With spring just around the corner, there’s no better time to go for a run in Happy Valley. However, if you’re new to running or new to running in State College, deciding where to take your run might resemble the round edges and pointed dot of a massive question mark.
Penn State’s campus, while beautiful and astounding, presents virtually infinite places to take your afternoon run. Is it best to start at the Arboretum? Do endless laps around Beaver Stadium? Or take a couple of quick sprints across the bridge at Westgate Building?
If you’re searching for a little more structure in your next run, look no further. VALLEY went to the professionals for some advice: Penn State Club Cross Country—easily the most spirited group of runners to grace the streets and trails of Happy Valley.
“I absolutely love Club XC because everyone on the team is so welcoming and is really there to have fun. We have runners of all levels and intensities, so there is always someone to run with at practice, which makes the whole experience much more enjoyable.”Rose Spahn, Workout Chair for Penn State Club Cross Country
Penn State Club Cross Country has a wealth of online resources, including pre-mapped running routes through State College ranging from quick one-mile runs to extensive 11-mile workouts. Here’s just a sampling of some places you can do your next run brought to you by Penn State Club XC.
Shortened Golf Course
The Shortened Golf Course Route will take you for a quick loop through and around Penn State Golf Courses starting from Rec Hall. At approximately 2.43 miles in length, this route will cut back through west campus and across North Atherton Street via the Westgate Building’s bridge. This circuit is perfect for squeezing in for a quick workout between classes.
You’re going to hit all of the major Penn State landmarks on this 3.18-mile run. Starting out on west campus, Kick Return will take you through east campus and back again while passing by key destinations like the Arboretum, Beaver Stadium, Bryce Jordan Center, Pattee and Paterno Libraries and the ‘We Are’ Sculpture.
“For an easy run, Kick Return is always a fun route. It goes around the stadium, so it kind of reminds you of football,” states Spahn.
If you’re looking for some more challenge and a scenic adventure through The Arboretum and north campus, consider giving Ag Tunnel a run for its money. This 6.04-mile route is a nice change of pace from the sights and sounds of downtown State College.
“I also love Ag Tunnel, which goes on sunset trail and near some of the agricultural areas of Penn State’s campus which are really pretty and a nice change of scenery!” Spahn says.
Check out Penn State Club Cross Country’s website for their complete list of running routes, and if you’re interested in becoming a member of this organization, contact one of their officers for additional information.
Where are you taking your next run? VALLEY’s got a pretty good idea. Let us know which route you’re trying out this week. Tag us @VALLEYmag on Instagram!