Length 4.8 km (3 miles), terrain: flat, except for one hill at the riverfront
Georgia started out in the 1730s as a colony guided by high moral standards and new ideas: no slavery, no hard alcohol, a place where debtors could get a new start on life. Founder James Ogelthorpe wanted to create an ideal society in an ideal town, Savannah. And that ideal town would have a whole new layout: there would be 22 squares in the town, allowing everyone frontage on a green park.
Although most of Ogelthorpe's ideas soon got discarded in practical colonial life, his great idea about the squares can still be experienced in Savannah today. See it for yourself by trying this run through the old town. The squares and the typical Savannah architecture make the city truly unique.
|Typical Savannah houses, with high steps|
So, let's head out and explore this beautiful old town...
|Chippewa Square with Ogelthorpe monument|
NOTE: the northern edge of Chippewa Square is the spot where the bus-stop scene was filmed for Forrest Gump.
|City Hall at the river|
|Madison Square has a few cannons, too|
At the south end of the square, you'll pass two impressive buildings, the Scottish Rite masons building on the right and the old Savannah Volunteer Guards building on the left, now the home of the famous Savannah College of Art and Design, which has restored buildings all over town.
|Nice living along Jones Street|
You'll then cross Monterey Square with its stone monument dedicated to General Casimir Pulaski, another hero of the Revolutionary War.
|Monterey Square monument to General Pulaski|
|Forsyth Park fountain: it was ordered from a mail order catalog!|
|Park Avenue with Saturday market|
When you reach the northern end of the park, at Gaston Street, turn right and run a block eastwards to Abercorn Street, where you turn left and continue northwards towards the next line of squares.
In two blocks, you'll hit Calhoun Square, with no monument but with all its original adjoining houses intact.
In two more blocks, you'll cross beautiful Jones Street again, so why not do a small detour and run down the block to the left and back again, just to see it.
|The Lafayette Square fountain with St. John's cathedral|
Keep running northwards until you come to Perry Lane, where the Colonial Park Cemetery comes up along the right side. Turn right onto Perry and run past the open duelling grounds on the left to get to the cemetery entrance.
|In the cemetery|
Exit the cemetery at the northern end, at Ogelthorpe Avenue, where you turn left to get back to Abercorn Street just a hundred meters away.
Now continue northwards along Abercorn again and run through the next square, Oglethorpe Square, with no monuments (remember: the monument to Oglethorpe stands in Chippewa Square!).
In a few more blocks, you'll come to Reynolds Square, with its statue of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, who preached for some years in Savannah and founded America's first Sunday School.
|Factor Walks behind the cotton warehouses|
So now just run south along Bull Street for 15 blocks until you get back to Chippewa Square. You'll go through two more squares along the way, Johnson and Wright. Johnson Square is the largest in town, with an obelisk and a sundial.
Wright Square is the burial site of local Indian chief Tomochichi, who gave the site for Savannah to Olglethorpe and his settlers. The square also has a big monument to William Gordon, who built the Georgia railroads.
|Gordon's monument at Wright Square|