Running Routes

With the help of Gmap-Pedometer, an excellent resource made by runners that works with Google Maps to provide runners an accurate way of measuring their courses, RunVassar.com has created a series of running routes of varying distances near Vassar’s campus!

Backside – 1.67 miles

Here are directions for Backside.  We suggest that you jot down a few notes, and carry them with you on the run so you don’t get lost.  Trails can be a little tricky no matter how straightforward they are.  Good luck!

Start in the northwest corner of Ballantine Field (near the storage shed), facing away from the TAs, with Walker Fieldhouse on your left.  About 80 meters ahead you should see a yellow gate, which is your first target.  Run past the yellow gate, and continue along the well-beaten ridge overlooking Sunset Lake.  This ridge leads into a wide trail after about 180m.  Run into the trail, heading up a fairly steep hill.  The trail levels out briefly before heading up another steep hill beneath a row of powerlines.  At the top of this hill, the trail makes a 90 degree turn to the left.  Take the turn, and feel the relief of a brief downhill which ends abruptly at a T-intersection.  Go right at this intersection and follow the rolling, winding trail for another quarter mile until you hit a street.  At the street, take a left and run straight ahead toward another big yellow gate.  Go around the gate, and you’ll find yourself on the widest part of Backside.  Follow this wide trail for a half mile – there are no turns or intersections.  Eventually you’ll find yourself alongside a fenced in backyard of a local resident.  This marks 1 mile – check your watch.  After two turns in the trail, you’ll emerge onto pavement, heading down a steep hill with the golf course on your left.  At the bottom of this hill, turn right.  Now you’re in the neighborhood behind campus.  Take your first left, follow the curve around, and then take another left down the hill.  At the bottom of the hill, you’ll come to another intersection.  Here, go straight up the hill alongside the golf course.  At the top of the hill, you’ll be in the parking lot outside of the Athletic and Fitness Center.  Head straight back over to Ballantine Field and finish with a few stretches on the grass.

For an interactive map powered by gmap-pedometer and Google Maps, click here.  (The map will open in a new window).

Covered Bridge Loop – 1.87 miles

This loop offers a great alternative when you’re bored with Backside, taking you through a nearby residential neighborhood and back onto campus via Hooker Avenue.  Below are detailed directions and an interactive map.  We suggest that you take notes and carry them with you on the run to avoid getting lost.

Start in the northwest corner of Ballantine Field (near the storage shed), facing away from the TAs, with Walker Fieldhouse on your left.  About 80 meters ahead you should see a yellow gate, which is your first target.  Run past the yellow gate, and continue along the well-beaten ridge overlooking Sunset Lake.  This ridge leads into a wide trail after about 180m.  Run into the trail, heading up a fairly steep hill.  The trail levels out briefly before heading up another steep hill beneath a row of powerlines.  At the top of this hill, the trail makes a 90 degree turn to the left.  Take the turn, and feel the relief of a brief downhill which ends abruptly at a T-intersection.  Go right at this intersection and follow the rolling, winding trail for another quarter mile until you hit a street.  At the street, turn right.  Continue winding downhill on the street, but do not turn off of it.  Eventually, a short street will break off to your right.  Here you’ll see a small covered bridge that leads to Hooker Avenue.  Go under the covered bridge and turn right on Hooker.  Briefly follow along Hooker until you can turn into the Security parking lot.  Take the sidewalk that connects the Security lot to South Lot, and continue along in front of Shipping and Receiving.  Turn right down the hill, and head to Sunset Lake.  Bear left around the lake, and turn right when you get to the road.  Run up the steep road hill, and finish on Ballantine Field.

Click here for an interactive map powered by Gmap-Pedometer.  (map will open in a new window)

Campus Loop – 1.97 miles

An on-campus loop can be an excellent, safe alternative to running the local trails.  The Vassar campus conveniently measures almost exactly 2 miles around the perimeter making it great for short runs and even longer runs (run three Campus Loops for 6 miles).  Below are detailed directions and an interactive map.  The Campus Loop doesn’t leave the walls of Vassar, so you shouldn’t get lost!

Start in the northwest corner of Ballantine Field (near the storage shed), facing away from the TAs, with Walker Fieldhouse on your left.  About 80 meters ahead you should see a yellow gate, which is your first target.  Run past the yellow gate, and continue along the well-beaten ridge overlooking Sunset Lake.  Just before you head into the woods, drop down Sunset Hill to your right.  Pick up the path around the lake, and cross the bridge over the small dam there.  After crossing the bridge, continue straight, veering off the path, and pick up the sidewalk leading up toward South Lot.  Run up the paved hill, but don’t enter South Lot.  Instead, turn right on the well-lit path that drops down a hill and follows along the marsh.  Run past Skinner Hall and veer off this path into the parking lot behind Olmstead Hall (next to the greenhouses).  Run through this parking lot and up the hill behind the Chapel.  Here, turn onto a walking path that leads in front of the Chapel.  Follow the sidewalk that runs parallel to the glass corridor of the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, and cross the main entrance drive near Main Gate.  Then, run in front of the Library, and veer left toward Chicago Hall.  Run all the way around Chicago Hall onto Joss Beach, and run straight for the Tennis Courts behind Josselyn House.  Run around the Tennis courts on the well-lit path, and veer right onto the gravel path that parallels Collegeview Ave.  Follow this gravel path past North Lot and behind ACDC.  As the road bends right towards the Noyes House parking lot, veer left onto a trail.  Follow this trail until it ends near Blodgett Hall.  Follow the road downhill in front of Kenyon Hall, and turn right toward the TAs.  Go up the hill next to the Golf Course Pro Shop, and run in front of Walker to finish at Ballantine Field.  Repeat as desired.

For an interactive map powered by Gmap-Pedometer and Google Maps, click here. (Map will open in a new window)

Old Vassar College Women’s Cross Country Course – 3.00 miles

This was the official course of Vassar Women’s Cross Country until Fall 2008.  It remains the course used for the Founder’s Day Fun Run.  The run consists of road, trail, grass, and gravel, and includes four noteworthy hills.  Below are detailed directions and an interactive map.  We recommend that you take notes and bring them with you to avoid getting lost.

Start in the northwest corner of Ballantine Field (near the storage shed), facing away from the TAs, with Walker Fieldhouse on your left.  About 80 meters ahead you should see a yellow gate, which is your first target.  Run past the yellow gate, and continue along the well-beaten ridge overlooking Sunset Lake.  This ridge leads into a wide trail after about 180m.  Run into the trail, heading up a fairly steep hill.  The trail levels out briefly before heading up another steep hill beneath a row of powerlines.  At the top of this hill, the trail makes a 90 degree turn to the left.  Take the turn, and feel the relief of a brief downhill which ends abruptly at a T-intersection.  Go right at this intersection and follow the rolling, winding trail for another quarter mile until you hit a street.  At the street, take a left and run straight ahead toward another big yellow gate.  Go around the gate, and you’ll find yourself on the widest part of Backside.  Follow this wide trail for a half mile – there are no turns or intersections.  Eventually you’ll find yourself alongside a fenced in backyard of a local resident.  This marks 1 mile – check your watch.  After two turns in the trail, you’ll emerge onto pavement, heading down a steep hill with the golf course on your left.  At the bottom of this hill, turn right.  Now you’re in the neighborhood behind campus.  Take your first left, follow the curve around, and then take another left down the hill.  At the bottom of the hill, you’ll come to another intersection.  Here, go right across the bridge and up the hill past Kenyon Hall.  After passing the Blodgett Parking Lot on your left, turn onto the first path that cuts between Blodgett and Cushing, toward the Old Observatory and Baldwin.  Follow this path briefly before turning left down the rocky hill toward the TAs.  This hill ends in a parking lot at which you’ll turn right.  Follow along the road along the stream, and continue onto the path around Sunset Lake.  Take one lap around the lake, and head back out through the parking lot along the stream (you’re backtracking now).  Turn back up the rocky hill you just came down, and run up it, turning right at the top in front of Blodgett.  Turn right to drop down the hill in front of Kenyon, cross the bridge, and then turn right up the hill past the Golf Course.  Follow the road in front of the Athletic and Fitness Center, and run onto Ballantine Field.  The finish line is at the far end of the field.

Click here for an interactive map powered by Gmap-Pedometer and Google Maps.  (map will open in separate window)

Morning Loop – 3.17 miles

Morning Loop is a great, easy run on the Vassar Farm featuring both road and trail.  It is similar to the Harvest Loop, but shorter.  Below are detailed directions for this loop.  We suggest that you take notes and carry them with you on your run.

From the corner of Ballantine Field near the storage shed, proceed straight briefly before following the road to the right down to Sunset Lake.  After you cross the bridge, bear left on the gravel path, and run along the west side of the lake.  Follow the gravel path as it bears right and over a wood bridge onto pavement.  Follow this sidewalk up the hill to South Lot.  Turn left to run on the sidewalk in front of Shipping & Receiving, and continue past the SoCos.  Once into the Security Parking Lot, turn right and cross Hooker Avenue.  After you’ve crossed Hooker, turn left and follow this major road.  You’ll turn right at the first traffic light onto Zach’s Way, a quiet street with no houses.  Run along Zach’s way for some time, but be vigilant – you’re looking for a sometimes-hard-to-spot trail on the right side of the street.  Just after a Speed Limit sign, you’ll see the trail marked by a white pipe that sticks out of the ground.  Take the trail up a hill to a T-intersection, and turn right.  Now, follow the trail that you’re on (Harvest Trail) through the woods, into a clearing, and down and up a hill.  At the top of the hill, you’ll follow the trail out from the woods, and follow the fence that borders the Vassar Farm Gardens.  Continue straight towards the Rugby Field until you hit the gravel Farm Road.  Turn right on the Farm Road, and follow it back to Hooker.  Enter South Lot and make your way back past Sunset Lake onto Ballantine Field.

For an interactive map of this course, click here. (The map will open in a new window)

Zach’s Way/Boardman Loop – 3.21 miles

The 3.21 mile Zach’s Way/Boardman Loop is an excellent route for winter running or for those who want to avoid trails.  Here are detailed directions and an interactive map.  We recommend that you take notes and carry them with you while you run.

From the corner of Ballantine Field near the storage shed, proceed straight briefly before following the road to the right down to Sunset Lake.  After you cross the bridge, bear left on the gravel path, and run along the west side of the lake.  Follow the gravel path as it bears right and over a wood bridge onto pavement.  Follow this sidewalk up the hill to South Lot.  Turn left to run on the sidewalk in front of Shipping & Receiving, and continue past the SoCos.  Once into the Security Parking Lot, turn right and cross Hooker Avenue.  After you’ve crossed Hooker, turn left and follow this major road.  You’ll turn right at the first traffic light onto Zach’s Way, a quiet street with no houses.  Follow Zach’s Way for some time, and make your first left turn onto Boardman.  This turn is almost a complete cutback, and could be hard to spot.  If you come to Our Lady of Lourdes High School, you’ve gone too far.  After turning onto Boardman, follow the road straight all the way until it ends at Hooker Avenue.  Turn left on Hooker, and jog up to the Security Parking Lot.  Cross the street into the parking lot, and run past the SoCos, Shipping & Receiving, and Sunset Lake to finish your run on Ballantine Field.

For an interactive map powered by Gmap-Pedometer and Google Maps, click here (the map will open in a new window).

Harvest Loop – 4.22 miles

Harvest Loop is a great run – flat and smooth on safe trails and paths on the Vassar Farm.  It’s a little long, but there are many ways to cut the length.  You could even walk to the Farm before starting to run.  Here are detailed directions to guide you.  We suggest that you jot down a few notes, and carry them with you.

From the corner of Ballantine Field near the storage shed, proceed straight briefly before following the road to the right down to Sunset Lake.  After you cross the bridge, bear left on the gravel path, and run along the west side of the lake.  Follow the gravel path as it bears right and over a wood bridge onto pavement.  Follow this sidewalk up the hill to South Lot.  Turn left to run on the sidewalk in front of Shipping & Receiving, and continue past the SoCos.  Once into the Security Parking Lot, turn right and cross Hooker Avenue.  Jog down Hooker Avenue to the Vassar Farm entrance, and head down the Farm Road.  Follow the Farm Road straight out to the Rugby Field.  After passing the Rugby Field on your right and the Gardens on your left, turn left onto a well-beaten trail and follow it along the fence of the Gardens. This trail will lead you down a hill through the woods and over a small bridge, before rising back up the hill to a clearing.  Run through the clearing and back into the woods once more.  Here you’ll come to a T-intersection.  Continue straight through this intersection (do not turn left), and keep following the trail.  Finally, the trail ends in a field behind the Vassar Farm Station.  Run to the front of the Farm Station to meet the Farm Road.  Follow this gravel road all the way back past the Rugby Field and out to Hooker Avenue.  From Hooker, find your way back through South Lot, past Sunset Lake, and onto Ballantine Field to complete the 4.2 mile loop.

For an interactive map of this course powered by Gmap-Pedometer and Google Maps, click here (map opens in new window).

Ridge Run – 4.62 miles

Ridge Run is a favorite of the Vassar cross country team.  The route is short, but by no means easy, as much of it is uphill.  Below are detailed directions and an interactive map.  We suggest that you take notes and bring them with you to avoid getting lost – Ridge Run can be, at times, difficult to navigate.

From the corner of Ballantine Field near the storage shed, proceed straight briefly before following the road to the right down to Sunset Lake.  After you cross the bridge, bear left on the gravel path, and run along the west side of the lake.  Follow the gravel path as it bears right and over a wood bridge onto pavement.  Follow this sidewalk up the hill to South Lot.  Turn left to run on the sidewalk in front of Shipping & Receiving, and continue past the SoCos.  Once into the Security Parking Lot, turn right and cross Hooker Avenue.  Jog down Hooker Avenue to the Vassar Farm entrance, and head down the Farm Road.  After passing through the yellow gate (which is typically open), turn right and follow the near sideline of the rugby field toward the woods.  At the corner of the field, look ahead and see the trail entrance about 100 feet in front of you.  Enter the trail there, and follow straight.  This trail eventually ends at a stream crossing where it intersects with two other trails.  Bear left onto a new trail that heads up a hill.  Now you’re on a clear cut trail with no confusing spots.  This is the Ridge.  Only one trail runs along the ridge, so just keep following it straight.  The trail runs up and down several hills, running parallel to the Farm Road.  After about a mile and a half, you’ll finally come to a turn in the trail.  This is a T-intersection at which you can go straight or turn left.  The spot is marked by an old piece of foundation or a chimney with a rock on top that resembles a squirrel.  This is cleverly known as the Squirrel Statue.  Turn left at the Squirrel and follow the trail through a clearing.  At the end of the clearing, you can go straight across a bridge, or left along a pond.  Follow along the pond to the left.  This trail will soon end at the Farm Road.  Head straight on the Farm Road, up the hill, and follow it for about a mile back to Hooker Ave.  Head back to campus and finish at Ballantine Field.

For an interactive map powered by Gmap-Pedometer and Google Maps, click here. (Map will open in new window)

Old Vassar College Men’s Cross Country Course – 4.98 miles

The Old Vassar Men’s Cross Country Course extends the old women’s 3-mile course to about 5 miles in compliance with the standard NCAA Division III men’s cross country course length (however in since Fall 2008 it is no longer used for competition).  The course comprises trail, grass, pavement, and gravel to make a challenging but fast run.  Below are detailed directions and an interactive map.  We recommend that you take notes and carry them with you to avoid getting lost.

Start in the northwest corner of Ballantine Field (near the storage shed), facing away from the TAs, with Walker Fieldhouse on your left.  About 80 meters ahead you should see a yellow gate, which is your first target.  Run past the yellow gate, and continue along the well-beaten ridge overlooking Sunset Lake.  This ridge leads into a wide trail after about 180m.  Run into the trail, heading up a fairly steep hill.  The trail levels out briefly before heading up another steep hill beneath a row of powerlines.  At the top of this hill, the trail makes a 90 degree turn to the left.  Take the turn, and feel the relief of a brief downhill which ends abruptly at a T-intersection.  Go right at this intersection and follow the rolling, winding trail for another quarter mile until you hit a street.  At the street, take a left and run straight ahead toward another big yellow gate.  Go around the gate, and you’ll find yourself on the widest part of Backside.  Follow this wide trail for a half mile – there are no turns or intersections.  Eventually you’ll find yourself alongside a fenced in backyard of a local resident.  This marks 1 mile – check your watch.  After two turns in the trail, you’ll emerge onto pavement, heading down a steep hill with the golf course on your left.  At the bottom of this hill, turn right.  Now you’re in the neighborhood behind campus.  Take your first left, follow the curve around, and then take another left down the hill.  At the bottom of the hill, you’ll come to another intersection.  Here, go right across the bridge and up the hill past Kenyon Hall.  After passing the Blodgett Parking Lot on your left, turn onto the first path that cuts between Blodgett and Cushing, toward the Old Observatory and Baldwin.  Follow this path briefly before turning left down the rocky hill toward the TAs.  This hill ends in a parking lot at which you’ll turn right.  Follow along the road along the stream, and continue onto the path around Sunset Lake.  Take one lap around the lake, and head back out through the parking lot along the stream (you’re backtracking now).  Turn back up the rocky hill you just came down, and run up it, turning right at the top in front of Blodgett.  Turn right to drop down the hill in front of Kenyon, cross the bridge, and then turn right up the hill past the Golf Course.  Follow the road in front of the Athletic and Fitness Center toward Ballantine Field, but do not go on the field.  Follow the road aroudn the the right of the field, and head back through the Yellow Gate and into the woods.  Run the woods section described above again, past Kenyon and Blodgett, down the hill, and toward Sunset Lake.  On this second loop, rather than running around the Lake, turn left up the road.  Go up the hill, and finish in a diagonal bee-line toward the birch tree in the corner of the field.

For an interactive map powered by Gmap-Pedometer and Google Maps, click here. (Map will open in a seperate window).

Golf Course Short – 6.22 miles

The Golf Course Loop is commonly run by Vassar runners in the winter months because of the amount of road on the route.  The Short version of this loop offers an alternative for the snow-free months that cuts through the Vassar Farm trails.  Below is a detailed description of the route and an interactive map.  We suggest you take notes and carry them with you on the run to avoid getting lost.

From the corner of Ballantine Field near the storage shed, proceed straight briefly before following the road to the right down to Sunset Lake.  After you cross the bridge, bear left on the gravel path, and run along the west side of the lake.  Follow the gravel path as it bears right and over a wood bridge onto pavement.  Follow this sidewalk up the hill to South Lot.  Turn left to run on the sidewalk in front of Shipping & Receiving, and continue past the SoCos.  Once into the Security Parking Lot, turn right and cross Hooker Avenue.  Jog down Hooker Avenue to the Vassar Farm entrance, and head down the Farm Road.  Follow the Farm road for about a mile until, at the bottom of a big downhill, the road turns sharply left.  Without taking this sharp turn, veer straight off the road onto the trail ahead.  Follow along with the pond on your right, and bear right when the trail splits.  Follow the trail through a clearing to the Squirrel Statue T-intersection.  Turn left at this intersection, and follow the rocky, uphill trail until it ends at a road (Cedar Ave).  Turn left on Cedar, and then right when it ends at Spackenkill Road.  Follow along Spackenkill Rd past the high school, and turn right on Laffin Lane.  Laffin curves around a bit, but eventually ends at Wilbur Blvd.  Turn right on Wilbur, and follow along for quite a while.  You’ll see the public golf course on your right – the namesake of this loop.  After about 2 miles, Wilbur Blvd will end at Hooker Ave.  Turn right on Hooker, and left on Raymond.  Then, enter South Lot and head back to Ballantine Field.

For an interactive map powered by Gmap-Pedometer and Google Maps, click here (map will open in new window).  Please note that this map follows the above directions in reverse order.

Golf Course Loop – 7.01 miles

The Golf Course Loop is a great long run for the winter as it follows plowed, lightly traveled streets and sidewalks.  Below are detailed directions and an interactive map.  We suggest that you take notes and carry them with you to avoid getting lost.

From the corner of Ballantine Field near the storage shed, proceed straight briefly before following the road to the right down to Sunset Lake.  After you cross the bridge, bear left on the gravel path, and run along the west side of the lake.  Follow the gravel path as it bears right and over a wood bridge onto pavement.  Follow this sidewalk up the hill to South Lot.  Turn left to run on the sidewalk in front of Shipping & Receiving, and continue past the SoCos.  Once into the Security Parking Lot, turn right and cross Hooker Avenue.  After you’ve crossed Hooker, turn left and follow this major road.  You’ll turn right at the first traffic light onto Zach’s Way, a quiet street with no houses.  Zach’s Way eventually makes a sharp right turn and changes to Boardman Rd, but this change is generally unnoticed.  Boardman ends at Spackenkill Road.  Turn right and follow down the steep hill.  What goes up must come down – continue up the steep hill, it’s the only tough hill of the course.  Continue following Spackenkill Road past the high school, and turn right on Laffin Lane.  Laffin curves around a bit, but eventually ends at Wilbur Blvd.  Turn right on Wilbur, and follow along for quite a while.  You’ll see the public golf course on your right – the namesake of this loop.  After about 2 miles, Wilbur Blvd will end at Hooker Ave.  Turn right on Hooker, and left on Raymond.  Then, enter South Lot and head back to Ballantine Field.

For an interactive map powered by Gmap-Pedometer and Google Maps, click here (map will open in new window).  Please note that this map follows the above directions in reverse order.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s