United States

Orlando & Disney/Universal Area

Includes Orlando, Winter Park, Disney/Universal Area

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.

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Some of our favorite runs in Orlando & Disney/Universal Area

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The weather in Orlando can be both appealing and unappealing for runners. November through April is generally delightful for running — mild to warm, with the occasional hot snap or cool snap, and drier than summer. May through September is very hot and humid, with little relief, and there can be periods of heavy rain. Plan hydration carefully. And be wary of thunderstorms — an almost daily occurrence in the warmer months.

Orlando Weather

Orlando is a major leisure and business travel (conventions) destination, and there is no shortage of hotels. A quick hotel guide for access to decent running, by area:

  • Downtown: stay near Lake Eola, or near Gaston Edwards Park (Hilton Doubletree), for access to downtown & Orlando Urban Trail run. There are NOT that many hotels near Cady Trail or Baldwin Lake.
  • Disney. See the info on the Disney resorts with jogging trails. Best option is Disney Wilderness Lodge or hotels near there for access to extensive trails there. Another option is to stay near Celebration, toward the southern end of the Disney Resort.
  • Convention Center/Universal. Lots of hotels on International Drive, with good access to running on International Drive.


Fleet Feet. Pub runs Wednesdays, meet at Grafitti Junction
Fit2Run. Florida Mall. Group runs Tuesdays 6:45 & lots of other events.
Track Shack. Close to downtown/Gaston Edwards Park. Group Runs Monday 6pm.

Disney/Universal/Convention Center

Fit2Run in Disney Springs is the only dedicated running store in the resort/conv. ctr. area. Group Runs: Tuesdays, Thursdays 7pm in Celebration. Meet at Imperial Food and Wine.

There are several athletic/shoe factory outlet stores in the mall just to the west of Universal Studios.

Orlando Suburbs. See map for some of the other run stores north of Orlando.

Orlando Runner’s Club has group runs at 7:00am on a Sunday morning.

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 Orlando & Disney/Universal Area

Full run calendar

Run Disney Events. Many of the major running events in Orlando are the RunDisney events. About 5–10 events per year. More info

Disney Marathon. First week in January. The signature annual running event.

Disney Princess Half Marathon. February. Girls/Women only, various other lengths.

Star Wars Half Marathon The Dark Side. Half Marathon starts 5am in the dark.

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. November.

Celebration Marathon and Half Marathon. January. Popular.

OUC Half Marathon. December.

Orlando Runner’s Club at 7:00am on a Sunday morning — do it!