Our Top Picks for Autumn Run Routes

The leaves are falling, kids are back in school and you’re coming down from a non-stop, action-packed summer. Don’t let the frigid first days of fall stop you from staying active. It is a great excuse to create (or maintain) a running routine, which will keep you warm and healthy well into the autumn season.

We have put together something a bit different this month to inspire you to go out for a run. We have chosen our favourite running route in each of the areas we serve: St. Albert, Barrhead, Westlock, Gibbons and Morinville. Additionally, we created a fun, upbeat playlist for you.


A good running trail features natural ground like grass or an unpaved path (without too many roots!) as the terrain is varied and no two steps are the same. Although it is tempting to run right out the back door, the problem with running on pavement is that it is a very hard surface. This increases the impact of running on the body, which can lead to injuries. As well, running on pavement lends itself to every step being the same as the step before and this constant repetition without variation can cause injury, pain and inflammation. If you can, run on the grassy areas beside the pavement on these routes, you will be doing your body a favour in the long run.

You might remember a post we did a couple of months ago about the proper running technique, the minimalist approach. Part of what we stressed was that running at a stride frequency of 180 strides/minute is ideal. The songs we have chosen for these playlists have a tempo of 90 beats per minute, which will help you keep at an ideal stride frequency! We hope you enjoy the rest of fall and are inspired to keep fit with some of our favourite routes and tunes!

Autumn Running Playlist from summitphysio on 8tracks Radio.

St. Albert:

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Looping around the river, this 3.8 Km run is one of our favourites because it’s an easy one to fit into a busy day. You can start wherever is convenient for you!

Barrhead:

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A 3.8 Km. loop around the town, this route is quick and varied with a moderate ascent of 14 metres to challenge those calves.

Westlock:

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This 3.8 Km route has ample grass to run on, as it follows the railway tracks south. Take advantage of the terrain and protect your joints!

Gibbons:

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A short but strenuous 3 Km loop with 21 metres of ascension. This route around Echo Glen Park will keep your heart rate up.

Morinville:

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Tour of the Town, this 10.8 Km test of endurance is the tour de Morinville. You can shorten it in half, to 5.4 Km, by heading North on 100th street. This will make the run more manageable as you work your way up to completing the entire route!

If you are looking for some motivation, and group running is more your thing, Edmonton and St. Albert have many opportunities to join in on a social running club. Here are some that we recommend:

Every Tuesday runners of all levels are invited to join one of the two groups (all paces and elite groups) as they take a 1 hour route around the Edmonton river valley, regardless of the weather! No charge and runs are on a drop-in basis.

Runners and walkers of all abilities are welcome to join in on this social running group that meets twice weekly on a drop-in basis. Everyone is welcome. The larger group is split into several sub-groups according to pace so that no one is intimidated or left behind. A group leader will take you and your squad on a route that is suitable for your abilities. This group is also free!

The second weekly meetup of the Running Room St. Albert. Again, runners and walkers of all abilities are welcome to join in on this social running group that meets twice weekly on a drop-in basis. Everyone is welcome. The larger group is split into several sub-groups according to pace so that no one is intimidated or left behind. A group leader will take you and your squad on a route that is suitable to your abilities. This group is also free!

We hope this encourages you to get out there before the snowy season begins! If you have any questions, or a running-related injury, we’re here to answer your call. Have a safe autumn from all of us at Summit.