Davis abounds with places for walking or running. This is a catalog of our wikizens' favorite walks and runs. When adding a new entry, try to include such things as: location, distance, type of surface, whether it's well lit after dark, whether there's vehicular traffic, and whatever else might apply. Of course, there are greenbelts and fitness trails pretty much everywhere.
Avenue of Trees (and Beyond)
(7 miles) This path originates near downtown and traverses westward for about 7 miles along Russell all the way out to County Road 95a (well outside of Davis). A network of paths throughout West Davis, especially around the Village Homes area, connect to this path. The miles along the Avenue of Trees is perhaps the most scenic; also, there's a dirt path (separated from the paved path by a fence) that runners often take advantage of.
Illuminated with street lamps as far west as Lake Boulevard
Wide path ideal for baby strollers
Watch out for crazed bike riders!
Covell Drainage Channel Loop
(1.4 miles one-way) The Covell Drainage Channel runs across North Davis between Sycamore Lane and F Street (well north of Covell Blvd). A bike path runs along the southern bank of the channel. However, for most of the year, you can run inside the channel on a dirt path that meanders much of the way (there are some cobblestones to be dealt with). Also, A dirt path runs along the northern bank of the channel. Circumventing the channel on both banks makes a nice loop and can be done entirely on dirt.
Very, very dark at night (unless you're on the bike path)
Distance from one end to the other is approximately 1 3/8 miles as mapped on a pedometer mashup site.
Lots of dog walkers, baby strollers, and kids on bikes
There are multiple loops, making it possible to adjust the total distance. A map of the lengths of the different segments is on the Northstar greenbelt page
(3.5 miles) This run loops around the Wildhorse Golf Club and much of northeast Davis. From the intersection of Pole Line and Covell, run north (away from Davis). There'll be countryside on your left and northeast Davis on your right. Eventually, the houses and apartments on your right will be replaced with a golf course. At the very northern side of the golf course, there's a dirt/gravel path that runs through the Wildhorse Agricultural Buffer. Run along this path. After about a mile, the path will curve towards the south and meet up with Covell. Run west along Covell towards Pole Line and your starting point.
Very, very dark at night
Half paved, half gravel/dirt
When it rains, avoid the farm road as it gets much muddier than the golf course path.
Twice Under I-80
Off Old Davis Road
(? miles) Starting near the Mondavi Center, run away from campus (south) along Old Davis Road. You'll pass under Interstate 80. Just before Putah Creek (the main waterway, not the old north channel running through campus), turn right (west) onto a gravel/dirt road. The Raptor Center will be on your left. You'll run along Putah Creek levee road (dirt), and eventually pass back under I-80 near its exchange with Highway 113. Old Davis Rd to 1st "Putah Creek Riparian Preserve =1.0 mi, to gate at Levee Road (between Hopkins Road and Brooks Road)=1.5 mi. Run along Levee Road (paved with dirt shoulder) and connect with dirt levee rd again=2.0 mi. Ends just past County Rd 98 (Pedrick Rd?) =2.8 mi. All distances measured with Garmin handheld GPS. Accuracy unknown, precision very high.
Unlit and unsafe-feeling at night
Does anyone have a better name? locals call the bridge low-water
(3.5 miles) There are bike paths along both sides of the old north channel of Putah Creek through the Arboretum. At the eastern end, you'll be near Whole Foods; at the western end, you'll be near the UCD Equestrian Center.
Mostly unlit at night (but relatively safe)
There are numerous tracks around, mostly dirt, for you to run on.
Toomey Field/Woody Wilson Track
(.25 miles) This is the only artificial surface track around. They seem to be open all the time, except the day before competitions or games. This track is open to the public use out of the physical education hours and during the workouts of UC Davis athletes. Usually, you can find some people running there, but it is not a crowded place. Also, occasionally at night they leave the lights on for IM games, so it is well lit at times.
(.25 miles)Davis High School has a rubberized composite track that can be used by the public. There are no lights, so it is very dark at night. It used to be dirt but has since been redone.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School
(.25 miles) This is another dirt track that is strangely shaped like a square. There is one flood light that partially illuminates this track, but it is not always on. The track is not often used, so it is rarely if ever populated by more than two or three people.
Emerson Jr High School
"(0.25 miles)" Another option for running in a dirt and unpaved track located in West Davis.
Frances Harper Junior High School
"(0.25 miles)"This school has a dirt track. There are no lights, so it is very dark at night. The track is located in a farther East Davis, so it is very rare to find someone working out there. You better run/jog out of the school hours.
Maps of routes and distances
Check out http://www.usatf.org/routes to check out running routes or map your own.