Orlando is a major leisure and business travel destination. Finding the best places to run in the Orlando and Disney/Universal area takes some planning. It’s possible to get stuck at a hotel near Disney or the Convention Center where it’s unpleasant or even unsafe (no sidewalks) for running. But there has been greater attention to making Orlando more run-able and walk-able. In the downtown area, the Orlando Urban Trail winds around several lakes, while just northeast of downtown, the Lake Baldwin loop and the Cady Way Trail are nice off-road options. There are some nice parks, lakes, and trails just north of downtown Orlando, such as the 14-mile Seminole Wekiva multi-use path. Winter Park, a suburb 7 miles northeast of Orlando has great running options: numerous trails, parks, pleasant residential streets, and a pretty downtown/commercial area. In southeast Orlando and near the Airport, there’s some decent running in the trendy Lake Nona area. If you’d like to have an in-person guided running experience in Orlando, we highly recommend our friends at Go! Running Tours.
In the resort area, Disney has been working to create running routes at its properties. The best bet in that area is Celebration, a planned community a 15-minute drive from Disney. If you want a great beach running option and have the time, drive the 70 miles to the Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach area, where there’s 10+ miles of packed, flat beach running heaven. For a unique and rural run, drive 1/2 hour west of Orlando and enjoy the famed 10-mile Clermont Clay Loop. There’s nice trail running and water activities in Lake Louisa State Park, and in the Markham Woods near the northern section of the Seminole Wekiva Trail.
In thinking about Orlando geography, better to think about “areas”: Downtown; Disney/Universal/Convention Center/Celebration; some of the wonderful running north in Winter Park and surrounding areas; and some nice spots west of Orlando. We have a separate guide to the Space Coast area, from Canaveral/Titusville to Palm Bay.