Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO RUN at Disney's Old Key West-Saratoga Springs trail is a perfect !

You’d be surprised at how many people go for a run while they’re on vacation in Walt Disney World.

We’re not talking about the folks who sprint madly — often with kids and bags of souvenirs in tow — to the next attraction, ride or show or to get to a waiting bus or monorail before it pulls out of the station.

No, we’re talking about people who lace up their running shoes and head out to the roadways and byways in and around the massive resort.

You know. The ones who go for a run rain or shine, hot or cold, hurricane or blizzard. The hard-core types.

Although I’ve completed three Walt Disney World marathons, two half-marathons and the Goofy Race-and-a-Half Challenge, my favorite running memories within the confines of the WDW property are on trails less traveled.

I’ve been known to run around the Boardwalk area, from the Yacht & Beach Club all the way down to the entrance of Hollywood Studios ... and on to the Epcot back entrance before heading for a refreshing swim.

Clunking along on the wooden boards is different, to say the least, as is the cross-training workout you get dodging a seemingly endless stream of folks out for a stroll.

The mile-long walkway leading from the Boardwalk to Hollywood Studios is usually free of pedestrian traffic, but the wide variety of waterfowl makes for a far-from-lonely journey.

I’ve run in the parking lots of the massive All-Star Resorts and the Animal Kingdom Lodge area, but frankly, that’s pretty boring.

I’ve even run along golf course cart paths. It’s a practice that’s frowned upon, but I only run at night when the golfers and their errant drives are long gone and the cooling sprinklers are in full sprits mode.

But by far my favorite running trail on the WDW property is the paved path linking the Old Key West Resort with Saratoga Springs.

Wide-open, scenic thoroughfare along waterway

It’s a wide-open, scenic thoroughfare that runs parallel to the waterway that carries water taxis from Old Key West, Saratoga and Port Orleans to the Downtown Disney area.

When we’re staying at the Old Key West, I’ll hop on the trail at the end of Peninsular Road, which is near the quiet pool between buildings 55 and 56.

The trail, which offers plenty of shade, follows the canal to a golf cart bridge leading into Saratoga Springs. I usually make my way onto the Saratoga property and stop for a drink near the main pool. If nature calls, well, I can take care of that there, too.

Every once in a while, I’ll continue onward to the massive Downtown Disney West Side area, where there also are some trails less traveled along the lake.


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