Running Routes for the Addicted: Part 3
Bathing suit season is almost here and it’s time to be in top shape for the summer. Check out these trails around Penn State for the next level up on your workout schedule.
Miles to Mount Nittany
Surprisingly, Mt. Nittany is really easy to get to. Follow College Ave. east until you hit Elmwood Street and turn right. Then make a left on Pike Street for a short jog through the quaint town of Boalsburg and a right on Mt. Nittany Road for the hardest uphill run you’ve ever done. Mt. Nittany Road is a straight uphill run for about 3/4 of a mile. If you run all the way from Pollock Road, it’s about a 10K. If you only want to run there, bring $1.50 with you and you can catch the CATA Bus back at one of its stops on Pike Street or Elmwood Street. However, if Mt. Nittany Road doesn’t kick your butt, take on Mt. Nittany. Run to the top, around, down, and then run back. Now that’s a workout.
Wallop to Walmart
This route isn’t as hard as Mt. Nittany Road, but it still has a lot of hills. Round trip, there are two huge hills that are quite the challenge. Starting off around Pollock Halls, run straight up Bigler and make a left onto Park Avenue. Make your third right onto McKee Street and follow it all the way back to the paved trail. Follow the trail down the hill and back up to the neighborhood. Make a right once you hit your first street and take on Hill #1. Once you reach the top, make a left on E. Aaron Drive and then take a left down the wooded trail. Follow it until you hit Vairo Boulevard and make a left. Run 3/4 of a mile and you’ll be at Walmart! This is great if you need to go pick some things up. Just be sure to catch the CATA on the way home if you are shopping. It’s a quick two mile run, but a long walk back.
If you are not shopping and you want to go for the full five miles, keep running on Vairo Boulevard until you hit Atherton St. Make a left and follow the road right back to campus. Enjoy the first part of Atherton because until you reach the University, the second half is all uphill. Turn left when you hit the IST building and finish at the HUB. I love this route for days when I want a real challenge. The two hills seem like they go on forever when you are running them, but when you are done, it’s a great feeling.
If you are from the suburbs and you’ve got a bad case of homesickness, take a short stroll to discover the neighborhood behind frat row. The State College Community is full of quaint homes, hidden parks, and almost silent streets. Starting at the corner of College Ave and Garner, run straight back on Garner. It is a little hectic at first trying to get over Beaver and past Frat Row, but once you pass the last house, it’s three tiny hills of paradise. Run all the way to the back until you can’t run anymore. Make a right, then take your second right, and another right until you are back on the same street. Then make a left and run straight back to campus. It’s a short run, but it’s just enough to quench your homesickness and get a decent workout in.
A little to the south-east of Penn State lies one of the most fun trails to run on. This trail takes you over the fields by the BJC and down into the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center. To get there, start by running over the fields by the BJC toward the hospital until you hit Orchard Road. Follow Orchard Road straight until you hit the entrance to the swamp lands. You’ll see a boardwalk. Follow the boardwalk to wherever your heart so desires! It’s such a fun run to do with a friend, but on rainy days be careful not to slide off into the swamp! I’m still cleaning my sneakers from that fall!
All map photos are courtesy of mapmyrun.com. Map your own route and leave a picture in the comments! Your route could be featured in the next article.