Length: 6.5 km one way, 13 km out-and-back (4 or 8 miles), terrain flat
Paris Running Routes:
Best Paris Running Routes: Overview
Seine island of St. Louis, St. Paul, botanical garden
Left bank and Luxembourg Gardens
Paris' green heart: Bois de Boulogne
Canal St. Martin
Rock formations of Parc Chaumont
Seine loop with Champs Elysees and Eiffel Tower
Seine riverside run
Bois de Vincennes
Versailles Palace Gardens
For more running routes, see Route List
Pictures taken from Google StreetView Thanks!
I enjoy running in Paris, seeing all the beautiful sights while zig-zagging through the often elegant and fascinating neighborhoods. But Paris isn't really a very running-friendly city. The parks are small, and mostly closed in the evenings, and the Seine River has busy streets along both banks most of the way. Only the Bois de Boulogne, on the west edge of the city (and Vincennes in the east) provides any large doses of nature. So I was pleased to discover a route along the St. Martin canal a few years ago, when I had to work in the otherwise not-very-scenic La Villette neighborhood on the north edge of town.
|Canal St. Martin at La Villette, with Cité des Sciences in back, at left|
A north-south route like this (no loop) poses you with the decision on how to get back: run back the same way (at least you can run back on the other side of the canal), or continue home on the Metro. You'll have to figure that out yourself, but there are Metro stations at each end of the route, as well as others along the way. We'll start at the north end of the route. You can take the the M7 Metro to Port de la Villette.
This starts you at the amazing Cite de Sciences complex, which I'd never heard of until I worked next door. In typical French futuristic fashion, the whole complex of buildings is simply fascinating.
|The Cite de Sciences, with IMAX dome|
But if you cross the canal on the footbridge, and loop the park, you then head southwest along the canal, with the water on your right side.
|Bridges and locks are everywhere|
You can continue running along this pleasant canal, with its scenic bridges and quiet side-streets. The section after the Rotondo is my favorite. There are a collection of locks and pedestrian bridges spanning the canal after it takes a turn to the left, near the Gare de l'Est train station.
|Pedestrian bridge over a lock|
|The underground canal becomes a park|