If you’re anything like me, running around the Res makes you feel like a hamster in a wheel. When I set off on a run, I’m motivated not only by the desire to earn a new badge on my Garmin running watch, but also by my eagerness to explore the new path I configured for that day’s run. Running laps around the Res simply does not do it for me. So, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite routes I’ve traversed near Boston College’s campus over the past year.
If You Enjoy Residential Runs:
BC’s placement in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood offers students the luxury of running in residential areas. I take full advantage of this fact as I plan my runs. The suburban setting includes safer roads to run alongside, and you can admire the plethora of charming houses on each street. My favorite roads can be accessed by turning right onto Reservoir Road, crossing the bridge over the train tracks, and exploring the many streets springing off Elliot Road and Dean Road.
If You Run with an End Goal in Mind:
Sometimes exploring a new route isn’t enough motivation to go on a run, so I like to set an incentive in my mind. If you like to run with an end goal of testing out a new coffee shop, forming a new wardrobe, or rewarding yourself with a sweet treat, then there is a perfect path for you. Start your run past Cleveland Circle and continue east down Beacon Street. You’ll pass a multitude of coffee shops, thrift stores, bookstores, delis, and more! My favorites include Cafe Fixe, Brookline Booksmith, Temptations Cafe, and Michael’s Deli. You can even stop in at Down Under School of Yoga if you want to try a class after your jog!
If You Enjoy the Res but Want to Try Something New:
I will admit, running around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir does have some positives—it’s easy to gauge the distance of your run, and you never stray too far from where you started. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to get a little further outside of the BC bubble. So if you enjoy these aspects of the Res, but also want a change of scenery, try out the Brookline Reservoir. Located southeast of campus, the Brookline Reservoir is a perfect 1-mile loop.
If You Want a Hill Run:
If you like to add a little more of a challenge to your run by adding an incline, the perfect route for you is right at BC’s doorstep. Gate House Road, Chestnut Hill Road, and Essex Road all offer a steep slope, making them the perfect streets for a challenging and rewarding hill run.
If You Live on Newton Campus:
As a former Keyes resident, I frequently explored routes that started at Newton Campus. Head west down Mill Street until you reach Bullough Park. Turn left and you’ll soon see Bullough’s Pond—a tranquil space to sit and relax. If you want a longer run, run south down Walnut Street and then turn left on Lakewood Road to arrive at Crystal Lake, a small, scenic lake where you can swim and cool off during the warmer months.
If You Really Want To Explore:
If you have your sights set on a long run, try out this path—head south down Chestnut Hill Avenue and continue until you get to the Brookline Reservoir. Turn left onto Dudley Street, and on your right you’ll see the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site. This site offers remarkable architecture and landscape. Continue east on Walnut Street and eventually turn right onto the Emerald Necklace, a chain of parks in Brookline and Boston, to arrive at Olmsted Park. This park is a serene place to stop and admire the ponds and green spaces. Head east on Perkins Street then south down Centre Street to check out the charismatic neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. Stop and grab a coffee in Tokava, or browse the bookstore and music shop in Tres Gatos before sitting down for some Spanish tapas.