6 of the Best Running Routes

Tired of being sedentary in your bed watching Netflix or checking your Instagram on an elliptical in your college gym? Or are you already a seasoned 35-miles-a-weeker but tired of repeating the same loop up and down Prospect?

It’s September and Mother Nature has blessed us with beautiful weather in the 60’s and 70’s–you know what that means. Running (distinctly different from jogging) can offer so much: time to lose yourself in your thoughts, catch up with an old friend while feeling healthy, see parts of town you wouldn’t normally see, admire the colorful fall foliage, get those endorphins flowing, and have a (somewhat) legitimate excuse to binge on dining hall ice cream and/or cheap beer.

Lucky for us, The Have offers numerous beautiful running routes, and I’ve hand-picked five of my favorites from various neighborhoods of the city.

1. East Rock (various distances)

Ah, the golden jewel of New Haven running in its nicest neighborhood. If you just want to run around the base, the loop can be just a little more than 4 miles. If you take the trails up, the trip is around 6 miles round trip, and if you’re really ambitious, you can follow the road to do the full, 8.1 mile loop. Go all the way up Orange Street (laced with delicious Italian markets), and you won’t be able to miss it. On the way back, get on Whitney to say hello to the Triceratops at the Peabody and run down Hillhouse, “the most beautiful street in America.”

Find it here:


2. Long Wharf (~5.5 miles)

Many Yalies don’t even know that there’s a great view of the Long Island Sound. Go down Chapel past Wooster Square and take a right on East Street until it turns into Long Wharf Drive. Loop through the Long Wharf Nature Preserve and head back on Howard Avenue until you see York Street.

Find it here:


3. Quinnipiac River/Fair Haven Loop (7 miles or 4.8 miles)

This is possibly my favorite route—it’s perfect for a romantic run by the sunset as you see its reflection on the water…makes you feel like you’re not in New Haven anymore. Go past the Green on Elm Street until you get to Grand Ave—go all the way down Grand (ALL the way!) until you get to Fair Haven. Take a right on Russel St, another right on Warwick, cross the river on East Ferry road, and get back to campus on Chapel! If you want a shorter run, you can just go to the end of Grand Ave and loop back on Chapel.

Find it here:


4. Edgewood Park/SCSU (~5 miles)

Ah, there are so many fun places you can see on this side of town. Edgewood Park has a nice pond, a small skate park, and a wide trail lined with deciduous trees. Go down Chapel (passing Park and Howe) until you see the entrance to Edgewood Park. You’ll see a natural running path that takes you through most of the park until you get to Fitch Street. Keep running on Fitch until you take a right on Crescent—you’ll see Southern Connecticut State University  and Beaver Ponds Park on your left. Turn left on Goffe Street, which will turn into Broadway.

Find it here:


5. West Rock Summit/Lake Wintergreen (~9.6 up to the summit, 7.9 to Lake Wintergreen, ~5.5 to the base and back)

By this point, you’ll be such an experienced runner that you’ll be eating East Rock summits for breakfast. West Rock Ridge Park has so many cool trails and sights as well as challenging hills and forests. The view from the top, however, will make it all worth it. Go down Broadway, which will turn into Goffe St. Turn right on Crescent and go all the way down until you see SCSU—run through the university until you get on Wintergreen Ave (If you want to get to Lake Wintergreen, continue on this street). You’ll see a main road that goes to the summit, so follow that all the way up. You can either go back to campus the way you came from, or circle around and go straight down Whalley.

Find it here:


6. Lighthouse Point Park (~12.5 miles, there and back)

This is for the really ambitious. (Virginia Woolf, anyone?) It has an actual beach, a historic carousel, and the lighthouse itself is on the National Register of Historic Places…what more can you ask for? Go down Chapel toward Long Wharf, turn right on East street, left on Forbes Avenue. Run on Forbes until you turn right on Woodward Ave. You’ll pass the beautiful East Shore and Fort Hale parks, as Woodward transforms into Townsend. Turn right onto Lighthouse Road, and you’ll be there in no time!

Find it here: