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The Best Running Routes In State College

There’s no better way to experience Penn State’s beauty than jogging on the many trails near or around its campus.

Plus, it gives you an excuse to finally get out of bed after lying sitting through hours of online class each day. Whenever you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or a little bit down (especially during this time when there’s not as much to do) it’s not a bad idea to bump some jams and hit the trails.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite spots to jog, walk, or bike at Dear Old State.

Arboretum Run

If you go all the way to the back of the Arboretum behind the tailgating fields, you’ll eventually stumble upon a network of trails. Luckily, there’s a handy map at the entrance of the woods so you can avoid getting lost.

Personally, I like to veer off to the right and cut across a grass meadow, which leads to a nice flat trail that isn’t nearly as isolated as the woods.

Depending on which way you go, you’ll either end up at Sunset Park or running under the highway (US-220) on your way to Toftrees. Either way, you have the option of running several miles with a pretty view or turning back at any point. Sounds like a win-win, eh?

Orchard Park Bike Trail

This is probably my favorite run and one I only recently discovered thanks to some quarantine boredom.

The bike trail starts at the end of South Gill Street next to Community Field. You can also access it from Westerly Parkway near State College High School.

The trail extends for several miles and takes you by the high school practice fields and through Orchard Park, which, in my opinion, is a hidden gem in State College.

If you keep running until the trail ends, you’ll find yourself by Gigi’s Southern Table and Harner Farm.

This run isn’t a joke. Your legs might be sore for a few days afterward.

Blue Course

I love Blue Course, and I can’t express that enough. There’s a solid mix of rolling hills along the route in addition to views of the golf course that are, in our expert opinion, unmatched.

Just keep following the pavement and eventually it’ll wind through some neighborhoods, back to the golf course, and up toward the intersection of Park and Atherton.

Walnut Springs/Lederer Park

If you’ve never been to either of these two parks, you’re missing out. Located right off of University Drive, Walnut Springs and Lederer Park are positioned across the street from each other. They both have beautiful trails and plenty of space to explore, which you should take advantage of.

I love Walnut Springs because there’s a creek that runs alongside it. In the spring and summer, it’s perfect to dip your feet in the water during the middle of a run to cool off.

Beaver Stadium Loop

This one’s a classic.

Since I don’t have many opportunities to venture through campus these days, I like to do a loop that takes me by all of my favorite spots: The Lion Shrine, Old Main, the HUB Lawn, the Creamery, and, of course, Beaver Stadium.

Running around this beauty reminds me of how lucky I am to go to the best school in the world and makes me all the more excited for the next time we can tailgate on gameday.

You can also work your way through the tailgating fields behind Medlar Field if you want to add mileage to the run. I promise you won’t be disappointed with the views.

West Side Neighborhoods

If you’re in the mood for a killer hill workout, weaving through the neighborhoods west of Atherton is the play.

Streets like Barnard, Sparks, and Gill have some pretty steep hills that will make you work up quite the sweat.

Oh, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll start to get some serious house-hunting fever as you pass by the beautiful houses in the Holmes-Foster historic district. I’ve got my eyes peeled on a few gems I plan to buy one day when I have my own Penn State family.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a senior from Binghamton, New York majoring in Spanish and journalism. She's been bleeding blue and white ever since her older siblings decided to create a family dynasty in Happy Valley in 2006. So, as you can imagine, she loves absolutely everything Penn State (especially the Cheese Shoppe downtown). She's also a die-hard Yankees, Knicks, and Giants fan (it's brutal), and would do anything for a good old fashioned New York slice. Feel free to email her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rorypelella.

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