Looking for a running or walking oasis in the heart of Harrisonburg? We'll we have the perfect spot for you - James Madison University's, Edith J. Carrier Arboretum.
JMU's Arboretum is a scientific preserve that is tucked in between JMU's East Campus, Costco, and some college apartments. Their mission is to have gardens and forested greenspace to preserve native plant species, provide opportunities for research, and promote knowledge of the botanical and natural world. (Beautiful and Clean - CHECK)
It's a beautiful place, all year around. This woodland sanctuary differs from a public park by having some specific rules. In order to care for the gardens as best as possible, lawn games and biking on the trails are not allowed, but running and walking throughout the network of trails are a MUST. (Run, Walk, Stroll - CHECK)
You'll find many on-foot access points to the Arboretum's trails, but you can also park in one of the two lots off of University Blvd. We've entered the trails from Neff Avenue, the Forest Hills neighborhood, as well as two different entrances near JMU's Convocation Center. (Easy Access - CHECK)
One of the best parts of running these trails is that most of the time you are in the shade of the tree canopy, making the Arboretum a great place to exercise in the summer. Just like the rest of Harrisonburg, the Arboretum isn't very flat. It is by no means a hilly, but there are some gradual ups and downs within the gardens. If you want you can form a pretty casual route along the perimeter of the trails, but you can also create a winding and adventurous route with sharp turns, bridges, and narrow paths. There are no formal route directions, so you can always spice up your run. Choose your own adventure! (Safe and Lots of Options - CHECK)
The grounds are open and free to the public from dawn to dusk, all year around. Go and visit!