The best way to experience a city when traveling is to set your alarm clock an hour earlier than normal and go for a run. From Washington DC to San Francisco to Chicago, New York, Bangkok, and beyond, I love getting up early and going for a run when I’m on a road trip.
On a recent long weekend escape with our family to Medicine Hat, Alberta, I needed to get a 10 mile run in as part of some half marathon training. I poked around MapMyRun to look for routes, I canvassed locals on Twitter, I looked up courses for local races, sought out local running groups, and eventually landed on a map from Tourism Medicine Hat that showed me how to link a couple of routes together.
The biggest issue of trying to plan my running route in Medicine Hat, was to avoid hills. With the South Saskatchewan River and the Seven Persons Creek bisecting the town, there are a couple of big hills to climb when you go for a run in Medicine Hat. BUT.. if you stick to following the river, or coulee, you can get some nice long stretches without much elevation change.
For my route, I parked at the Saamis Teepee and headed down into Seven Persons Creek. I crossed under the Trans Canada Highway into Kin Park and followed the beautiful pathway all the way to Strathcona Island Park.
Here I had a few kilometres to run along the banks of the South Saskatchewan River before turning around and heading back from where I came. The out and back route hit my required 15k run for my training program.
Police Point Park
There are a couple of routes you can do to see this parkland in the city. You can start at the entrance to the park near the Medicine Hat Golf Club, run in and around and back, for a 4k loop (blue) or you can start closer to downtown, tracing more of the river before looping into the park for an out and back of 5.5k, You could stretch it even further once inside Police Point Park as gravel trails criss cross the area making it wonderful for running and exploring.
Downtown and Strathcona Island Park
If you need a coffee fix before or after your run, starting downtown and then running along the pathways along the south side of the South Saskatchewan River would be the way to go. Station Coffee Co will be your home base as you loop out and back for about a 7km loop on this light blue trail.
Medicine Hat College
If you’re not adverse to the hills of the Seven Persons Creek, then a run around Medicine Hat College linking the Saamis Teepee and Kin Coulee Park is the way to go. Be warned, it may look like a manageable 5km loop but both the red an pink trails above feature serious elevation gains in a very short distance. The purple trail is just a 3km loop that stays on top of the ridge giving nice views of the creek valley below.
Where is your favourite place to go for a run in Medicine Hat?
Disclosure: We were guests of Stay In Medicine Hat for our long weekend visit.