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5 Winter Runs In Rhode Island

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Whether it's snowing or just cold out, a winter run can kick up your metabolism, burn calories, and give you a fresh look at Rhode Island's beautiful landscapes. What's stopping you?

With the holidays just a little over a week away, now is the perfect time to keep up (or start) a running regiment, and Rhode Island's landscape is the perfect place for it. Put on a couple layers, lace up, and get out there on some of the state's most beautiful trails.  Here are some of the best routes around, no matter if it's snowing or just plain cold.

Newport: Wildlife Loop at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge

This 2.7 mile loop at Middletown's dramatic point really pays off in the off-season... no Newport tourist traffic coming or going, and breathtaking views all along the way of big water. The trail can get a big mucky in foul weather, but the grassiness generally holds up. Gentle grades, and good ducking in to scrub areas for wind breaks.

Narragansett: Ocean Road to Scarborough Beach

Crawling with cars in the summer, this is gorgeous open terrain for late-season runners, with plenty of views of beautiful homes and ocean vistas. For a longer outing, the RI Road Runners recommend the path from Kingston railroad station to Narragansett Pier (8-9 miles, with trails branching from the main path).

Lincoln: Lincoln Woods Loop

Snowless winter days are a magic time for runners here, when the paved, 2.5-mile hilly loop around the lake is closed to auto traffic (November 1st to April 15th). As the heavy wooded areas lose their leaves, you'll gain vistas into boulder fields and hilly offroad terrain. And it's just 15 minutes from Providence.

Warwick: Buttonwoods Loop

This is a great, scenic quickie for West Bay runners, in Warwick City Park: a 2.75-mile loop with hills. Runners who love it love the scenery and the sections along the Bay. The beauty of this choice in winter is that it's not far, so any kind of weather is easily endured in one lap. For a map of the route, go here.

Bristol: Colt State Park Loop

Catch the gorgeous views on a six-mile loop that begins at Bristol Harbor and Independence Park. Hug the harbor heading west into Colt State Park into the Park, with ample paths through the park that skirt the most open sections exposed to the water. Upside: great coffee houses in downtown, for a warm-up at loop's end.


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