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From bridge-crossings to Bayside pathways, Brickell Miami offers something for everyone.
Brickell Avenue and Brickell Key
This particular route provides fantastic views almost the entire way. You can start from anywhere on Brickell Avenue and head eastbound on SE 8th Street: Take this street over the Brickell Avenue bridge into the condo enclave island known as Brickell Key. Once on the Key, you can take the full loop around the island’s paved perimeter. There is a drinking water fountain near a statue of a Tequesta Indian on the northeast corner of the island. This loop can get crowded, but it is worth taking for spectacular bay vantage points, including the Port of Miami, Brickell’s skyline, and the Rickenbacker Causeway.
The Rickenbacker Causeway
This is arguably Miami’s most popular running destination. I like to think of the Rickenbacker as Miami’s unique version of New York City’s Central Park—just entirely surrounded by bright blue water. This area is referred to by locals as “Key Biscayne,” but it officially known as the Rickenbacker Causeway. When I run this stretch I like to park on the west end of Hobie Beach, which is the first available parking lot on the south side of the road after entering the toll plaza from the mainland. Parking is free, so you can take your sweet Miami time.
There are bathrooms and showers along the way, and half-decent public water fountains. Besides the runner’s high you’ll experience from the unobstructed views, the other reason this spot is so popular is our “Goliath.” Goliath is the “big bridge,” or more formally known as the William Powell bridge, that gives runner’s the highest elevation they can find in South Florida—80 feet above sea level, to be exact.
It is about a 700 meter climb, so if you add a little bit to the ends you can do mile intervals. As you pass over the bridge you can continue heading east for several miles. I suggest you turn around where the sidewalk ends, which is near the Crandon Park Marina (about six miles in). If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, or if you would like to see some of the Magic City’s greener side, then make a left at the crosswalk slightly past the marina and take a curvy diversion on the Crandon Park Nature Trail. I look forward to this portion of the run; it’s tranquil and engulfed in a fully restored mangrove habitat. It is a bit quieter and lonelier than most trails, since most folks don’t even know it exists. At about 4.5 miles into your run, I would turn around and backtrack after you have taken a sip of water at the Majory Stoneman Biscayne Nature Center.
Downtown Miami Baywalk/Museum Park
I take this route often; it is one of Miami’s newest extensions of Baywalk, but frankly, it can get congested. You’ll find that many of Miami’s running paths can seem a bit disjointed. The good news is that this urban trail has recently been reconnected with relatively few street crossings.
On Tuesday nights, the Baptist Health Brickell Run Club and I start the run over with a loop around Brickell Key. Then as you come off the Brickell Key Bridge, you can hang a right, turning north, and stay along the Baywalk and take it all the way back up to Brickell Avenue over the Brickell Avenue bridge into Downtown.
Here things can get noisy, giving an authentic feel for our tropical city core. Stay on this path as it borders Biscayne Boulevard and passes Bayfront Park. After passing the Bayside Marketplace, you’ll cross over the port entrance and go beyond the American Airlines Arena, home of our World Champion Miami Heat. After the arena, you’ll enter Museum Park.
For fun, climb the steps to the museum for a Rocky movie moment. The view peers over the Government Cut Basin and Port of Miami. There are some bathrooms and water fountains at the park and at the museum, so take a sip before you head back the same way you came. To add some variety, you can weave around Bayfront Park to get some better views of Biscayne Bay and maybe catch a glimpse of a dolphin pod.
Miami has an exciting trail, The Underline, that is currently being improved, but for now, it provides a 9-mile southward shot along US-1 from Brickell. I like running this route when I want shade because it is sits almost entirely under the Metrorail. Start at the Brickell Metrorail Station and follow it towards Coral Gables: Some of the locals dub this the “M-Path.”
The route lacks water fountains and bathrooms unless you enter the rail stations located every few miles. Once or twice a year, I take the trail all the way south to the Dadeland South Station, then hitch a ride back on the train.
Miami River Greenway
This short route can be taken from the Brickell City Center near EAST. From the hotel or the Brickell City Centre, begin by heading east on the Tamiami Trail (SE 8th Street) onto Brickell Avenue, then head north over the Brickell Avenue bridge. After the bridge, hang a right to pass the Epic Hotel. Make your first available right as soon as you pass the Epic Hotel driveway; it is a small, discrete sidewalk that runs parallel to the hotel’s entrance ramp. Once on the sidewalk, you’ll have to turn right and head westwards along the seawall. Be sure to take a second to enjoy the docked yachts.
This route currently allows runners to go uninterrupted all the way to the SW 2nd Avenue Bridge: This makes for a quick 2-mile route, though expanding the greenway is in the works.
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