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LaFortune And Riverside: Tulsa's Best Jogging Trails
Tulsa, Oklahoma is a great city to get outdoors to work out. the scenery in certain areas is wonderful and the weather stays warm for numerous months. Two jogging trails in particular stand out as Tulsa's best: LaFortune Park and Riverside Park. Each park offers benefits to those looking to go for a jog or walk.
LaFortune Park is located on Yale Avenue, stretching between 51st and 61st Streets. One of LaFortune's biggest selling points is its 5K trails circling around the park. This makes LaFortune ideal for those preparing to run 5K and 10K races, as the distance is pre-measured. The scenery at LaFortune is another asset; there is a pretty pond with ducks and birds, a golf course, Little League diamonds, and a playground for kids. While you jog, there is a lot going on to hold your attention. When the weather is dry, the path provides easy running. Made mostly of a hard sand and gravel mixture, the trail is easy on your feet and knees. Problems can occur, however, if it has rained recently. Puddles quickly occur and are slow to drain.
The 5K route at LaFortune is well signed with distance markers, which can be found every quarter mile. This can be seen as good or bad, depending on your opinions. Some runners like to know exactly how far they've gone, while others see it as a constant reminder of the distance that lies ahead. Regardless, it is clear that the park strives to provide a comprehensive trail experience. The trail is lined with grassy areas, which gives your pup plenty of room to do its business when you bring him along. Parking is ample, with several lots located around the trail. Overall, LaFortune is a great park area in the midst of city living.
Riverside Park offers a completely different trail atmosphere from LaFortune. Located along the banks of the Arkansas river, Riverside begins at 11th Street, almost downtown, and runs south all the way to 101st Street. It's long, straight path is ideal for jogging and roller blading. Riverside's best feature is the path itself. There are separate fast and slow lanes, so you will rarely get caught up behind a group moving slower than you. The paved surface is smooth and level, and is divided in half, easily accommodating travel in either direction. Scenery is another of Riverside's strong points. The river is always in view, with playgrounds, gazebos, and disc golf courses scattered along the way. You can even rent bikes from various stations at Riverside.
Distance can be a challenge at Riverside, however. It is important that you know where to turn around in order to complete your desired distance, and turning back is generally not the preferred way to get back to your start point. Riverside does offer a solution, however, with several pedestrian bridges crossing the Arkansas River and trails found on both sides at some points. The best way to get back to your start point is pre-plan your route, accounting for distance across the river twice, making a circle route. There is plenty of parking, though most runners have their favorite parking lot, as some get busy throughout the summer. The parking lot you choose can also significantly impact the distance for which you are targeting.
Both LaFortune and Riverside provide trails perfect for exercising. If you are looking for a centrally located, convenient running outlet, LaFortune is for you. If scenery and modern, well-designed trails are more your style, Riverside will appeal strongly to you. Either way, you are sure to enjoy your next workout in Tulsa.Linda Riley - Linda, a Chicago-suburb native and Ohio State Alum, is living Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband and pug. She holds a B.S.B.A. in Marketing, as well as a B.A. in French. She and her husband are owners of a loc...
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