Length 6.85 km (4.3 miles), terrain contains gentle hills
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
If you've ever wondered on a nice evening in Paris where all the runners are, they're all in the Bois de Boulogne. This is the only place in Paris where you can do a real trail run and soak in some honest fresh air and nature in this otherwise running-unfriendly city (I still love running in Paris, anyway!).
|Lakeside running in the Bois de Boulogne|
There is a lot more there, too, especially for horses, reflecting its heritage as a royal hunting grounds. There are a lot of horse-related grounds set up in the park: not one but two horse-racing tracks, riding trails and other racing clubs.
The Bois can be reached by several Metro stations along its eastern edge: Porte Maillot in the north, Porte Dauphine, Avenue Foch and Avenue Henri Martin in the middle, and Port d'Auteuil at the south edge.
There is a freeway that tunnels through the eastern edge of the Bois, curving directly under Lac Supérieur, only being open to the air for a for a short section after leaving the lake.
This running route starts at Porte Dauphine, which you can reach with Metro line 2, or run the few blocks from the Arc de Triomphe along the elegant apartments of Avenue Foch. We'll stay mainly along the eastern edge of the Bois, letting you get familiar with the main attractions. Once you know it, you can then try out the many other trails that branch out all over the park.
Standing at Porte Dauphine, looking westwards into the parkland, head past the traffic circle and follow the Route de Suresnes street into the park. You are heading southwest. You'll go past the freeway at first, then things start looking like you had hoped: trees and grass everywhere you look.
After just a few hundred meters, you'll come to a lake: Lac Inférieur, a thin, north/south lake (not quite a kilometer long) which is the most frequented running section in the park. We'll run along most of the lakefront, but not quite yet.
|Trail turnoff for the stream|
|The stream branches here|
|Running along the stream: what color is that water, anyway?|
Run into the entrance and turn left to cut directly south through the gardens. If you get there after 8 p.m., you'll have to just run counter-clockwise around the outside of the gardens. There is a very ritzy hotel and restaurant at the garden entrance.
|The Pre de Catalan Hotel|
One note here: there is a lot of prostitution along the streets in the evening. Streetwalkers hang around along the roadsides in various locations. But still, there are lots of joggers, bicyclists and other hikers passing by.
|Along Lac Inférieur|
There's an island in the lake, a grotto along the water, and a little waterfalls at the south end. When you reach the south end of the lake, you'll cross another car street and continue southwards along the smaller Lac Supérieur.
|The man-made waterfalls|
|The peripheral road makes its appearance|
|Island in Lac Inférieur|