For runners looking to put in the miles, the Chain of Lakes is often the first place that comes to mind. Unfortunately, that can mean crowds, pets, and unruly bros playing beach volleyball. That's why the Mississippi Parkway is the real must-hit spot for runners, with scenic views, flat terrain, and snakes (not real reptiles, but iron ones embedded in the sidewalks. Trying to count all 13 can take your mind off a long run). The parkway provides a fantastic view of the Mississippi River, along with the great architecture on the campus of the U of M, Guthrie Theater, and the illuminated 35W bridge in the evening. The path provides access to the Stone Arch Bridge, in case you feel like a detour to St. Anthony Main, and the fact that it's nice and flat makes it perfect for long runs. Best of all, the long, open path is almost never crowded, allowing you to run free of the obstacles you may find on other running paths around town.