It's no secret that Blacksburg is home to some amazing mountain views. That's why many students and residents opt to go for a run outside rather than workout in a gym. The summer and fall offer great weather to go for a run before the winter makes the idea unappealing. Here’s a guide to the best places around town to get out and enjoy the scenery while simultaneously getting a workout in.
Around Virginia Tech’s Campus:
Virginia Tech’s campus can be a great place to check out for a shorter run. You can see a variety of buildings and sites like Lane Stadium, the Duck Pond and a mountain view where Turner Street connects with Stranger Street. The sidewalks are wide and water can be found all around campus. If you run in a straight line across campus, it’s just under 1.5 miles, but with loops and turns, you can get in some decent mileage if you wish.
North/South Main Street:
Running on North and South Main Street is a route you can be sure you won’t get lost on. From the start of downtown on North Main Street to Blacksburg Square and Gables Shopping Center is 2 miles. Running through downtown gives you a lot to look at and is a fairly downhill route for an easy run. You can obviously run further up or down the street if you are looking for a longer run with a simple route.
Wong Park has a short, scenic loop that starts near Turner Street. The loop is less than a half mile long, but could be a good space to get in some interval training. If you want to add on more milage, Harding Avenue Elementary School is very close by and has some trails behind it. .
Virginia Tech Cross Country Trails:
The cross country team at Virginia Tech runs on trails that go by the Duck Pond and into Smithfield Plantation and the agricultural area of campus. These trails are open to the public and are well maintained. You'll be able to run through the open plains and see horses and cows along the way. Car traffic is very limited, ensuring that you have a relatively peaceful run.
Heritage Trail is located in Heritage Community Park and Natural Area. Heritage Park offers 169 acres of natural land with breathtaking views. Heritage Trail is a great place to run to fully immerse yourself in the environment. The trail totals 3 miles, but can be run in numerous ways. Tom’s Creek runs right through the park and the trail brings you near the river’s edge.
The Huckleberry Trail:
If you are looking to get in a longer run, the Huckleberry Trail has many miles of trail to offer you; you can even run all the way into Christiansburg. The Huck is a 7-mile asphalt trail with unforgettable views. There is a trailhead near downtown Blacksburg on Draper Road, right in front of the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library. You will come across many fellow runners and walkers on this trail. There are currently plans to expand this trail and a new boardwalk section recently opened in June near the Linwood Lane trailhead.
Blacksburg is also a short drive from many running trails in the Jefferson National Forest, some of which are very difficult and are not meant for novice runners. Experienced trail runners may find these trails more appealing for getting a long workout in than the routes in Blacksburg.
With this Blacksburg running guide, I encourage new students and residents to get outside and exercise around the town –– running is a great way to explore and learn more about your surroundings.