Moderate exercise is the cornerstone of general wellness and healthy weight management. Whether you're a fast sprinter, leisurely walker, or steady marathon runner, it's important for your health and wellness to get your body moving. Sometimes treadmills can get boring, so engage your senses and change up your scenery by exploring the great outdoors. Grab your running shoes, lather on some sunscreen, and check out these running routes around Miami.
Start your Rickenbacker Causeway jog at Alice Wainwright Park. This running trail is approximately 3 miles long but can be doubled if you continue on to Virginia Key State Park or Crandon Park Nature Trail. The steep grade up the William Powell Bridge makes this route challenging. Some of the amenities along the way include free parking, bathrooms, showers, and water fountains. The Rickenbacker Causeway is arguably the most popular running route in Miami, so watch for crowds on weekday afternoons and weekend mornings. Don't forget to pause and snap a selfie at the picturesque Biscayne Bay.
The newest section of the Baywalk follows the north side of Miami River from Brickell Key Drive to Brickell Avenue. You can extend this 1-mile walk by taking the loop around Brickell Key or exploring Maurice A. Ferre Park. The Riverwalk Path requires a little focus, as some spots have detours due to construction. Bathrooms and water fountains are available at the parks and museums along this landscaped and pedestrian-only walkway. Keep your walk fresh by checking out Bayfront Park, Bayside Marketplace, Perez Art Museum, Frost Museum of Science, or American Airlines Arena.
The Venetian Causeway is a 3-mile stretch from Venetian Way to 15th Street. You can start at either end and walk, run, or bike this easy route with wide sidewalks, a low speed limit, and designated bike lanes. There aren't really amenities since a large portion of this route includes bridges, and be prepared to take a mandatory break if a drawbridge goes up for a passing boat. While enjoying unparalleled 360-degree views, you can gawk at Miami's most expensive multi-million dollar beach homes and watch unrivaled luxury yachts glide across the water.
For this 2-mile run along South Beach, start at 23rd Street South and end at 1st Street. Running along the hard-packed sand at the ocean's edge will provide some cushion for your joints while also offering resistance for building strength. The natural seaside doesn't provide many amenities, but you can jump in the ocean for a refreshing swim when you're finished. The best part of this run is watching the giant ships go in and out of Port Miami. Early mornings and late afternoons will offer the least amount of traffic from beachgoers.
Miami Beach Boardwalk
Follow the Miami Beach Boardwalk from Indian Beach Park to South Pointe Park, and you'll put a solid 4 miles under your belt. Make sure to pay attention to the ground as the boardwalk consists of wooden planks, textured pavers, sandy stretches, and biking paths. Along the Miami Beach Boardwalk you'll find a few public showers provided by hotels, see beautiful views of the Atlantic, and feel the ocean breeze. This route is a touristy one, so people-watching will help pass the time and give you that vacation feeling.
Lummus Park Sidewalk
Take a slow jog along the Lummus Park Sidewalk from 5th Street to Mid-Beach for a 4-mile jaunt, or easily make it a longer or shorter jog to fit your preference. You'll recognize this wide, flat sidewalk from just about every TV show and movie ever filmed on South Beach. Amenities abound with public restrooms, restaurants, shopping, and sidewalk cafes. You may have to weave in and out of tour groups on a crowded day, but you'll barely notice them with all the art deco buildings, tropical palm trees, and scenic Ocean Drive.
Oleta River State Park Trails
Enter the 1,043 acre Oleta River State Park from 163rd Street. You won't get bored exploring over 15 miles of recreational nature trails made for running, hiking, and mountain biking. Your best bet for a smooth run is the 3-mile paved trail or, for more of a challenge, try the 4-mile dirt trail. There is some change in elevation, making this run a little more difficult than most of the others on this list. There are bathrooms about halfway through the park at the campground, and you'll pay a per-vehicle charge for parking.
Everglades National Park
It'll take about an hour to reach the Everglades National Park from Miami, but it's definitely worth the drive. The park has three entrances that aren't connected, so plan what type of run you want to take ahead of time. There's a wide variety to choose from, including the Long Pine Key Nature Trail that's a 15-mile paved loop or the West Lake Trail that's a half-mile boardwalk meandering through flamingo-filled mangrove forests. Make it a day trip with four different visitor centers and an impossible amount of trails to explore and things to do.
Coral Gables Neighborhood
The Coral Gables neighborhood is located just west of Miami. This upscale residential area is full of parks, multi-use paths, and gorgeous homes. Choose your own distance and create your own route while enjoying the tree-lined, wide sidewalks that are shaded by lush canopies. Some places of interest in the neighborhood are the historic Granada Golf Course, Venetian Pool, Old Cutler Road, and Tropical Park. While this is a residential area, you'll also find amenities at the numerous sports facilities and lovely parks.
Whether you're looking for a bustling downtown scene, picture-worthy tourist sights, endless ocean views, or subtropical wilderness, there's a running path in Miami that will check all your boxes and get you excited about running outdoors. With such a variety of trails choose from, your body will appreciate the change in exercise routine and your mind will stay engaged with so many new places to explore. Did we miss one of your favorite places to run? Drop us a line; we'll be sure to add it to our list.
Image via Flickr by Edgar Zuniga Jr.