There are lots of great places to run nearby, and you don't have to be on the cross country or ski team to enjoy them. Here is a good mix of both tried-and-true runs and lesser-known runs. All distances depend on where you start on campus; routes can vary in distance by up to a mile depending on whether you start at Carter or Fitch. Routes are ordered from shortest to longest.
Runs from Campus
Most of the great places to run are reachable by foot.
Run down Water Street about 100 meters until you see a road to the left. Go past the playground on your right, and continue to the cemetery. There are multiple roads in the cemetery; all eventually lead to the bottom, to Rt. 2. Turn left and return to campus.
Distance: 0.5 miles
Go down to Weston Field, go to the far end of the track, and keep going until you find yourself on the golf course. The golf course is a great place to run because it's all grass, so it's easy on your legs, and it's also quite pretty. Out of deference to the golfers and groundskeepers, run only on the rough (which looks like grass) and stay off of the green (which looks like astroturf). Warning: Only attempt this run when the golf course is closed, because otherwise you will get kicked off. Good times to run are winter and evening. Note that this run is not flat; there are more hills than you would think. Distances vary based on how many loops you do.
Distance: 1+ miles
Run down Rt. 2 towards North Adams for about half a mile until you get to a power plant on the left, just before the bridge. Turn left and go around the left side of the power plant; you will find a trail that goes along the river for about 3/4 mile. At the end of the path, go straight down the road in front of you (don't turn left or right onto the street that goes perpendicular to the path). At the end of this road, turn right onto Cole Avenue (or see alternative, below), and then cross the road and about 50 meters later, just before the bridge, and turn left onto Cole Field. Run up Cole Field and return to campus.
Distance: 2.5 miles
Alternatively, at the end of the short road, turn left onto Cole Avenue and run along it until you reach the traffic light on Rt. 2. Turn right and return to campus.
Distance: 2.5 miles
Go down Rt. 2 towards North Adams for about a half mile until you see Linear Park (a road that looks like a driveway) on your left. Turn down this road, which turns to dirt almost immediately, until you find a bunch of trails. Pick whichever trails suit your fancy; they mostly go either through the woods or through fields, and one of them leads to the trailer park with the lions. You can do many loops, or go out and back, so distances vary.
Distance: 3+ miles
Clockwise: Run down Water Street for about a mile and a half until you see Ide on the right side of the road. Go up the hill and follow the road until it intersects another road in a T at the bottom of the hill; turn right and go past the edge of the golf course, until it takes you past the Clark and finally to the traffic circle to find you back at campus.
Counter-clockwise: Go to the traffic circle and turn left, towards Garfield and the Clark. Follow this road until you see Ide going up a steep hill on your left, and then when you intersect Rt. 43 at the bottom of a hill in a T, turn left and end up on Water Street.
Distance: 3 miles
Clockwise: Run down Water Street for about a mile and a half until you see Gale on the right side of the road, about 100 meters after Ide. Go up the hill and follow the road past the edge of the golf course, until it takes you past the Clark and finally to the traffic circle to find you back at campus.
Counter-clockwise: Go to the traffic circle and turn left, towards Garfield and the Clark. Follow this road past the golf course, up a hill and down the other side, and then when you intersect Rt. 43 in a T, turn left and end up on Water Street.
Distance: 3.2 miles
Stone Hill Loop
Run to the Clark and find the trail continuing through the woods behind the museum and to the left. The trail heads up a significant hill before forking at the top. The trail to the right meanders and empties onto Stone Hill Road (more like a wide trail). Continue to the Stone Bench. From there one can continue on the path or turn left to run through the meadow. Both ways lead back to the museum.
Distance: 4 miles ?
Head down Rt. 7 north until you see Cozy Corner Restaurant. Turn right (at the cozy corner) onto Bridges Rd, which becomes North Hoosac Road and takes you to the bridge at the bottom of Cole Field. At the bridge, turn right onto Cole Avenue and cross the bridge, and then either continue up Cole Avenue to the traffic light by the bank, or turn right after crossing the bridge and go up Cole Field.
Distance: 5 miles
Hopkins Forest Short
Run along Rt. 7 north for about half a mile until you see Bulkley Street going uphill on your left. Go up Bulkley, and at the top, turn right. Under 100 meters later, you will see the entrance to Hopkins Forest on your left. Go in the entrance, and then face your decision: either go straight up the steep way, or go right and go up the more gradual way. This author's preferred route is to go straight up the steep part, then come back down the gradual way. Whichever you choose, you will eventually get to a four-way intersection. Since you are doing Hopkins Forest Short, simply take the path back down. If you feel especially chipper, add on the 2.5-mile upper loop (see the longer run below).
Distance: 5.5 miles
"Forwards": Run down Water Street and continue for about two miles until you see Blair Road on your left. Blair is paved for about 100 meters, then turns into dirt and goes up three hills in a row, culminating in a gorgeous view across fields to the beautiful mountains and the little college in the valley. Then it's all downhill. When you meet Rt. 2 in a T, turn left, which will bring you right back to campus.
"Backwards": Run along Rt. 2 towards North Adams for about half a mile, until you see a road going up to your right, just before the Orchards restaurant. Follow this up, up, up a long hill until the pavement ends and it flattens out. At the top of a gradual hill, look to your right and see the amazing view described above. Then go down three hills, turn right when you hit Rt. 43 in a T, and end up at the top of Water Street.
Distance: 5.6 miles
Go up Rt. 2 to the traffic circle and turn left, towards Garfield and the Clark. Follow this road past the golf course, up a hill and down the other side, and then when you intersect Rt. 43 in a T, turn right and follow it for about half a mile, until you see Blair Road on your left. Blair is paved for about 100 meters, then turns into dirt and goes up three hills in a row, culminating in a gorgeous view across fields to the beautiful mountains and the little college in the valley. Then it's all downhill. When you meet Rt. 2 in a T, turn left, which will bring you right back to campus. Fun fact: Diana Davis once did this run three times in a row, without stopping.
Distance: 5.9 miles
A run only for the crazy and the stubborn, this is usually considered a hike. Run down Cole Field, turn left onto Cole Avenue, cross the bridge, go right for a few paces and then cross the road and go up the very steep paved driveway on the left. Follow it up, go around the gate, continue past the mailboxes (don't go up the hill into the housing development) and soon come upon a trail on your left that mentions Pine Cobble and the AT. The trail is pretty easy to follow; it even has blazes. When you get to the top, look at the beautiful view, then turn around and run back down, being careful not to trip on the rocks and roots and such.
Distance: 6 miles
Follow Pine Cobble about halfway up, then take a left onto the Class of '98 trail. You'll know it from the sign that says "Class of '98 Trail" on it. This cuts sideways along the mountain and is fairly rocky, but also fairly flat. Follow for about a mile, then take a left down a wide, grassy trail (the Chestnut Trail). At the bottom of this trail is a 4 way intersection. Take a left here back into the woods- after about a mile, you will end up at the top of Chestnut Rd. Follow this down to North Hoosac Rd., then take a left back to Cole Ave, or a right to finish the Cozy Corner loop.
Distance: 6 miles
Run down Rt. 7 N about half a mile, turn left and run up Bulkley Street, turn right, pass the entrance to Hopkins Forest on your left, and keep going over a small bridge. Just over the bridge, a trail takes off to the right. This is the Hopkins Special trail. I don't know where it goes because I've only gone out and back on it, which was a nice run, but I've heard good things.
Run down Water Street and continue for about two miles until you see Blair Road on your left. Blair is paved for about 100 meters, then turns into dirt and goes up three hills in a row, culminating in a gorgeous view across fields to the beautiful mountains and the little college in the valley. From the top of the hill, it's about a half mile downhill, then turn right onto Longview Terrace. Work your way through the residential development until you intersect Luce Road in a T; then turn left onto Luce Road (or see alternative), and when you get to Rt. 2 in a T, turn left to return to campus.
Distance: 7 miles
Alternative: Turn right onto Luce and follow it up, up, up to the top of Mount Greylock.
Distance: 15 miles (one way)
Go down Water Street for about two miles until you see a steep road called Scott Hill Road on your right. Go up the hill and after a few hundred meters you will see a road to your right. This turns into dirt and becomes more like a trail. Follow this road until you get to Stone Bench. Then either go straight or turn left; both ways take you down the hill with the cows to the Clark. Remember to latch the gates behind you. Turn left out of the Clark driveway, which will take you to the traffic circle and back to campus.
Distance: 7.5 miles (?)
Hopkins Forest Long
Run along Rt. 7 north for about half a mile until you see Bulkley Street going uphill on your left. Go up Bulkley, and at the top, turn right. Under 100 meters later, you will see the entrance to Hopkins Forest on your left. Hopkins Forest paths are shaped like a figure-8, so you have 2x2=4 different ways to do your run. The first choice is to either go straight up the steep way, or go right and go up the more gradual way. Either way, you will eventually get to a four-way intersection. There, you can once again turn right or left to choose your desired orientation for the upper loop. This author's preferred route is to go straight up the steep part, then go around the upper loop counter-clockwise, and come back down the gradual side of the lower loop. Whichever way you choose, get to the bottom (or see alternative, below) and return to campus either by Bulkley or West Main.
Distance: 8 miles
Alternative: On the upper loop there is a trail going off to the right that will lead you to the taconic crest. This is steep uphill for a long time, and I have never done it, but there are great views at the top.
Distance: 15 miles (?)
Pronounced "Triple-R Brooks," and named for a guy whose name was R.R.R. Brooks, in the sense that it was actually Robert Randolph Raymond Brooks or some such thing. Anyway, follow Rt. 7 south for about half a mile until you see Bee Hill Road, a dirt road going uphill on the right. Go up for perhaps a quarter of a mile, cross a small bridge, and then find a path going off to the right, labeled RRR. I don't know where it goes, but the men's cross country team runs it often.
Distance: 8 miles (?)
Run along Rt. 7 north for about two miles. The road curves to the left, with the Chef's Hat restaurant inside the curve. Do not curve to the left; instead, take the dirt road to the right on the outside of the curve. Cross the little parking lot and follow the trail up, up, up through the field and gaze at the gorgeous view. Then follow the path into the woods. Eventually the path turns into more like a road. At intersections, follow the signs that will take you to Vermont. You will go downhill a lot, and eventually end up on North Hoosac Road. When you get to the bridge that is Cole Avenue, turn right and either go up Cole Avenue to campus, or turn right shortly after crossing the bridge and go up Cole Field to campus.
Note: These directions are not very good and you might get lost if you follow them. However, the view at the top of the meadow is worth it.
Distance: 9 miles (?)
Bee Hill - Stone Hill
Follow Rt. 7 south for about half a mile until you see Bee Hill Road, a dirt road going uphill on the right. Go up, up, up Bee Hill (the hill is about a mile long, and quite steep). At the top of the hill, go straight across and down the trail on the other side (Old Bee Hill Rd: once a part of the Boston-Albany Turnpike, though upkeep on it by the town stopped in the 80's, and it has been returning to nature ever since). Take this for about a mile until you get to Berlin Mtn. Rd.; turn left (downhill) and follow Hemlock Brook down the mountain until you reach Oblong. Take a right here, go past the Novitiate Carmelite, and then a left onto Woodcock Rd. Follow this across Rt. 43, up Scott Hill Rd, and then a left onto Stone Hill Rd. at the top. At the top of the hill this turns into more of a trail than a road (although this is more of the previously mentioned Boston-Albany Turnpike). Follow the trail until you get to Stone Bench. Then either go straight or turn left; both ways take you down the hill with the cows to the Clark. Remember to latch the gates behind you. Turn left out of the Clark driveway, which will take you to the traffic circle and back to campus.
Distance: 8 miles
Bee Hill - Oblong
Great for those who prefer dirt roads. Follow Rt. 7 south for about half a mile until you see Bee Hill Road, a dirt road going uphill on the right. Go up, up, up Bee Hill (the hill is about a mile long, and quite steep). At the top of the hill, turn left and go about a half mile until you see Torrey Woods Road on the right. Take this for a very short time and then turn left on Oblong Road. Follow Oblong (which is all dirt) until you hit Rt. 43; turn left onto Rt 43, which will take you to Five Corners. There you can choose whether to take Rt. 7 or Rt. 43 back to campus; Rt. 7 is shorter but has more traffic.
Distance: 11 miles (?)
Run along Rt. 2 towards North Adams for a little over a mile, turning right onto Luce Road. Go up Luce Road and follow it up; when you get to a slight intersection, bear left, which will take you past a farm with cows. Continue up the road; you will eventually see a reservoir (which looks like an earthen wall on the right if you don't get up onto it and see that there's water in it). Near the end of the reservoir, you will get to an intersection with one road going down to the left and one going up to the right. Go up to the right. From there, it's about eight miles to the top. Get to the top, look around, climb the tower, and then run back to campus.
Distance: ~25 miles (12-13 each way)
Alternatively, start from the Berkshire Mall outside of Pittsfield, run up Rt 8 until Cheshire, find the AT on the left side of the road, hike over Greylock back to school. Best time of day to do it: 7pm-2am. Ask Alex Ambros '09 about details if you're interested.
Distance: ~25 miles (but it feels like a lot more)
Runs to drive to
Of course, you could run to them, but why would you want to? The good part is when you get there.
Drive down Water Street about 2.5 miles until the road curves sharply to the right. Don't curve sharply to the right; go straight, across a small bridge, and park in the parking lot. The trail is to the right, and leads you through the woods up to the beautiful roads of Mount Hope Farm. Run around, out and back, up and around, find the nice trail through the woods, and look forward to Senior Week.
Distance: 3+ miles
Drive to Mt. Greylock Regional High School, park in the parking lot, and then run back out the driveway. Turn left and then turn left again on the first road you get to, Woodcock Road. Keep turning left and follow Oblong (don't turn left onto Sloane Road unless you want to cut off distance) until you get to Rt. 43; turn left and go to Five Corners; then bear straight/left up Rt. 7, up the hill and then turn left back into the parking lot.
Distance: 4 miles
Taconic Crest Trail
Take Rt. 7 S and then turn right a few miles later where Rt. 2 splits off to the right and goes uphill. Drive up the hill, and shortly past the Welcome to New York sign that tells you to quit talking on your cell phone, there is a parking area on the left. Park there. Now you have two choices.
The most popular is to cross the road (carefully!), climb up the steep part of the trail, and then run along the Taconic Crest. There are beautiful views, and after about a half hour of running you will see a small sign that points you to the snow hole, a cave with snow in it even in the summer. There is some trail on the right that will take you down to Hopkins Forest, but I have never done it so I don't know where it is. Then turn around and go back.
The second option is that from the parking area, go away from the road and find the trail. This trail leads similarly along the Taconic Crest, but there is no snow hole. Also, it can be quite muddy and steep.
Alternatively, you can do this as a run from campus. Head down Route 7 towards Vermont until you hit Bulkley Street, then run up into HMF. Go right to start the lower loop and take another right when you hit where the trails cross. About 1.5 miles after this turn, you'll see a trail off to your right leading up the mountain (I can't remember the name, but it is right before the big wooden bridge, and it has blue blazes). Follow this trail up for about 1.8 miles (this is a really hard climb, but it's fun too...) and when you get to the top take a left. You are now running along the Taconic Crest. Run along the crest for a little less than a mile, and take the next trail off to your left (If you hit route 2 you've gone too far, way too far). Follow this trail down until you come to a T with Route 2 immediately on your right and a short trail leading to a field on your left. Run toward the field and then through the field (watch out for snakes and check yourself for ticks after you've gotten through it). On the other side of the field is the RRR Brooks trail that you can follow all the way back to Bee Hill. This is a long, steep, often muddy, sometimes flooded, but wickedly awesome run.
All told the run is somewhere in the ballpark of 10-12 miles, but you're climbing for a good deal of it, so be sure to plan your time conservatively.