Stony Brook, NY

The 4 Best Places to Run Near Stony Brook

Ryan Fan

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Growing up in the Stony Brook area since high school, being a runner was often difficult. Many roads had almost no shoulder or sidewalk and I always feared running on busy roads like Route 25A for that reason. However, I became a great runner in the Stony Brook area, and there were plenty of good places to run near Stony Brook. Here are four:

1. The Belle Meade Trails

I went to high school at Ward Melville High School and ran at the Belle Meade trails every day after school. I call them the Belle Meade Trails because they are accessible from Belle Meade Road. The east side of Belle Meade Road contains winding bike trails where you will frequently run into mountain bikers. You have flat options as well as hilly options, and there are occasional signs and markings that will tell you where to go. On the west side are extremely hilly trails as well as a pedestrian trail to get onto Poet Lane. On Google Maps, these trails are called the Laurel Ridge Nature Preserve and again, they are predominantly bike paths, so be careful, look out, and communicate on many of the one-person wide paths.

2. Avalon Park

Avalon Park is a smaller park and set of trails off of Harbor Road in Stony Brook. It has a nice park that has a set of stairs, but the nature preserve is an even better place to run. There are four trails within the preserve, one that is a 1.1 mile loop around the meadow, and another that is 2.2 miles long around trails. A short park goes uphill onto Rhododendron Road onto the meadow part of the trail. There are smaller trails within the larger trail if you would like to go on a hillier adventure, and they are quite the challenge. If you get tired of Avalon, nearby Harbor Road presents a runnable road with high visibility to get more of a challenge of hills and more variety into your run.

3. Circle Road

Circle Road on Stony Brook University is also a great place to run in the Stony Brook area, literally around the heart of Stony Brook University. You can go either clockwise or counterclockwise, touring the whole campus from the hospital to the train station. You can also bridge off Circle Road at any point to explore more of the campus, and the track is usually accessible as well. Doing loops around the stadium to see the games going on as well as residential quads like the West Apartments is a great way to get a long run in.

4. West Meadow Beach

Stony Brook and the surrounding Setauket area can be extremely hilly, but one part of East Setauket is relatively flat and has great scenery simultaneously. You can explore around West Meadow Beach to attack hills, but an approximately mile-long pavement area is a nice way to explore the beach and get to the end of the beach. You will encounter a lot of walkers and bikers who motivate you along the way, but West Meadow Beach is also a great place to do workouts on a straight, flat path.

Photo from Traitor on Wikipedia Commons

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Believer, Baltimore City special ed teacher, and 2:40 marathon runner. Diehard fan of "The Wire," God's gift to the Earth. Support me: https://ko-fi.com/ryanfan

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