Top 4 Jogging, biking routes in Walla Walla community

Shannon Buckham

Run:

1. Pioneer Park: three-plus miles depending on how many times you run around the park. Run up Boyer, turn left on Division and run until you hit the park. This is a good run for people who do not want to go on a really long run, but just want to enjoy a nice jog.

2. Golf Course Loop: about six miles. Run past Baker Ferguson Fitness Center and Tamarack House toward the track. From the track, follow the road underneath the highway, and then take a right up the hill that takes you to the golf course. You can run around the course in either direction depending on the desired distance.

3. Mill Creek Route: about six miles. Run up Boyer, turn left at Blue Street, left at Francis, left at Roosevelt, left at Alder, and a slight right at Tausick Way. A left on Reservoir Road will take you around Mill Creek. The trail takes you over a bridge and eventually onto a bike path, which connects to Blue Road and takes a right back to Boyer.

“I enjoy running near Mill Creek because the scenery is pretty and it feels like I am more off campus than if I were to run the golf course loop,” said first-year Alyssa Breetwor.

This run has a lot of turns and can be confusing the first time you take it, so it would be smart to go with someone that knows the way there.

4. Bennington Lake: about 10 miles out and back. From the Mill Creek route go over the dam. This leads to a variety of trails, paved and unpaved, that will take you around the lake at various distances.

Again, this route can get confusing with multiple paths it offers, so running with a friend for the first time is recommended.

Bike:

1. Cottonwood Loop: approximately 17 miles. Go out Park Street, which turns into Howard after crossing Alder. Howard eventually turns into Cottonwood. Turn right on Foster, and take a right on Reser Road back into town. The ride is mostly flat with a slight incline. This is a good route for people who want to go on a ride that is not too difficult, but still has some distance. The route goes out into the country where there are few cars and pretty mountain views.

2. Milton Freewater Route: approximately 24 miles. Get on Cottonwood in the same way as the Cottonwood Loop. Instead of continuing on Cottonwood, turn a slight right onto Powerline. Eventually turn right at Birch Creek Road, right at Eastside, right at 6th, right at Freewater, right at Case, over Highway 125, onto Old Milton, and take a right on Plaza back into town. This ride is mostly flat and takes you into the town of Milton Freewater, providing a little more distance than the Cottonwood Loop and a change of scenery.

3. Waitesburg Loop: approximately 40 miles. Take Clintin over Highway 12 onto lower Waitesburg for the majority of the ride. Go across Bulls Road and come back into town on Middle Waitesburg. This ride is good for people who want a good, long ride. The way back into town frequently has a strong headwind.
Justin Bannerman from Allegro Cycling recommends this ride. “This ride is lots of fun. It’s hilly and challenging. Walla Walla valley is full of good road rides,” Bannerman said.

4. Spouts Spring ride: approximately 90 miles. Take Toll Gate Road in Milton Freewater until the Spouts Spring exit. From there the ride takes you uphill into breathtaking scenery. This ride is for the ambitious riders. According to Bannerman, this ride provides great hill climbs into beautiful views similar to the ones seen in The Sound of Music. In late spring and early summer, wildflowers are everywhere.

All of these rides take you away from campus and should be ridden with another person unless you are confident in where you are going. Bring a phone in case of emergencies, unforeseen complications or inclement weather.