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Reach Your Running Goals in St. Charles, IL

Ready to lace up your running shoes, hit some trails and improve your level of fitness? Consider St. Charles, home to tons of trails that are great for beginners and veterans alike, and provide excellent views of the Fox River, woods, prairies, and more. Here is everything you need to know to get started running in St. Charles today!

Running Clubs

Photos Courtesy of Dick Pond Athletics, and the Fox River Trail Runners

Getting started with running can be exciting, but a bit daunting if you have to take it on by yourself. Try to make some new friends by joining a running club here in St. Charles! There is an incredible running community in the St. Charles area, and there are plenty of clubs that you can join. The Fox River Trail Runners, PR-Performance Running, and Dick Pond Athletics are just a few of the clubs that will assist you as you embark on your running journey! Plus, they don't have membership fees so you can give them a try and if it doesn't feel right, you can keep training on your own without any stress.

Photos Courtesy of Dick Pond Athletics

First things first, you can't take-off running without the proper gear. Fortunately for you, Dick Pond Athletics is located right off Route 31, and is the perfect place to grab all the equipment you need. They have been providing expert advice to new, and experienced runners for over 50 years, so you're sure to be in good hands. Their experienced staff will work with you one on one to make sure that you get the correct shoes for your foot shape, which will help you avoid injuries during your training. Dick Pond also offers a wide variety of running apparel and accessories so that you have everything you need to start venturing the trails.

Photos Courtesy of

Now that you have the proper shoes and all the running gear you need, it's time to start moving! Located just east of Route 25, Delnor Woods Park Trail is a terrific location to begin your training. There is a paved, 1 mile out-and-back path that runs through the park, that provides scenic views of wildflowers, century old oak trees, and even a small waterfall to admire as you break a sweat.

Photos Courtesy of

Another excellent trail for beginners to check out is the Horlock Hill Prairie LeRoy Oakes Loop Trail. This trail is a 1 mile loop that highlights creeks, woods, and prairies in the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. While this loop is a fantastic place to get a short workout in, there are many other trails with varying distances within the Forest Preserve that you can explore.

Photos Courtesy of

Situated just south of McDonald Road is the Otter Creek Trail. This 2.9 mile, out-and-back trail is a beautiful place to get your run in, as it features a creek, and wetland scenery. This trail is a little lengthier than the two others mentioned before, but is ideal for when you want to begin ramping up your mileage.

Photos Courtesy of

Looking to get a lengthier run in? St. Charles has trail options for that, too! The Great Western Trail: Western Section is a 17-mile point-to-point trail that kicks-off just west of Randall Road, and goes until the eastern end of Sycamore. The route is made up primarily of limestone, which will have your knees and joints thanking you for the softer impacts. It's a favorite of many local runners due to that and because miles are marked along the route so you can see how far you go! Plus, it's fairly shaded so it's perfect to get out of the sun on a hot day.

Fox River Trail

Photos Courtesy of

This 40+ mile bike trail runs right by the Fox River, and goes right through St. Charles. You can't go wrong with heading north or south because both directions have a lot to offer! If you head north, the trail will take you all the way up to Algonquin and through the Norris Woods, where you can find a whole bunch of shade and a little bit of crushed limestone. If you decide to travel south, the trail will continue on until Oswego and there are some bathrooms and water fountains along the way for your convenience. What's also nice about this trail is that there are access points all throughout the towns the trail runs through. You can hop on the trail at practically any location, that way you will always have a nice change of scenery. There are many attractions that you can run into, as well, including the Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia, the Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva, and Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles, just to name a few.

Let's face it, Illinois weather can be a bit unpredictable at times, and running in the snow and rain doesn't always seem like a fun endeavor to take on. There are still ways that you can keep your workout schedule on track, however, and keep moving forward towards your running goals. St. Charles has a numerous amount of indoor gyms and fitness facilities that will allow you to continue to work on your cardio, core strength, and much more without having to brave the blustery conditions outside.

Photos Courtesy of Core Nutrition

As with any type of exercise, your nutrition plays a huge part in helping you stay fit, and your continual progression as a runner. At Core Nutrition, they offer an assortment of tasty protein shakes so that you can recover properly from your hard workout. Their shakes are filled with different vitamins and minerals to ensure that you are getting all the proper nutrition you need to stay in prime running shape.

Photos Courtesy of Clean Juice

Another spot that is serving up nutritional cuisine is Clean Juice. Clean Juice offers a variety of health shakes and other drinks that will keep your fuel level high after burning off all those calories from your workout. They also offer other healthy (and delicious) foods including salads, wraps, sandwiches, and much more.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your shoes and head over towards one of the many trails! Not only will running get you in tip-top shape, but you also will be able to soak in all of the beautiful scenery that St. Charles has to offer.


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