Thursday, 21 November 2013

Melbourne Albert Park/St. Kilda Beach Running Route

Click here for route map 
Length 7 km (4.3 miles), terrain: flat

Melbourne Running Routes:
Best Melbourne Running Routes Overview 
Fitzroy Gardens
Yarra River at CBD
Tan Track
Carlton/Fitzroy 
Yarra Bend Trail
Albert Park Lake / St. Kilda Beach
Williamstown 
For more running routes, see Route List.

There's a big park in South Melbourne, Albert Park, with its own lake and lakeside trails. The park is full of sports fields, stadiums and buildings, and it's a nice place to run in a bit of manicured nature. Albert Park stretches roughly north/south, about a half-kilometer east of the sand beach at St. Kilda.
Along Albert Park Lake
You can run a loop around the lake itself, about 4.7 km, or a bigger loop around the whole park, about km. But because the east side of the lake is bordered by a somewhat noisy road, I like to stay on the west side and -- instead of looping the lake -- combining it with a run up the beach. Then you have the best of both worlds: the green park and the beach sands and horizon. Actually, you also get to experience a third aspect: the pleasant St. Kilda neighborhood streets in between.
Start at northwest corner of lake, at reed islands
We'll start the run at the northwest corner of the lake, at the little reed-bed islands, across from the massive Sports and Aquatic Centre. Off to the left, along the shore, you'll see the Lakeside Stadium and the boat club boat-houses.

So now, turn right and run southwards along the lakeside, with the water along your left side.
Running along the lakeside: black swans are common in Melbourne
Just run straight along the lake trail to the south end. You'll see the lake getting narrower the further south you get.

At the end of the lake, after 1.7-km, where the parcours exercise equipment is, cross the little street and take the narrow asphalt path diagonally to the right. It leads to some athletic fields after 50 meters. Continue southwest on the street called Hockey Drive between the fields, with the cricket field to the left, following the sign to "Fields 3-6."

You'll now come to the west edge of the park, almost in the southwest corner, where the trail exits the park westward through a tunnel below the tram tracks. Now cross the street, Canterbury Road, turn left and continue to the next corner, Mary Street.
Along Mary Street
There, you turn right and run the couple of blocks to the beach. Mary Street is pleasant, and lined with trees.

You will now, at the 3-km mark, hit the busy beachside road, Beaconsfield Parade. Look to the left to find the pedestrian crossing, and cross the road into the beachfront park, Catani Gardens.

NOTE: This is also the spot where various St. Kilda trams stop, called Jacka Boulevard, so you could take a tram and begin the run here.
Catani Gardens at the beach
In the park, you turn right and run back north along the beach. Catani Gardens soon ends, with the road directly abutting the beach. You now have a choice of either running along the sand or follow the paved sidewalk beside the road. I like the sand.
St. Kilda Beach path
Continue running northwards for almost two kilometers until you come to Wright Street (there's a modern white apartment building on the corner). Turn right onto Wright and run the few blocks back to Albert Park. Wright Street is another pleasant little street, with a big church about half-way down.
Kids getting ready to sail their Optimists
Wright Street ends at Canterbury Road, with Albert Park ahead. Again, here, you'll go through a tunnel under the tram tracks. It's just 200 meters straight ahead to the lake, with the white building of the Sports Centre to the left, and a golf driving-range to your right.
Wright Street homes

1 comment:

  1. great running path you have come up with. i prefer to stick to the lake. can we do something about the poor state of the track. its down to its bare bones

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