Top Florida Running Routes
We wanted to know where the locals go to get in a good run. So, we asked our followers to give us some of their favorite running routes. You know, those routes where you forget everything else and feel like you're running on clouds because the scenery is just so good? With the help of our friends at On Running, we created a list of the Top 8 Running Routes in Florida and an honorable mention in Puerto Rico, along with details such as parking, distance, and facility accessibility on each of the locations. Whether you want a dirt road or an ocean view, you will find it on this list. Be sure to visit your closest Fit2Run when you visit any one of these incredible run routes.
1. Ringling Bridge
Image by SarasotaExperience at https://www.instagram.com/p/CMiqZSBLSst/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
We promise there won't be any clowns on this route! Getting its name from the once Sarasota resident and Ringling Bros/Barnum & Bailey circus founder, John Ringling, the Ringling Bridge has become a local's favorite run route. Although the bridge itself is only 0.5 miles long, we recommend running the 2.6 miles from Marina Plaza to St. Armands Circle, which hosts a variety of shopping and dining. If you want a run that’s a little longer, run on to Longboat Key or Lido Beach. If you don't have time for a long run, just run the bridge! Bird Key is located directly at the South end, where you can take a rest, eat a snack, or simply absorb the beautiful scenery before heading back over. Whichever route you choose, the breathtaking views of the Sarasota bayfront will be abundant.
- 5.2 miles out and back
- No restrooms/facilities along route
- Park by Marina Jack Restaurant and Bayfront Park
- Nearest F2R: Downtown Sarasota
Recommended Shoe: On Cloudflow V2
2. Disney's Crescent Lake Loop
Image by Millennialsonmainstreet at https://www.instagram.com/p/CMPT5b8A8kq/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Throw a little magic into your run and try out a run route in Disney's Epcot Resort area at one of many routes around Crescent Lake. The official Crescent Lake loop begins at any of the 5 Epcot resorts and goes along the Boardwalk around the centrally located Crescent Lake. Since this route is only .8 miles, we suggest continuing and running around the loop, pass the Swan and Dolphin hotels, and out to Disney's Hollywood Studios. Runners from all over tend to love these routes due to the themed scenery of all of the resorts and the ability to do some serious people-watching! If you are an avid long-distance runner, you may even recognize portions of these routes as they have been included in many Disney Marathon races. These routes do tend to get a little bit crowded, so we suggest an early morning run. Running along the boardwalk is smooth and easy to maneuver for runners of any level. If you aren't staying at Disney or don't want to fight the crowds, check out some of the great trails in Celebration right next door.
- 0.8-2.5 miles depending on add on routes
- Use Monorail to get to a resort or even the Disney Skyliner Gondolas
- Nearest F2R: Disney Springs
Recommended Shoe: On Cloudsurfer V2
3. 10 Mile Clay Loop
Image by karen_paradisehappy at https://www.instagram.com/p/B4coDokBmJe/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
If you're looking for a run route that provides a true escape from civilization, the Clay Loop in Clermont, FL is the route for you. The scenic 10-mile circle loops around green pastures that provide a space to clear your mind and become one with nature. Made up of a soft and smooth, all-natural clay, the loop makes for a comfortable run. Famously, the loop hosts runners ranging from Olympians to high-school track teams. Because the route contains some small hills that are scarce to find in Florida, it has become a favorite running spot, particularly for those training for races. Due to the loop's central location, we recommend running this route in the cooler months. The annual summertime run at this location is called the "Death March," and we will let you guess why.
- 10 Miles
- No restrooms/water facilities along route
- Small parking lot at the beginning of the loop off of Highway 27
- Nearest F2R: Orlando
Recommended Shoe: On Cloudultra
4. Courtney Campbell Trail
Image by Wikimedia Commons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clearwater_Memorial_Causeway_main_span_3Nov2017_(2).jpg
Next up on our list is the Courtney Campbell Trail. The uniqueness of this trail makes it clear as to why it is a local's favorite. Connecting the Veterans Expressway in Tampa to Bayshore Boulevard in Clearwater, this trail is separate from the causeway providing a safe place for runners, walkers, and bicyclists alike! This paved trail provides incredible views of Tampa Bay and has access to recreational areas on both sides. Ben T. Davis Beach Park on the Clearwater side provides a space for gorgeous views of the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico. If you want to take a slightly longer route, connected trails can take you farther into either Downtown Tampa or Clearwater on either end of the causeway.
- 10 miles
- No restrooms/facilities along route but at both ends
- Pay to park at Ben T. Davis Park
- Nearest F2R: Tampa or Clearwater
Recommended Shoe: On Cloudstratus
5. Bayshore Linear Park Trail
Images by Wikimedia Commons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bayshore_Boulevard_Linear_Park.jpg
Dubbed the "world's longest continuous sidewalk," the 10 foot wide Bayshore Linear Park Trail is one of the most runner-friendly trails on our list. This 4.5-mile route stretching from Gandy Boulevard to Columbus Statue Park is marked at every mile, half-mile, and kilometer. Going South along the trail, there are a multitude of hydration stops and fitness parks along the way. The portion that runs along Hillsborough Bay is greeted with views of Dolphins and other marine life. This route also has a 3-mile bike path, so there is plenty of room for all to enjoy. If you're looking for more, continue your run further south onto a brick-paved road to Old Hyde Park in Tampa, where there are plenty of dining, shopping, and entertainment options available for the end of your trek.
- 4.5 miles
- Free parking at Bay to Bay Park, Ballast Point Park, or Fred Ball Park
- Water fountains along route
- Nearest F2R: Brandon or Tampa
Recommended Shoe: On Cloudswift V2
6. Fort De Soto Recreational Trail
Images by Pinellas Park at https://www.flickr.com/photos/pinellascounty/6104188822/in/album-72157627571468400/
Look no further, the Fort De Soto Recreational Trail is the perfect beach route you've been looking for. Located 7 miles south of downtown St. Pete, Fort De Soto draws runners from all over. To provide a little bit of history, Fort De Soto was built during the late 1800s to protect Tampa Bay from the Spanish-American Wa. But, the war never reached the fort, so it was abandoned and later bought by Pinellas County. It has paved pathways and assortment of recreational trails make the 7 mile run from North Beach to East Beach more than enjoyable. With multiple snack bars and hydration stops, this trail is perfect for the whole family to enjoy. Run along the Tampa Bay in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and make a day or night out of it if camping is your thing.
- 7 miles
- Multiple restrooms/facilities along trail
- Parking at boat ramp at East Beach
- Bike rentals available
- $5 beach parking fee
- Nearest F2R: St. Pete
Recommended Shoe: On Cloudventure Peak
7. Sweetwater Wetlands Park
Images by Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sweetwater_Wetlands_Park.jpg
Are you a wildlife and sustainability lover? Then the Sweetwater Wetlands Park Trail is the trail for you. This 3.4-mile trail takes you through a park full of birds, wild horses, and even alligators; don't worry you will be on an elevated boardwalk. The boardwalk hosts many informational kiosks for nature lovers to learn more about their surroundings while running the trail. Aside from its natural beauty, this park acts as a naturally sustainable water filtration system, working to improve water quality in the Floridan Aquifer, which flows into a large number of Florida's springs and rivers. This trail's pure beauty and serenity are why it made our list, so definitely be sure to check it out for your next run.
- 3.4 miles
- Restrooms located along route
- Dogs not allowed
- $5 per car, $2 per person (bicyclists, pedestrians, buses)
- Nearest F2R: Gainesville
Recommended Shoe: On Cloudflyer Waterproof
8. Robinson Preserve
Images by Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sweetwater_Wetlands_Park.jpg
If you are looking for a scenic trail through 682 acres of preserved mangroves, tidal marsh, and coastal wetland, the Robinson Preserve in Bradenton is the route for you. The expansion of this preserve is equipped with a 2.5-mile rubberized pedestrian-only trail that is perfect for runners and bicyclists alike. If you want something a bit longer, the whole path, including the paved road, shell pathways, and boardwalk is 7.5 miles. Maybe you need to take a break and observe the scenery. Climb to the top of the 5-story observation tower on the preserve and see unparalleled views of Anna Maria Island, Tampa Bay, and even St. Pete. Many large races are held at this location, including the Robinson Preserve Twilight 5k/10k making it a top pick for runners from all over. This route is perfect for the whole family to come out and enjoy the breathtaking serenity of nature.
- 7.5 miles
- Restrooms available
- Dogs allowed
- Free parking
- Nearest F2R: UTC
Recommended Shoe: On Cloudace v2
...We didn’t forget you Puerto Rico Fit2Run, here’s a bonus route for you!
8. San Juan
Image by Matt Marques at https://www.instagram.com/p/CFUOtqLhyDa/
Being in a tropical island like Puerto Rico there’s no such thing as an “ugly running route” and with options that include beach views, historic sites and/or trails in nature you can’t go wrong wherever you decide to run. One of the most popular running areas with the locals and visitors alike is the area of Old San Juan. Known for colorful architectural buildings, narrow charming roads and its rich history there’s something to see at every turn. Old San Juan is also home to two National Historic Sites, “Castillo San Felipe del Morro '' and “Castillo San Cristobal '' originally built in the 16th century and still standing tall today. A favorite way to start your route is by “Escambron Beach” where you can use the facilities parking or neighboring streets, then run along the breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea towards the top of the city. Along the way you can go up the infamous Norzagaray hill to test your hills skills, and up towards the famous Fort El Morro and back for a nice 6 mile loop. (Runner Tradition: Make sure to run up to and knock on the door of El Morro for good luck!)
- 6 miles (but plenty of options to extend farther)
- Parking may be available for pay at Escambron Beach or street parking
- Vendors/ stores along route could buy water from
- Hill elevation may vary
- Nearest F2R: San Juan