HPH Favorite Places to Run – Wintertime Favorites
Sand Creek Road and Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Sand Creek Road is a long, rolling dirt road just south of town. Starting near the cement factory, it heads south-west, running alongside the Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge for several miles and offering beautiful views of Sheep Mountain and Jelm Mountain before turning south to Colorado. Sand Creek Road stays clear and runnable most of the winter, making it a great road for long out-and-back runs when all of the mountain trails are snowed over. As an added bonus, the Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge offers several out-and-back or loop options on double-track trails. Click here for more information on the Refuge.
Directions: Take 3rd Street/287 South. After passing the Albany County Fairgrounds, make the first right onto Huron Street. Follow Huron to the end and turn left. At the cement factory, turn right and follow signs left to Sand Creek Road. You can park along the side of the road, or drive 7 miles to Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge to park there.
Washington Park has a .78-mile paved loop around the perimeter of the park. It is well-maintained and usually cleared of snow in the winter, making it a great spot for wintertime speedwork when other venues are sloppy or snow-covered. Washington Park also has a 15-station fitness circuit course around the loop.
The Laramie River Greenbelt offers 5.75 miles of paved trails, mostly following the Laramie River. The main trailhead is located at Optimist Park, where runners can go either north or south on the path. The Jackalope 5k and other races in town are held on the Greenbelt. The Greenbelt is also a favorite spot for runners in the Winter when the trails are snowed over.
The hill leading east on Willett Drive between Jacoby Golf Course and Ivinson Memorial Hospital is a great long hill for hill repeats. High Plains Harriers often holds Tuesday Night Hill workouts on Hospital Hill during the fall and/or winter.
Welsh Lane/Howell Road
Welsh Lane is a long, rolling dirt road on the northwest side of town. It dead-ends at Howell Road, another long and rolling dirt road. Combined, the two roads can make for some great out-and-back long runs if you’re looking for something off the pavement.