Length 7.8 km (4.8 miles), terrain fairly flat
Thanks to Flickr CreativeCommons for the photos!
For more running routes, see Route List.
This is for me, personally, my original running route. Back in about 1975 I started running (after a couple of fizzled attempts, previously) exactly this route. Back then, I lived in the "student ghetto" neighborhood, just north of the University of Florida (UF) campus. For me, the most scenic place to head was through the campus to lake Alice, a nature preserve that had long provided me a quiet haven among my many youthful storms, so I ran this route hundreds of times.
This route also takes you on a tour of the UF campus, the navel of the Gator Nation, with its lush tropical vegetation and brick buildings.
|Sledd Hall on campus, photo by StevenM_61|
|Start the run here, photo courtesy of Google Maps StreetView|
Just before you reach Matherly Hall, turn left and then right to run along Matherly's south side, still heading west. This is the College of Business Administration complex.
You will then run between Anderson Hall and the old Smathers Library until you run straight into the newer Library West.
|Smathers Library, with statue of Albert Murphree, photo by jeffrojr|
|Century Tower at night, photo by MattPendletonPhotography|
Just after the tower, turn right to run between the two buildings across the street, heading west again. The building of the left is the Computer Sciences Building. When you pass the building, turn left to run into the big open lawn (the "Green Banana") sloping downhill to the southwest.
|Running across the green banana towards Reitz Union, photo by Gregory Moine|
You'll come out of the ravine at Museum Road and Lemerand Drive. Cross Lemerand to run westwards along Museum Road.
On your right you'll see the Graham dormitory sinkhole, then you'll run uphill for a bit, passing Hume dormitory on the left side.
Soon, you'll see a few fraternity houses curving up along the right side. That's Fraternity Row, home to many, but not all the fraternity houses.
We're now getting to the best part of the run, the Lake Alice area. The whole side along the left is now a nature preserve. You'll see a little dirt parking lot on the left, where you can take a little side-trip out on the Lake Alice boardwalk. I actually helped build the original boardwalk (I don't know if it's been replaced since then). If I may say so, it's really worth the extra few-minute detour to run to the end of the boardwalk to view the waterbirds and jungle. The lake is full of alligators, turtles and other life.
|Waterbirds at Lake Alice, photo by RubyShoe|
It will curve to the left along the lakeside. Towards the end of the lake, you'll see the Baughman Meditation Center, looking like a chapel on the lakeside.
|Baughman Center, photo by MattPendletonPhotography|
|Lake Alice gator, photo by MattPendletonPhotography|
When you again reach Fraternity Row, turn left and run northwards, uphill as the street curves to the right past all the fraternity houses. When the road has curved towards the east, you will see UF's impressive sports complex coming up on the left: baseball, basketball, football, tennis, the running track. It's amazing to see what kind of money has poured into the sports program in the last decades.
It's always fun to join the other runners on the track for a couple of quarter-mile laps, if you feel like it.
Keep running eastwards along Stadium Road, passing Florida Field (the "Swamp") on the left. Before it was
extended, the School of Journalism had its classrooms under the bleachers, where I tried to learn how to write.
Stadium Road will turn to the left, becoming Buckman Drive, and heading north.
|Sledd Hall details, photo by jeffrojr|
|An empty Plaza of the Americas, photo by jeffrojr|