Why + Where To Run In Waco

Waco Mom of 2, Michelle Leatherwood gives us a fantastic summary and list of why and where she loves to go for an enjoyable run in Waco.
“I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days” – thank you Ronald Rook for putting into words one of the powerful gifts running can bring.

Running can be described in many ways but to put it simply – it is a physical activity, sport, form of therapy, social outing, stress releaser, and happy hormone inducing.

I have never finished a run and regretted it. Sure, I have been tired and felt every foot step forward — but wished I had not gone on that run? Nope.
I show up more confident in my day, have more patience with my kids, make better choices nutritionally, feel more in-tune with my body, and have the occasional brilliant thought or idea while I sweat it out. Yes, simply because of one run.
There are many reasons why running is a loved and preferred activity — (you need only your running shoes! The Waco Running store can get you fitted to find out what kind of shoes would best fit your feet and stride) but there are also real hesitations.
Since becoming a mom, prioritizing “me” time became more of a challenge and a need. Running has been part of my life since I was 13 and has given me an outlet where I feel free to think, to let emotions out, to connect with myself, God, and friends. Thankfully, there is always a street or route nearby that can provide this beautiful opportunity.
My hope is that after reading this little post you will feel more motivated (and less hesitant) to try out a new path or meet a friend for a jog — or power walk!
Finding your motivation is important, your why. For the rainy days, the hot days, the perfect-weather-but-I’m-tired days. Your why will transcend the circumstances and make you stronger for it.
So here are a few reasons why I run as a mama.
1. Running helps me to schedule time for myself.
2. I model a healthy lifestyle for my kids as they get to witness my strength and perseverance.
3. Exercise for my body and my mind is vital to being my best self.
4. Running with a friend makes for an enjoyable run, quality friend time, a natural detox, and endorphins. win win win.
5. Exploring your own city on foot is highly recommended!
I could go on and expound on each of these reasons (+ the science on benefits of running) but I hope your desire for taking a little jog just got a hit of motivation!
We are fortunate to have many great routes both in the city and surrounding areas — here are some of my favorite places to enjoy a run in Waco:


Downtown |
  • Silos – run down Austin Ave to the Silos (wave to the casual tourist)
  • Baylor – park near Common Grounds and hit the Bear Trail (grab your post run coffee)
  • Ferrell Center – park and hit the river trail (great for strollers and river side view)
Cameron Park |
  • Park near Oh My Juice/Mamaka and run by the river into Cameron Park (great for a long run + stroller friendly)
  • Park near Jacob’s Ladder and run into Cameron Park on the River Side Trail
Vikings Park |
  • Nice little paved path
  • Quiet and has a playground for a good family workout
The Dam |
  • It’s a straight paved path + Lake Waco view
Castle Heights |
  • Park at Pinewood coffee and run down Austin Ave into the historic neighborhood of Castle Heights (grab a celebratory latte after)


Cotton Belt Trail |

  • beautiful and paved. Park at Trail Blazer Park and run from there.
Woodway Park |
  • Lake Waco view, killer hills, play ground, paved
Poage Park |
  • run the hilly neighborhood behind it or take a longer run into Badger Ranch neighborhood
My love, capacity, and reasons for running have evolved over the seasons, but I always know that a little boost is just around the corner.
Grab a friend, a good podcast, a vibing playlist, kids in stroller, or a 20 minute timer — and get out there.
You won’t regret it.