locals do and run a circuit around the Reservoir system of West Hartford. There is also some lovely residential neighborhood running, particularly in West Hartford. For a longer off-road run, the Hop River State Park trail runs east of Hartford from Manchester to Columbia. A worth-it destination run is the scenic Windsor Locks Canal State Park Trail, just north of Hartford. Runners should also take note of Connecticut’s extensive state park system, with miles of trails — including the 60+ mile Metacomet Trail — within easy reach of the city.

The Hartford Dash shuttle is a free and easy way to get around the business district, riverfront, hotels, and arts and entertainment hubs, though you may need a car for transport to some of the West Hartford routes and trails.

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Hartford, CT

See All Routes
  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Weather & Climate
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

Bushnell Park

Hartford, CT

The lovely walkways encircling a carousel, lily pond, and the Connecticut State Capitol at Bushnell Park are the jewel of downtown. Our route around the perimeter is about 1.25 miles.

Hartford has weather typical if interior southern New England. Summers are warm to hot and humid, with average high temperatures in the mid-80s, with warm nights. Fall is a fantastic season for running. Winters are cold but not severe – average January highs are just above freezing, and lows around 20F (-7C). Runners will need to prepare for cold, snow, and ice in winter.

CTVisit.com is a good source for tourism info.

Fleet Feet Sports in West Hartford is the premiere running store in the area. Group Runs: Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.

Further south in Glastonbury, Sound Runner is another great store and has an extensive Group Run calendar.


Looking for road or trail races in this area? Find them on RaceRaves, the best online race calendar and reviews community for runners!

Find races in Hartford, CT

Fleet Feet has a good list of upcoming local races.

The Hartford Half Marathon in October is rated by Halfmarathons.net as one of the best half marathons in New England.