London Ontario has some great places to run. Some of the parks in the city are great training resources. There are multi-use pathways along the Thames River that go for about 30 kilometers with only a bit of running on the street.
- Here is the City of London’s Bike and Walking map (.pdf).
- For up to date information, visit the city’s Bike and Walk Page.
The yellow line along the Thames River is a favourite running route. The city has painted blue circles along the bike paths every 500m starting at the Forks of the Thames and going all three directions. It is easy to tell how far you have run by checking these blue distance markers.
Harris Park is at the forks of the Thames. It has a multi-use path on each side of the river. A path within the park is .75Km It has a flat grassy area about 1K around. If you go up the hill on the north end and across Blackfriars Bridge you will find another multi-use pathway along the river. Paths on both sides are lit at night. There is a washroom that is occasionally open at the Ivey Splashpad to the south. This is a popular Harris Park run circuit.
Basil Grover Park is at the south west corner of Wharncliffe and Commissioners. The parking lot is off Wharncliffe. The park is a great place to practise cross country running. It has some challenging grassy hills. The park is about 0.8K around. There is a washroom, a skateboard park and a play area.
Gibbons Park: you can reach this park at the west end of Grosvenor St. and two places off Victoria St. west of St. George. There are about 2K of paved paths through the park. You can run a circuit of about 3K on grass. There are paths near the river but beware of the dreaded hogweed. The park has a washroom with a fountain that is often open. There is also a splashpad, a swimming pool and a children’s play area. There are cross country races held in this park in the autumn.
Springbank Park. You can run on paved roads, on dirt paths and on grass. This is a very popular park among runners. There are washrooms open all year and the park is often plowed in the winter. Be careful of cyclists though – be aware that they are coming through there fast and often come up on you with no warning. There is an exact 5K route in the park as measured by AIMS measurer Bernie Conway. It starts just west of the stone cottage at the Pacer Start/Finish post. Go east, take a small jog south and east again up Animal Hill. The 1K post is on the left. Continue past the little pond and up the hill that exits the park. Part way up the hill you will see the Pacer turn-around post on the right. Turn around back down the hill and continue west on the path nearest the river. The Pacer 2K post is on the left. Continue west past the Pump House (washroom and a water fountain). The 3K post is on the right just before the road heads down the hill towards the dam. Continue west up Dam Hill. The 4K post is on the left just as the road turns south. Continue around the curve and head east again. You will pass another washroom. The 5K ends back at the Pacer start/finish post.
Springbank Gardens Community Center
205 Wonderland Road. This is a popular starting point for runners. There is parking, washrooms and a drinking fountain. You can head west towards Springbank Park for an 8K loop. Or you can go east, under Wonderland Road into Greenway Park. Follow the bike path beside the river to the Curnoe Tunnel and back for a 6K run or take the short cut beside the dog park to make it 5K. If you continue through the tunnel you can follow the bike route to the Forks of the Thames.
The Rose Gardens
Corner of Wonderland Rd and Springbank. Run through rose bowers, past fragrant flower gardens, along the path to the Bereaved Families Garden. Find Beethoven and Robbie Burns. Admire the picnic tables painted by Beal students. There is a washroom in the building on the east side of the park.
The London area has an extensive series of hiking trails that are very popular with runners. Many are on land administered by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority. Find information and maps on their website. Go down the page to Brochures/Factsheets. There are maps to download of trails in Fanshawe, Pittock and Wildwood Conservation areas as well as maps of trails in Environmentally Significant Areas – Warbler Woods, Kains Woods, Kilally Meadows, Medway Valley, Meadowlilly and Westminster Ponds. In addition, the Thames Valley Trail Association has information on the Thames Valley Trails Association website. The Fanshawe Lake Trail is especially popular.
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