Great 5K Runs from the Cornell Campus


Because I teach the Jogging Tours physical education class at Cornell, I’ve developed several 5K runs that depart from the east side of Barton Hall on central campus. These runs introduce the available trails, show off the most beautiful spots on campus, and keep it fun by avoiding the worst of the hills. Here, then, are the routes!

Two Bridges & Cayuga Heights

Cross Fall Creek gorge twice on high-up bridges, and check out the fancy houses in the neighborhood north of campus.

Jogging Tours - Two Bridges-and-CH

Run to Beebe Lake and cross on the car bridge, run north on Triphammer Road to Iroquois, run west through the charming Cayuga Heights neighborhood, circle south to reach and then cross the pedestrian suspension bridge below the Johnson Art Museum, experience the view at the top of Libe Slope, and head back to Barton Hall.

Route Map

Palmer Woods

Enjoy Beebe Lake, a few old-growth trees, and the neighborhood north of campus.

Jogging Tours - Palmer Woods

Run to Beebe Lake and cross the gorge on the pedestrian bridge. Follow the trail along the north side of the lake and then take a sharp left up the stairs to North Campus. Follow the sidewalk past the A Lot until you see a sign saying “Authorized Cornell Vehicles Only,” and head left (west) on the gravel/path. Keep running west to go near to the frisbee golf course and cross the long clearing to the Palmer Woods trail. Run down the trail (if you come to a fork, explore if needed, it will all work out if you go downhill) to Triphammer Road and turn left to make your way back to campus.

Route Map

Five Bridges

This run has no lack of…bridges! Big ones and little ones. Count ’em as you go.

Jogging Tours - Five Bridges

Run to Beebe Lake, and cross the gorge on the pedestrian bridge. Follow the trail along the north side of the lake, crossing a simple wooden bridge and a dramatic stone bridge. Pop out onto the road, turn left, and proceed through the Forest Home neighborhood, crossing two one-lane car bridges. Run up the hill on Plantations Road, cut through past the greenhouses, and run by the Vet School. Finally, head back on Campus Road, enjoying the slight downhill and sweeping view to the west as you complete the route.

Route Map

Old Water Tower

Run beneath the nut trees and among the flowers in the Cornell Botanical Gardens. As for the water tower, only the cement base remains, but long-time Cornell runners will recall the white-and-red check pattern on this formerly iconic structure.

Jogging Tours - Old Water Tower

Head east on Campus Road and keep going east to the foundation of what was a huge water tower. Turn left just before the red fire hydrant and proceed back to campus through the Cornell Botanical Garden’s nut grove and wildflower garden, and through the CALs quad.

Route Map

Two Bridges over Cascadilla

This action-packed run crosses Cascadilla Creek twice and goes into Cascadilla Gorge. You’ll see the new-in-2018 grad student housing adjacent the East Hill Recway, as well as the neighborhood south of campus. It also goes by two coffee shops.

Jogging Tours - Cascadilla

Run east on Campus Road to the right-hand turn onto the bike trail immediately before Judd Falls Road. Follow the trail across Cascadilla Creek and then across a big intersection, using the large cross-walk. Take the trail up the hill and turn right at the tee with Maple Avenue. Just before the tiny coffee shop, pick up the bike trail again, now called the East Hill Recway, and check out the new grad student housing on your left. Proceed through the Belle Sherman neighborhood to the 5-Corners intersection and then head down to College Town. Enjoy the trail on the south side of Cascadilla Gorge, cross the pedestrian bridge, climb the stairs, and run back to Barton Hall.

Route Map




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