Monday, 17 September 2012

Copenhagen Lakes (Søerne) Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 6.3 km (4 miles), terrain flat

Copenhagen Running Routes:
Old Town  
Lakes (Søerne)  
Freetown Christiania  

Klampenborg Deer Park
For other running routes, see Route List

Copenhagen's most popular running route loops around a semi-circle of lakes that line the west side of the old town. The Søerne is a line of five lakes that were originally created to power watermills and used as reservoirs, just outside the western city walls.
Runners along the east shore of the Lakes
Nowadays, the lakes are lined by the most-used running trails around. The route is comparable to New York City's Central Park reservoir, but much bigger, at over 6 kilometers. The longest of the lakes, Sortedams Sø, is at the north end, and the two shortest lakes are at the south end, but they are both called Sankt Jørgens Sø, and together they are about the same length as Sortedams.

Because the line of lakes is broken up by four cross-street causeways, you can easily cut short the route any time you please.

In a loop like this, it doesn't really matter where we start or in which direction we run, but I'll start it at the southeast corner, at the Tycho Brahe Planetarium on Vesterport. The planetarium is shaped like a diagonally sliced-through cylinder, looking like a dome from the front.
Tycho Brahe Planetarium
Facing the planetarium entrance, head straight north along the east side of Sankt Jørgens Sø, with the water to your left side.

The route doesn't really need much description: there is a fairly busy street along this east side of the lakes, Søgade, but there is a nice gravel path down near the water. The only annoyance is the cross-streets, where you have to wait at the traffic lights.

At the second cross-street, Gyldenløvesgade, there is an interesting old restaurant on the left side, the Søpavillonen. In warm weather, this lake is filled with paddle-boats.
The Victorian-era Søpavillonen
When you get to Sortedams Sø, you'll see an interesting old row-house neighborhood to the right side, and an island full of dead trees on the left, covered by cormorants.

NOTE: This section of the lake run overlaps with the Old Town Route. Maybe try that one out, too!

At the north end of Sortedams, turn left and keep following the lake. At the northwest corner, turn south to follow the west shore back to the start.
Watch out, runners ahead! At the northwest corner of the lakes
This is the most pleasant side to run on: the street lining the shore is mainly just for pedestrians and bikes, and there are a couple of tunnels taking you under the cross-streets, avoiding waits at traffic lights. There are various pubs, restaurants and beer-gardens lining the western shore. You might decide to do most of your runs running up and down this one shore.
Runners passing café and boat-rental dock
You will see the planetarium coming up when you get back to Sankt Jørgens Sø, where you run back to the starting point.
Another mass of runners, along Sankt Jørgens Sø

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