Austin runners are lucky to live in a city known for it’s wonderful trails and urban beauty. Your ARC Board Members have assembled a list of their favorite running routes around town in case you need a change of scenery or are looking for a new challenge.
Scenic 5 Miler picked by: Marissa
If you want to get a good workout while you’re distracted by beautiful scenery, this is the route to take. The 5 hilly road miles wind along Lake Austin as you go north, then take you rolling down through Tarrytown to the finish. It’s not the most well-lit route, so definitely take a headlamp and your favorite running buddy if you venture out pre-dawn or after sunset. Regardless of the time of day, be prepared for some serious hills. Best of all, this route is great training for Run For The Water, race number 2 in the Distance Challenge.
Lollipop 7 Mile Loop picked by: Yasmin
One of my favorite things about the route is that (depending on your pace) you are sometimes able to see your other pals on their way out/ back of this route and can cheer each other on, which is a really needed boost after those hills!! Bonus: if you are in for an extra challenge you can always take a detour down Wilke Dr. (off Barton Hills Dr.) for some extra hills.
Barton Creek Greenbelt picked by: Nick
My favorite part about the green belt is that there are so many options of how to run it. Multiple entry points and so many hidden offshoots of the trail make it an endless amount of routes to run and explore. It’s always dog friendly, and there are so many other activities to do- whether it is people watching, finding a swimming hole (if there’s water) rock climbing, mountain biking, drum circles, a quick stop at Taco Deli on Spyglass to refuel…etc. This was my go to running spot when moving to Austin as there is always something new to discover!
South Congress to South 1st picked by: Chris
The steady climb up South Congress is one of the best long hills to train on in Austin! Add to that the rolling downhill on South First for a fast finish and you’ll see why this is one of my favorite routes. No wonder it’s how the Austin Marathon course starts. Running this route early on a Saturday morning just as the vibrant South Austin neighborhoods of South Congress and South First are starting to wake up is a great way to start your weekend!
Decker Challenge Course picked by: ARC Board
You didn’t think we’d leave Decker off this list, did you? With it’s rolling hills, steady downhills, and monster hills at the end, this route puts the “challenge” in Decker Challenge. The 13.1 miles of this route are in rural Travis County and take you around Walter E. Long Lake. Once you’ve conquered this course, you’ll be well prepared for take on any route the Hill Country has to offer.
Have another favorite? Be sure to let us know in the comments!