Are you tired of running the same routes over and over again? Or are you new to running and don’t really know where to run? We have compiled a list of the best running routes in Harlan County for new and experienced runners!
BEST LOCATIONS FOR A RUN IN DOWNTOWN HARLAN:
- Five mile run: Begin at the Harlan County Courthouse in Downtown Harlan. From here, run along the bypass to the left and head toward the direction of Wendys. Be careful along the way, you will have to run through a couple of intersections. Be sure to watch for oncoming traffic. Once you reach Wendys, you will be at approximately 2.5 miles. From here, you can retrace your steps and head back to the courthouse for a total of 5 miles, or you can keep running toward Cawood, KY and turn at your desired distance.
- 3.1 Mile Run: Begin at the Harlan County Courthouse in Downtown Harlan. This time, instead of heading to the bypass, run down to the intersection of The Portal and Coming Up Roses. Turn right and continue straight on this road until you reach the Coal Monument located in front of Donell’s Pharmacy. Once you reach the Coal Monument, you will be at approximately 1.5 miles. Retrace your steps and head back to the Courthouse for a total of 3 miles.
Tip: For an even longer run, run the coal monument route, then run to Wendys. This will give you a total of 8 miles.
- 3.1 mile run: Begin at the Harlan County Courthouse in Downtown Harlan. Again, run to the intersection of The Portal and Coming Up Roses. Turn right here and head to the intersection with Monticello Banking Company on the right. Turn right here and head straight on East Mound Street. Follow this road until you reach Ivy Street. Cross Ivy Hill by following this road. Don’t take any side roads, follow the main road. Once you cross Ivy Hill, you will turn left and head back toward Downtown Harlan. Turn left once you get back to Monticello Banking Company and then turn right onto Third Street. Turn right at the end of the block. You will now be back at the Harlan County Courthouse, and you have ran 3.1 difficult miles.
- One mile run: Start at McDonald’s. To the right of the parking lot is a walking trail with parking available. Start on this trail and run until you reach the entrance to the Food City parking lot. At this point, you will be at 0.5 miles. Return back to where you started at McDonald’s, and you will be at 1 mile.
- 5 mile run: Start at the Harlan Center in Downtown Harlan. Run down Clover Street and turn right at The Commissary. Follow this road, Cumberland Avenue, until you reach Farm Bureau Insurance Company. Turn right here and then take a left at the next intersection. Run straight until you reach the Coal Monument. Keep running straight until you hit the bypass, US 421. Turn to the right and follow the road straight. Do not take any side roads. You will eventually reach Harlan County High School on your left. Cross the road and take the shortest route to the track. You have reached your destination! You have ran 5 miles.
- Choose your own mileage: Start at Huff Park, located to the left of the parking lot at the Harlan Center in Downtown Harlan. One lap around the track at Huff Park is a third of a mile. This is a great spot for beginners to start their running journey as you can choose your distance and stop whenever you need.
BEST LOCATIONS TO RUN OUTSIDE OF DOWNTOWN HARLAN:
- Harlan County High School Cross Country Course – 3.1 mile run: Remember, this route is on the property of the Harlan County High School and is subject to rules put forth by the school. The Harlan County Cross Country Team has a beautiful course that is mainly grass that goes all the way around the campus of the high school. Before beginning your run on this course, please be respectful of the grounds as the team and parents keep up and maintain the course for their meets and practices. Begin at the lower end of campus beside the baseball fields. Run straight until you reach a left turn. Turn here and follow the road in the grass until you reach an area where you can run next to the river. Next, you will run up a steep, short hill. Run straight and circle the high school. Head back down to the area in which you started and enter the lower loop through a gate to your left. Follow the course up a larger hill and go back to the trail next to the river. Climb the steep, but short, hill and continue straight again. However, this time, cross the bridge and head up the hill to your right. Follow the loop on the hill, head back down, and cross the bridge again. Follow the trail next to the river one more time, and head back to where you started from. You have finally reached the finish line! The course is a total of 3.1 miles.
- Your choice of mileage: Remember, this route is on the property of the Harlan County High School and is subject to rules put forth by the school. Harlan County High School has a state of the art track and field facility located across the bridge behind the school. Each lap around this track is 0.25 of a mile. Four laps make one mile. This track is also a great place for beginners as you can pick the distance you would like to run and stop whenever you feel necessary. Try to do another lap each time you run here!
- Make your own run at HCHS: Remember, this route is on the property of the Harlan County High School and is subject to rules put forth by the school.
- From the track around the school and back is one mile
- From the track down to the baseball fields and back is one mile
- One complete lap around the school in the grass is 0.5 of a mile.
- One complete lap around the lower loop of the cross country course is 0.5 of a mile.
- Down to the end and back on the JROTC course located on the flat road to the right when you cross the bridge is one mile.
- 3.1 mile run: Start in the park behind the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum in Benham, KY. Follow the gravel Benham Walking Track until you reach a bridge located 1.5 miles out. Once you get to this bridge, turn around and run back the same way that you came. Once you arrive back at the park, you have run a 5K!
Remember to always wear reflective gear when running at night, run facing traffic, and always look both ways before crossing the road!