Top places to run in the metro

Spring has sprung and in Minnesota and that means it’s time to get out and get active. Running is an activity that has many health benefits—like improved cardiovascular fitness, and stronger muscles and bones.

Whether you’re new to jogging, or are an avid runner, there are so many great places to find your stride in the metro area. And since spring in Minnesota isn’t the most predictable, we’ve got you covered with indoor and outdoor suggestions for your next running workout.

  1. Near the water
    Around a lake or along a river, there’s no shortage of shoreline in Minnesota. Check out the scenery at various locations along the Mississippi River, which is lined with paths perfect for biking and running. Run the nearly two miles around Lake Como in St. Paul  or the Chain of Lakes in Minneapolis, which includes routes of a couple miles around each to more than 13 miles in total.

    The Mississippi River and the Chain of Lakes are also part of a much larger (51 miles of paths for running!) trail system called the Grand Rounds. When you’re near water, you might also be running …
  2. In a park
    The Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers meet up at Fort Snelling State Park, where there are 18 miles of trails (five of them paved) throughout the park. Near to Fort Snelling are Minnehaha Park and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge—both home to several miles of running paths.

    Afton State Park is home to 20 miles of trails (four of them paved). And in the Three Rivers Park District, there are more than 60 miles of hard-surfaced trails. One great perk about park running is the availability of several other amenities to enjoy before or after your run.
  3. On an historic route
    Check out some amazing architecture with a run on the sidewalks of Summit Avenue in St. Paul, which is the longest boulevard of intact Victorian homes in the nation. Join a Spoon & Cherry running tour to enjoy the first major urban sculpture park in the country—the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
  4. In a race
    Celebrate your race, or a personal record by joining others at one of several running events in the metro area. Signing up for a race is a great motivator to keep training, and is a fun and healthy activity to do with friends and family. The Y Run is just around the corner on April 16 at Lake Calhoun—choose from one-mile, 5K and 10K options.
  5. On a treadmill or track
    For those days when the spring weather is less than ideal outside, head indoors. A treadmill workout can help you with pacing and speed. A track keeps you moving, and shields you from the elements. All metro-area YMCA locations have treadmills and several have indoor tracks and pools for you to try running …
  6. In a pool
    Pool running is a great way to change up your workout, or while injured. Aqua jogging has many of the same benefits of running on land—with lower risk for injuries and strains. The goal with pool running is to keep your feet off the ground (head to the deep-end of the pool), while maintaining correct form—similar to how you run on land.