3 Favourite Running Routes in Hamilton

The single thing I love the most about living in Hamilton is that there are plenty of options to go for a run. There is an abundance of green areas – parks, river paths, lakes – in and around the city. After 4.5 years of being restricted to the treadmill and the occasional desert run it is an appreciated change.

Speaking about changes, having four seasons here is quite refreshing as well! Autumn has given me some nice sceneries along my runs and walks. What follows are three of my favourite routes of the moment, along with some snapshots I took on the way.

1. Run along the Waikato River

Running along the Waikato river in Hamilton is something different!

Running along the Waikato River is something different!

13.84-km run along Waikato River

13.84-km run along Waikato River

Last week I ran along the river all the way up to Wairere Drive, where I crossed the river and went back from the east side. The first half was far more beautiful than the second, as a substantial part of the way back was along the road, but despite that it’s a route I will definitely run time and again. Albeit right in the centre, the track makes you feel like you are far away from the crowds, unless you go there on a sunny Sunday afternoon. In that case you will find lots of families biking, walking, or jogging. It’s a route that showed autumn colours in full swing, and I am looking forward to seeing the first fresh greens and blossoms in spring. I have never been further north from Wairere Drive towards the footbridge, but I am eager to try that part as well, as it must be very beautiful. Here are some more images of the route taken in late summer and autumn.

Part of the river path had been closed since we moved here, but it was opened this week. Yeah!

The river path in late summer

Autumn in full swing!

Autumn in full swing!

2. Run along Hamilton Lake

Going to Hamilton Lake for the Balloons Over Waikato festival (but really more just to photograph a gorgeous sunrise)

Hamilton Lake around sunrise

10.12-km run along Hamilton Lake

10.12-km run along Hamilton Lake (officially called Lake Rotoroa)

Clearly, I am not the only one who enjoys a run along Hamilton’s most visited lake. Whenever I go there – at least once a week – the path is packed with joggers. It is also a popular track among mothers with their young offspring, and from time to time I spot a parent running with his/her baby in the stroller. I am already looking forward to taking Maria on such runs as well, but I think she needs to be a bit older for that. If I took her on a run now her head would be juggling from side to side. The nice thing is that this lake is hardly a kilometre away from home. I often use this part to warm up and cool down before and after my run. If I go for a walk I usually take one lap around the lake, but when I’m running I tend to do two, which makes a nice 10-km route.

It doesn't get more autumn-y than this!

It doesn’t get more autumn-y than this!

Autumn at Hamilton Lake

Autumn at Hamilton Lake

3. Run to Hamilton Gardens and back

Running towards Hamilton Gardens

Running towards Hamilton Gardens

7.39-km run towards Hamilton Gardens and back

7.39-km run towards Hamilton Gardens and back

A third favourite route of mine has been along the river as well, but towards the renowned gardens in south-east Hamilton. It is a slightly more quiet route, especially the path along the western bank. The paddock along the eastern bank has been my favourite part of the run in autumn. The colours are just gorgeous! It is a route I choose when I don’t feel like going for a long run, but if, while I’m running, I feel up to going a little bit farther than initially planned I can easily include the actual gardens in this route, which has numerous stunning paths.

One of my favourite trees along the route

One of my favourite trees along the route

Running in Hamilton-7

A sunny autumn day

Now that I got back to running regularly, I am curious to find out more routes in town. For those living here, please let me know what are your favourites!

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