5 Convenient Places to Run in Missoula
Between your work life, family life and social life, the last thing you have time for is a drive to your favorite hiking trail for a nice, long run. Luckily, Missoula offers a variety of convenient walking and jogging routes within city limits. Here are five places where you can fit a quick workout into your hectic weekday schedule. Most of the loops shown here are between two and five miles, but your grand total will vary depending on where you start.
A loop around the park itself is a little over a mile, but you can easily extend your run by crossing the open lot on the far north side of the park, which will put you in a cul-de-sac at the bottom of a residential road that leads to West Greenough Drive. Any of several roads to the east — such as Lolo Street — will lead back to Rattlesnake Drive, which eventually drops back down to the park.
A loop around the entire perimeter of The University of Montana campus is about two miles, and you can easily add to your total mileage by venturing into the surrounding residential streets or dropping down onto the Kim Williams Trail.
These wide, flat trails parallel the banks of the Clark Fork River and provide a go-to option for Missoula exercise enthusiasts. By crossing one of several bridges along the river, you can turn these separate pathways into one big — or small, depending on where you cross — loop. The route pictured here includes crossings at the California Street pedestrian bridge and the Madison Street pedestrian bridge.
This part of town is often forgotten, but the route shown here features a couple of cool bridges that make the run fun and interesting. The loop will take you over the arched Scott Street Bridge, past an old cemetery and back over the railroad tracks via the Orange Street pedestrian bridge (the raddest bridge in town, if you ask me).
This route scores major points in the flexibility category, as it can be tweaked to cover many different distances. The loop shown here follows Bancroft to Playfair Park. A partial loop around the park will take you to a smaller road paralleling Bancroft, which eventually pops out at Southwest Higgins. If you’re feeling really motivated, you can cross the street and add an incline or two in the South Hills before taking Higgins back to your starting point. To make a shorter, easier version of this course, nix the park and the hills and stick to Bancroft and Higgins.