By Jeremy Henderson, Army Flier Staff WriterSeptember 28, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- As leaves and temperatures begin to fall, runners and cyclists lace up to capitalize on crisp air, and Fort Rucker contains a few easily-accessible locations for anyone looking to explore new routes.
Lori Ciranni, Fort Rucker sports, fitness and aquatics manager, said Beaver Lake offers a customizable experience for runners of any fitness level and the 1/4-mile track behind the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center on Andrews Avenue recently received a facelift.
"The 1/4-mile track behind Fort Rucker PFC is newly rubberized and offers a lower-impact workout for walkers and runners seeking to take advantage of the weather and enjoy their cardio outside," Ciranni said. "It provides a convenient space for patrons who visit the gym for weight training or classes to step outside and expand their workout outdoors."
The track is also often routinely used during group fitness camps, like the seasonal fitness boot camp and couch to 5K programs like Tater to Trot, according to Ciranni.
The Beaver Lake trail system, also located a short walk away from Fort Rucker PFC, just off Third Avenue, provides a series of trails intertwined with the post's disc golf course and often passing close to the lake itself.
The Beaver Lake trail splits into three unique routes two-thirds of the way into the path. The blue trail, when completed, is 2.24 miles. The green trail is 2 miles and is heavily wooded. The red trail is 1.1 miles.
The trail starts east of the Third Avenue and Gladiator Street intersection, near the Air Assault Tower. It is completely paved. Most of the trail is shaded by trees, making it comfortable for runners and cyclists during warmer months.
In addition to remaining alert, Ciranni suggests planning the run with a map available at Fortenberry-Colton PFC's front desk.
"Definitely plan where you want to go and the distance you want to run," she said. "It is easy to begin running a trail and end up over near the commissary. Grab a map from the front desk, pick a route and familiarize yourself with the route."
Runners searching for a fully-surfaced trail may also utilize the Air Assault track located across from the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center.
"It is a nice 2-mile run and it is flat," Ciranni said. "Some people may think it is only for military physical training, but it is open to the public."
Although bikes are not allowed on the Beaver Lake trails or the rubberized track, Ciranni said numerous other routes exist on post that cyclists may utilize.
A few recommended routes on post include:
This trail starts at the intersection of Andrews Avenue and Christian Road. The distance from Andrews Avenue to Sheridan Street and back is approximately 2 miles. Should you choose to utilize the perimeter streets of Allen Heights, the approximate distance from Andrews Avenue through the quarters and back is 4 miles.
This trail starts at the intersection of Andrews Avenue and Avenger Street. It runs west of Baker Street, then north on Diamond Avenue to Artillery Road. From Artillery Road to Farrel Road, from Farrel Road south to Red Cloud, east on Red Cloud Road to Ruf Avenue, to Avenger Street. The distance is 3.92 miles.
This trail runs from the intersection of Red Cloud Road and Farrel Road westward to East Harris Drive, to North Harris Drive, to West Harris Drive, then back to the Red Cloud Road and Farrel Road intersection. The distance is 3 miles.
This trail also begins along Third Avenue, behind the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Facility, and runs north to Hatch Road. It then runs east on Hatch Road to Engineer Road, then south on Engineer Road to Dilly Branch Road and Quartermaster Road intersection. It then goes west on Quartermaster Road to the Nighthawk Street intersection and from Nighthawk Street to Third Avenue north to Headhunter Street. It then travels east on Headhunter Street to the car wash. From the car wash, it continues north to the finish line on Gladiator Street. Its total distance is 5.95 miles.
With some degree of difficulty, the trail runs from Gladiator Street and Third Avenue to Hatch Field Road. It then turns left on Combat Road near the Silver Wings Golf Course and returns to Andrews Avenue. The trail then travels south to Gladiator Street and then turns left to return to Third Avenue. Total distance is 7.25 miles.
Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Center
This trail starts in front of the PFC on Skychief Road. The trail heads north to Fifth Avenue and turns left to head west on 26th Avenue. It then turns right to head north to Sixth Avenue and right to head east. It follows Sixth Avenue to Shamrock Street and turns left to head north. It then follows the curve to Headquarters, turns left to return to Shamrock Street and heads south to Andrews Avenue. The trail then turns right to follow Andrews Avenue back to Skychief Road and turns right to return to the front of the PFC.