New to running in Lynchburg?

If you're one of those people who say there's nothing to do in Lynchburg, then you probably haven't tried running ... or walking for that matter. Lynchburg is full of running/walking opportunities if you're looking to get outdoors. This, I hope, will be the first in some sort of series of places to walk or run if you're looking to get off the couch and on your feet.

First and foremost in Lynchburg is the Blackwater Creek Bikeway, and the trails that branch off it. I sometimes get a little bored with the paved part, but it's perfect if you're first starting. When I first started running, I found two miles to be a good start. And with the bike path having quarter mile markers, it's easy to keep up with your distance. If you're unfamiliar with the trail system, I recommend starting at the Ed Page Entrance just off Langhorne Road. You'll quickly think you've traveled outside of Lynchburg about a quarter mile in - there's no signs of city life at all. And that first mile is relatively flat. If you get tired of that view, there's another parking lot near the 1-mile marker on East Randolph Place. Look for signs on Rivermont Avenue.

From that entrance you can go a mile to the 2-mile marker where the trail splits three different ways. This is a good place to go if you're looking to go beyond 2 miles. Take a sharp right to go up the new Kemper Street Extension. This is basically one long hill and offers a challenge to any level runner. But it's a pretty cool route, offering a view of Lynchburg you've never seen before. If you take the left path, basically going straight at the 2-mile marker, you'll run alongside Blackwater Creek to another parking lot off Hollins Mill Road. If you take the middle path, you'll go through the tunnel. When it's hot outside, it's always cool in there. No matter which way you go, you'll still find it hard to believe you're in Lynchburg.

You can also access the bike path downtown near Amazement Square. If you're looking at the side of Amazement Square, you'll want to head toward the left. This puts you near the 3-mile marker of the bike path and you'll have two routes to choose from. Stay straight and you'll head toward the tunnel; head right and you'll go alongside the creek. That portion is actually called the Point of Honor Trail, which gives you access to Point of Honor.

Of course there's much more to Lynchburg's trail system than this, so stay tuned for more. If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or want to offer other runs, please leave a comment.