If you are a runner, finding running routes that are not muddy or snowy during the winter months can be challenging. Here are my top 3 winter running routes in the Madison, WI area.
Picnic Point to Memorial Union
From Picnic Point to the Memorial Union is approx. 3 miles round trip. The path is half paved and half trail. The trail portion can get a little muddy however, if you can turn right at the beginning of the trail and navigate over to Observatory Drive, you can run the rest of the way (up Bascom) on the sidewalk. This route is well traveled with lots of runners, bikers and walkers so it can get quite crowded. If you want to extend your run, you can also do the 2 mile round trip to the end of picnic point and back.
The Arboretum Loop is about 6.2 miles around. It is partially road and sidewalk. This loop goes around Lake Wingra and navigates through the Arboretum, past Vilas Zoo, Edgewood College and alongside Nakoma golf course. You will see a lot of runners and bikers along this route.
Capital City Trail
Capital City Trail from John Nolan drive to the Beltline (12/18) and back is approx 10 miles. It is all path, however, you will cross some major roads along the way. This trail has a slight uphill on the way there, but is well worth the downhill on the way back. It is well traveled by lots of runners, bikers and walkers. This path goes through UW Madison campus and passes Camp Randall. It is a beautiful route and one of the better routes on a windy day due to the nature of the path being protected from cross winds on both sides.
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