There are plenty of Greenways and trails in and near Madison for running enthusiasts as the outdoors presents challenges and many times magnificent scenery. Photo Contributed

Trails And Greenways Are Best Places To Run

MADISON- For most running enthusiasts becoming complacent in their surroundings and favorite places to get on their feet is something that is more common than one would think. Many times, complacency can cause boredom and lack of effort, so, most running experts encourage diversity in where to run and explore new places in the area in which to go through the challenges to make for great exercising.

Being a creature of habit can certainly be an issue for runners, but knowing where to go to expand the horizons of the form of exercise can make for better conditioning, both mentally and physically. There are plenty of Greenways and trails to entice even the best runner to new heights. One of the first tips in trail running is to challenge yourself and get out of your personal zone of running, and Madison has just what the running doctor ordered.

There are three main Greenways in Madison to meet even needs of a runner. There is Indian Creek (3 miles), Mill Creek (3 miles) and Bradford Creek (2.24 miles). All are very popular with the majority of runners who frequent the trails as the locales are mostly flat and shaded. Some of the shade has been known to be 20 degrees cooler than the sun-drenched parts of the trails.

For those wishing to stay with running in local neighborhoods and not venture to the local Greenways, the row of roads and houses behind Fleet Feet of Madison, located on Hughes Road across the street from City Hall, features some rolling hills with plenty of shade and very little in the amount of traffic. The Dublin Walking Path at Dublin Memorial Park off Old Madison Pike is a perfect place for light runs for those wishing for good exercise without overextending their stamina. The Dublin path is a slightly ascending paved half-mile trek, which runs along the border of the park among the many soccer fields. The scenery includes a giant hillside oak tree and the Madison River of Hope near the outdoor pool.

For some extra challenge including good inclines, those on their jaunts through Madison can utilize Clift’s Cove and Stoneridge Neighborhoods. In addition, the Rainbow Mountain neighborhood can really present some uphill challenges, which according to many, are the toughest in Madison. The trek is a 1.5-mile loop, but extremely tough, especially during warm weather months. New, but nice, is the Bradford Greenway that provides enormous amount of shade for comfort.

Tips for running trails and Greenways this time of year include putting a pace on yourself. The terrain can easily determine your running pace. Include safety in your runs. Know the details of each trail or Greenway as each trail is unique so it is best to know the trails before you make a step towards a good run. As for running trails, it’s always best to use your arms to help propel your body, especially on hills.

Outside of Madison there are loads of amazing Greenways and trails. One of the newest is Hays Farm in South Huntsville. This Greenway is part of the Singing River Trail. It’s gorgeous.

The old standard trail and one of the most beautiful areas for trails is Monte Sano State Park. There are great trails with plenty of shade and each is known for its own level of challenge, plus one includes the closed portion of Bankhead Highway up the backside to Monte Sano. A nice hilly course is the Panorama Loop from Monte Sano Elementary School. You can park at the school next to the Fire Station and make a trek that can be up to 10 miles long.

Other locales in Huntsville, which offer magnificent shade and even some restrooms include the Hays Nature Preserve in Hampton Cove with its 10 miles of trails and Greenway. The Eastern Bypass extension is included where you can add more miles, but there is less shade for coverage. The Aldridge Creek Greenway is a remarkable running location located in South Huntsville and leads all the way South to Ditto Landing.

Outside the Madison area, there are wonderous locales for making your running habits become even more enjoyable. Decatur’s Point Mallard Trail features a flat course along the Tennessee River. In Limestone County, the town of Elkmont is host to the Richard Martin Trail with over 10 miles of easy trails for the entire family. Two additional areas to run include the Duck River in Cullman and the Guntersville Greenway. The later area is a new, but splendid place for a great run located not far from the new City Harbor on Guntersville Lake. The new shopping/restaurant area of Guntersville is hopping with excitement and can be a great place to relax after a good jaunt on the Greenway.

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