“I just drove my wife way up to north Fargo and dropped her off. Now she’s running home,” actual words my husband said to his co-workers.
Seeing a mix of concern and judgment spread across their faces, he quickly added, “She asked me to do it! She’s training for a marathon and wanted to hit the good running paths!”
It’s true. When it comes to having the best run, I’m all about finding the best route. Some days that means I can just head out my front door. Other times it takes some strategic planning and extra time.
And throughout my years of running in Fargo, I have found some favorite routes.
Several variables add to the enjoyment of a path: like scenery, adequate snow removal in the winter, and quick access to a bathroom.
And since having kids, ease of stroller running is a recent addition to that criteria list. I often plan a run or race knowing I’ll have one of my boys along in the stroller.
So, grab some water, lace up your sneaks, and join me on a tour of five of the best Fargo running paths, with a few routes in Moorhead and West Fargo as well.
Top 5 Running Paths in Fargo
Distance: 1.5 miles (one-way)
Let’s begin our journey in north Fargo at Elm Street. No nightmares here, just the start of a running path near 15th Avenue North and Elm Street.
The Fargo Mickelson/Tricon path goes south along the river, takes advantage of the landscape and serene vibes only north Fargo can offer. This path checks in at about 1.5 miles and ends near Oak Grove High School.
While this one does not rank as my top choice for running with a stroller, it is totally doable.
2. Downtown Fargo
Start: Oak Grove High School
End: Dike West Park
Distance: 1.5 miles (one way)
I’m not sure the official name of this path, but it is one of my favorites. Sections are often included as part of the course in various races hosted by the Fargo Marathon team.
It begins at Oak Grove; you can enter at South Terrace North or Lower Terrace. Then it weaves along the river and through the edge of Downtown Fargo.
Even next to the busiest part of town, the setting makes this path feel very peaceful. It offers varying terrain and elevations for more of a challenge. And most of the path is nicely paved and wide enough for a stroller.
This path continues onto the south side of Main Avenue. But before we head into the Dike West Park and continue south, let’s pop over to the other side of the river and explore an equally lovely path in Moorhead.
Bonus: Viking Ship Park Trail
If you are interested in taking a trek across the river, on the MN side of downtown is the Moorhead Viking Ship Park trail. This one also originates near Riverfront Park, just south of Oak Grove. Instead of joining up with the same path that goes by downtown Fargo, this one goes through Minnesota.
I’m a Fargo girl, but this path rivals even the best options in Fargo. Much of it follows the river for a beautiful tree-lined jaunt. Then, like its westside counterpart, it continues south of Main Avenue, eventually ending near Woodlawn Park. It also has varying elevation and terrain.
From here, a person could run through Woodlawn Park or head north through the neighborhoods to end up at Gooseberry Park.
Note: If you exit the Viking Ship Park Trail at Woodlawn Park, then run up to Gooseberry Park, there is a spot where you can hop back over to the Fargo side using the bridge at Lindenwood Park. Keep it mind, if the river is high, this bridge will be raised and not accessible.
But now let’s instead take the option that crosses us over the bridge at Dike West Park to meet up again with the Fargo side. We are about to head into one of the best running spots in town.
3. Downtown to Lindenwood
Start: Dike West Park
End: Lindenwood Park
Distance: 2 miles (one way)
Back on the Fargo side of the river, just south of downtown, there’s a path that runs along Dike West Park and the Dike East Dog Park. This is where things get really, really good.
The path continues to run south adjacent to the river, with a clear view of the mighty Red River the entire way. It goes along, past the water treatment plant, Burdick Park, and Ponte’s Park. Next, it meets up with Lindenwood Drive South and runs parallel to the street until entering Lindenwood Park.
I’m telling you, that stretch, nearly two miles, is the best stretch of running in town. There are a few places to pull over for a break and, while the path features some rougher spots, it is plenty wide for comfortable stroller running.
After entering the park, runners have two options to get into the park. One, stay on the path, which now becomes the Lindenwood Bike Path. Two, run along Roger Maris Drive.
For those running with strollers, try the Roger Maris Drive route. The wider, flatter terrain is a much better alternative to the rougher, hillier, and narrower bike path through the trees.
Upon exiting Lindenwood Park, there are a few choices of south Fargo streets to navigate on the way to the next path.
4. Old Milwaukee
Start: Gold Drive
Distance: 3 miles (one way)
If you have gone for a run in south Fargo, it is likely you have crossed or been near the Old Milwaukee Trail. At three miles, this is the longest single path that I’m aware of. With plenty of space, smooth terrain, even a couple porta potties along the way, it is a great option for those running with strollers.
This path begins on Gold Drive, south of the Interstate and 21st Avenue South and ends just north of Rose Creek Parkway along 25th Street South. That’s three peaceful miles through the Brunsdale, Southpoint, and Rose Creek neighborhoods.
5. Centennial and Timberline
End: Same location.
Distance: 1.5 miles (round trip)
If you feel like exiting the Old Milwaukee Trail on 40th Street North, you can make your way west. After less than a mile, you can hook up with a lovely, quiet, tree-lined trail off of Copperfield Court that runs through the Centennial neighborhood and backs up to Timberline.
About ¾ of a mile in, you can keep going ahead into the neighborhood, eventually weaving your way back up to 40th Avenue through Fox Park or Timberline Parkway South. Both options are great for stroller running. Note that if you run through Fox Park, there is a spot where the pavement briefly ends. You’ll have to navigate a short stretch on the grass.
We have started to edge up to the west side of I-29 and don’t think I forgot about West Fargo running paths. I’m going to highlight a couple of my favorites in West Fargo.
Bonus: Urban Plains and Beyond
Starting in Urban Plains Park, near Scheels Arena, head south. You’ll enjoy a path that takes you under 32nd Avenue South and continues past the Brandt Crossing Dog Park and Independence Elementary School. One of my favorite local races, Go Far Woman, begins and ends in this area. The course follows a good chunk of this path as part of the main race routes.
Just south of Independence, the path splits. Those who choose to continue to head south can go nearly all the way down to 52nd Avenue South and find a few offshoots within the Osgood neighborhood.
Choose to head east and the path continues nearly another mile, going under 45th Street and ending at 42nd. From there, it is easy to head back to the Fargo Centennial and Timberline path via 40th Avenue, or continue south to hook up with paths in the Woodhaven neighborhood.
No matter which way you choose to go, this entire path is smooth and wide, and has very few changes in elevation, making it very stroller-friendly.
Extra Bonus: New West Fargo
When it comes to neighborhoods west of the Sheyenne River, I’m not as well-versed in the best paths. Much of that area has really popped up within the past few years and I rarely have a run or race that takes me that far west.
For those of you who run the paths in the Rivers Bend or Shadow Wood neighborhoods, or near that area that’s further west of Scheels Arena and Urban Plains Park, head a bit south. There is this great little bridge that hooks up the west side of the Osgood neighborhood with Carmell Place on the west side of the Sheyenne River. It is a great way to head over to the far west side of West Fargo.