Skip navigation

8830 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Nov 25, 2012 8:02 PM by Ogr44
KeithAHauser Amateur 20 posts since
Oct 25, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

May 12, 2011 12:04 PM

The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

As I'm interested in running while travelling, I was wondering what  other folks think are the most friendly cities to run. With "friendly", I  mean having ample public green-space, some real running/walking/biking  trails, enough quiet streets, neighborhoods that you don't feel nervous  about jogging through in the dark, and having enough scenic spots to  keep it interesting.


An unfriendly city would be one full of freeways/railways/industrial  areas blocking your way, few parks, loud traffic everywhere, dodgy  neighborhoods: somewhere that you'd rather escape from to do your run.


To start it off, here's my humble opinion:

Most friendly: Sydney, AUS.  Sydney has huge amounts of scenic, quiet waterfront, with little coves  and parks, surrounded by pleasant neighborhoods, plus the entire beach  coastline is connected by trails. And there are some large parks in  convenient locations: Centennial Park, the Domain, etc. Beautiful Sydney  is a running paradise!


Most unfriendly: Las Vegas.  There are too many streets that dead-end at the I-15 freeway, many  intersections have no pedestrian crossings, and it's really hot most of  the year. Of course, most people aren't there for outdoor sports, are  they?


A last note: I'll compile the results for my running-routes blog at



I travel a lot with my job, and run everywhere I go. Visit my blog, with running routes in cities all over the world --: images, maps and detailed descriptions:

  • Justanoldman Amateur 10 posts since
    May 3, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. May 17, 2011 5:01 PM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    Re: The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    Well, I live in the Phoenix area and would have to put my city down toward the bottom. Mainly because it is so hot for most of the year here. In the summer, it can be too hot alredy at 6:00 AM. Running from November to April is fine but we lack good scenic running trails, unless you like desert running.

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. May 19, 2011 12:21 PM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    Re: The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    I'll add the San Francisco Bay Area cities of Palo Alto, CA and its neighbors (Mountain View, Los Altos, etc.) to the running-friendly side. Flat terrain, nice wide bike lanes everywhere (great for both running and biking), sane drivers, lots of parks and pretty, safe residential neighborhoods. And there's always the Stanford University campus, very large, very green and crisscrossed with running/biking trails. I used to live in the area; now when I visit, I can't wait to get out and run.

    2015 highlights...

    @ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32

    Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:24

    Pride of the Valley, Baldwin Park, CA, 24:28

    @ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15

    Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:40

    Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:57

  • Carrjeep Amateur 24 posts since
    Sep 2, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 17, 2011 11:17 PM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    Re: The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    On a scale of 1-10 I'd have to give the Tampa Bay area a 7.  You have the beaches and parks of St. Pete and Clearwater and the western suburbs of Tampa are very nice especially Westchase which I consider to be a runner's haven.  Also the baywalk downtown is a great place and hosts a yearly marathon, I think they're scaling it down to a half next year though.  However the central and southeastern parts of the city are bad neighborhoods for the most part and the northern emerging suburbs don't really have a good infrastrusture yet in place.  Lack of parks and sidewalks in a lot of areas.  


  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. May 18, 2011 5:00 AM (in response to Carrjeep)
    Re: The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    My hometown is very good Wilmington, NC.  We have a race all most every week-end, and lot of places to run, Wrightsville Beach is amazing the numbers of bikers and runners you always have someone to run/bike with.  Another place I love is Jupiter Fla, early morning always lots of runners and bikers and the beauty is stunning!

    I also love running around Chapel Hill UNC, the hills are great.



    My worst place is at my dad's house in Greenwood SC, love the hills but it seems I have a close call with a car everytime.

  • Job121 Amateur 18 posts since
    Jan 26, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. May 18, 2011 9:32 AM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    Re: The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    Clearly y'all dont live in the midwest.  Talk about unfriendly temperatures-in the summer here in kansas it is 110 degrees, in the winter it is below zero.  That is runner un-friendly!

    "I've run a million hills... I have a feeling I'm not coming back up-and I'm going to miss the climb"

    -Coach Jim Tracy (winningest HS XC coach in CA recently diagnosed with ALS)

  • Chase Kerlin Expert 39 posts since
    Apr 20, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. May 18, 2011 12:03 PM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    Re: The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    i would have to say that austin tx is one of the most incredible running and biking cities in the world.  there are great trail and road coarses with town lake trail gping through downtown austin that is a huge favorite among locals for the atmosphere. im starting to log some of the trails with maps and photos on my website at

    Visit my website for the latest in gear, workouts, and injury advice all for free!

  • racebug313 Amateur 25 posts since
    Oct 18, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. May 19, 2011 9:29 AM (in response to Carrjeep)
    Re: The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    I have to agree with you on Tampa Bay!  I live in Carrollwood and it's very runner friendly.  I will take my long runs down to Bayshore- long and wide sidewalk right on the water.  just a great feeling to run there.


    fyi- I read that they are bringing a Rock n Roll full to St Pete in February!


    I also have to second that the San Francisco area is gorgeous and very runner friendly

    You have a choice- you can throw in the towel, or use it to wipe the sweat off your face

    Crossed the line...

    Komen Race for the Cure 10K: 1:08

    Spartan Challenge 5K + obstacles: 33:05

    Creaky Bones 5K: 30:59

    St Pete Turkey Trot 10K- 1:07

    Gasparilla Half Marathon (1st!)- 2:42

    Coming up:

    Oct-       Chicago Marathon

  • RunningPro1 Amateur 12 posts since
    May 19, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. May 19, 2011 10:12 AM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    Re: The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    Tampa Bay is super runner friendly. White sand beaches, tons of parks, planned communities with walking/running trails, races every weekend, etc make this a great area to live and be a runner. Hats off to Tampa Bay!


    Kevin Bupp

    Running Executive

    What Will You Wear On Race Day?

  • donovan northcote Rookie 4 posts since
    Dec 29, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. May 21, 2011 6:14 AM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    Re: The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    San Luis Obispo Co. Very friendly, We have beautiful running trails and beach to run through Pismo Beach and Avila Beach. Drivers are usually considerate of runners and bikers. Our climate is mild in Arroyo Grande our average temp year round is about 70 degree's. I never ran before we moved here and this place makes it very easy to get outside to exercise.

  • vivacameronpark Rookie 3 posts since
    Aug 7, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. May 21, 2011 7:48 AM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    Re: The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    Austin is definitely friendly, as is San Francisco if you're not staying downtown, carless, as I was last time I was there. Dallas has made tremendous strides--used to be there was White Rock Lake and that was it; now they've added several trails, and most of the other municipalities have trail systems as well. Waco is very runner-friendly; above and beyond the park, you have the ability to run all the way from Baylor to MCC, and the suburb of Woodway just added some dirt trails at Midway Park. The streets are usually not too busy except during peak morning/afternoon drive hours.

  • Old Coyote Legend 256 posts since
    Apr 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Oct 27, 2012 7:03 AM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    I'm surprised no one has nentioned Boulder or Eugene.

  • NHLA Legend 354 posts since
    Feb 23, 2012
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Oct 28, 2012 1:58 PM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    Hendersonville NC. Hundreds of miles of trails and country roads where you seldom see a car,

    Wrightsville Beach gets a thumbs up also.

  • Ogr44 Legend 316 posts since
    May 24, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Nov 25, 2012 8:02 PM (in response to KeithAHauser)
    The most running-friendly/unfriendly cities

    I too travel quite a bit - my votes for friendly cities include La Jolla, Ca; Canberra Aus; Bergen Norway  (personnel favorite)


    unfriendly cities:  Bangkok, Thailand  -  except for luipini park;

    races in 2013 - Always trying to keep moving

    31 Dec 2012: Fairfax 4 miler: 49:34

    10 Feb 2013 Run your heart 2013 35:30

    Please check out this site:

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...