One of the best parts of living near University of Central Florida's beautiful outdoor campus is the many surrounding trails. From nature lovers to workout enthusiasts, there's a loop for all types of lifestyles. While new buildings and apartments near UCF seem to sprout up every day, UCF prioritizes preserving many of these trail loops to keep them a great place for cyclists, runners, and even Frisbee golfers to have a fun outdoor space!
Orlando apartments are along the way of many trails in the UCF area and where there isn't an apartment community, shopping center, or swampy pond there are usually hidden loops ready to be explored. McCulloch Road, Alafaya Trail, Tanner Road, and other areas have fantastic loops right off the road that makes for great shady runs. Most students don't know about these loops but this article will help you uncover the secrets to finding a running loop in the area thats perfect for you. We've compiled a list of the best trails near UCF:
Holiday Inn Loop
Behind the Holiday Inn Hotel on University Blvd and High Tech Ave lies a popular loop for students. This little trail is less than a mile long and consists mainly of wood chips along the path. It's a great loop for a short and fast paced run. The route is very secluded and private even though it is open to the public. Dunedin historic district is also just a short walk down the trail. Overall, its a great place to get a quick outdoor workout in between classes! Bonus Tip: Look out for rabbits on your run!
UCF Frisbee Golf Loop
This is one of UCF's several on campus routes across the street from the football stadium where Gemini Blvd and Orion Blvd meet. Depending on the path you take this trail cal be anywhere between 1.5 to 3 miles. It usually isn't very crowded. Its also easily accessible to many UCF off-campus apartments because of its just into campus on the southern most side. Probably the best parts of this trail are the scenic views. From ponds to shaded forrest sections you'll never be bored during your run. You also may run into the Presidents house and a great view of the ropes course near by! Bonus: There is a Frisbee golf course so grab some friends and play sometime, it's incredibly fun!
UCF North Loop
Starting from the Lake Claire Rec Area runs a trail about 1 to 2 miles circularly behind the baseball fields. Like most of the trail its pretty scenic and private so its great if you're looking for a more low key spot. Bonus: Watch out for flying balls from the baseball field!
If you're feeling a little more adventurous and want a break from the monotony of campus, there is a trail a mile from campus where McCulloch Road and Tanner Road meet. Starting at the trailhead, this loop runs anywhere from two miles to five around. I usually play it safe and take the two-mile loop multiple times as the loop floods after rain. This loop is open to cyclists and runners and you'll usually only pass a few people during your time here. Bonus: The southwest portion of this loop has an ancient-looking river full of cool sights. Bonus: The southwest portion of this loop has an ancient-looking river full of cool sights.
The UCF Arboretum is the best place to explore nature while on campus. It holds a grouping of trailheads for students as well as many other related events and education services. You can check out a full map of routes
. Bonus: Its a great place to watch the stars!
With the hot summer weather in central Florida, trails are a great way to still workout outside because you don't have to worry about running at night to avoid the heat. Its really hard running more than a few miles without being shaded during these scorching months. You should look into these trails individually. If you have a pet, take them for a walk around some of these loops (if allowed), take some friends and try a round of Frisbee golf, or lace up some shoes and get a great workout in the shade and see Florida nature at it's best.
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