TITLE: Running on the Road: Allerton Park, Illinois
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: September 16, 2004 7:43 AM
One of the goals of the running category of my blog is to report
on my runs while traveling. When I go to conferences or to visit
friends, I try to find interesting places to run. I sometimes have
a hard time finding good information on the web about routes and
parks, so I figured I should share what I do find, plus any
information I can add from my own experience.
The first stop in the Running on the Road series:
southwest of Monticello, Illinois.
I run at Allerton Park every year when I go to
As I've increased my mileage over the last couple of years, I've
come up with a wider variety of running routes. The great thing
about Allerton is the variety available. On the park grounds,
you have a choice of trail runs that follow the Sangammon River
and trail runs that go through the park's many sculpture and
sculptured gardens. Be sure to run to the Sunsinger at least
once--especially at sunrise! You can also run on Old Timber Road,
the county road that runs through the park, or use it to reach a
network of county roads that surround the park and run to Monticello.
First, check out this
to get a feel for the area. All of those county roads are runnable,
so you can put together your own routes pretty easily. The hardest
thing to do the first time around is judge distance.
Here are some of the routes I've used, by distance.
You should also check out
by a local runner about some good Allerton Park routes, as well as
suggestions for good post-run eats in Monticello!
If you want to run laps on an outdoor track, here are
directions to Monticello High School.
I had planned to do a speed workout there in 2004, but at the last
minute decided to do that workout at home before leaving and to run
an 11-miler on the road in its place.
Allerton Park is a great place to run. It is hillier than my hometown,
which makes it even a bit more challenging. Just be prepared for the
shape of county roads: they drop off on the sides more than most city
streets, which can wear on your hips after a few miles.
- 3 miles
- Run from the main sidewalk at Allerton House to the Sunsinger,
around the circle, and back.
- 4 miles
- Run the 3-mile Sunsinger route plus a round trip out to closest
park entrance, and back.
- Run the trail route from Allerton House, through sculptured gardens
out to the Centaur, left on the trail eventually to a staircase
that bring you up near the lake in front of the house, and back
to the House
- 5 and 6 miles
- Run from Allerton House out to Country Farm Road, and then go
left or right as far as you like. I sometimes turn down 450E
or up 625E to see something different.
- 10 miles
- Run Old Timber Road to County Farm Road to 625E to Old Route 47
out to the Interstate, and back.
- Start the same, but stay on County Farm Road all the way to
Bridge Street. Turn right and go into Monticello. Turn right
on Market Street and run to the IGA store. Return by same route.
Turn around sooner for an 8- or 9-miler.
- 11 miles
- Run the 10-mile route into Monticello, but go another half mile
or so past the store. Or turn onto a side street for a change
- 22 miles
- Run the 23-mile route below, minus the lap through the Fu Dog
- 23 miles
- I owe this route to the
Second Wind Running Club's marathon training group.
I found their
to be most helpful, though it doesn't show the run's closing
round trip from the parking lot to the park's back entrance.
are helpful, too, though I think Step 7 should say to turn
left, not right. The route is pretty easy to follow,
because you are running around the park counter-clockwise
and you don't have any left-turn options other than the
ones shown on the map.