Golf Course Running Routes (Perimeter Trail, Figure 6, Figure 8)
3.6 for the Perimeter; 4.1 for the Figure 6, or 4.6 for the Figure 8
Pretty Hilly: The northern border of the Blue Course is a green monster when run in the uphill direction. Park St. provides another challenging hill when finishing the course in the uphill direction. When running the Perimeter Course counterclockwise, the hill on the southern border on the White Golf Course is a your final challenge. 

Total elevation change: About 110 ft. 
Average Grade: 3%. Notable hills: 

Park St. Descent/Ascent: 
A drop of 83 ft in half a mile gives a long 3.1% grade. You get to go back up this hill on the return part of the Golf Course Figure 6 Route.
The Big Green Monster:
The grassy hill on the northern border of the Blue Golf Course rises 74 ft in under a third of a mile from Corl Rd. crossing, a 4.7% grade.
 The O. W. Houts Hill: 
The hill behind O. W. Houts' store on the southern border of the White Golf Course. A 60 ft. change in less that a quarter mile, a 5.1% grade.

Looking at the map below, the Figure 8 route is outlined in yellow. The Figure 6 is in red. The Perimeter Route is outlined in blue. Mileage marks for the Figure 6 course are shown in red typeface. The first two mileage marks are the same for the Perimeter course and the Figure 6. These two routes diverge at the Clubhouse Road. The third mile on the Perimeter Course is marked in blue typeface. The new Figure 8 course, in yellow, traverses the Bike Path parallel to Corl Rd. twice.

Perimeter Trail:The Perimeter Trail, as its name implies, hugs the outer border of the White and Blue Golf Courses (the White Course is the one closest to Rec Hall). It's hard to get lost on this route. Start on the bike path on North Atherton across from Rec Hall after you safely cross Atherton at the crosswalk at Curtin Rd. Head north to Park St. and make a left. At the end of Park St, pick up the newly paved Bike Path. At the bottom of the hill, resist the temptation to go right on the Bike Path and continue on the unpaved perimeter path across Corl Rd. (WATCH FOR CARS!!!). You are now on the Blue Golf Course. Hug the tree line all the way to the back of the Blue Course and go left, again hugging the tree line. Continue to the far southern corner of the Blue Course where the Inner Loop leaves the Golf Course. Go left at the cinder railroad bed portion of the perimeter trail. Cross the Clubhouse Road and continue on the trail, crossing Corl Rd using the old railroad bridge. Continue up the hill on the cinder path until it ends at the road behind the new Grad Student Housing. Continue through the parking lots, making a left at the stop sign behind the bus station. Go on the road between the ARL buildings, cross the large parking lot and make aright on the paved path that borders the parking lot and the White Course/IM Fields. Go left on Atherton and finish where you started.

Figure 6: The Figure 6 route is the same as the Perimeter Trail for the first 2¼ miles. When the Clubhouse Road crosses the Perimeter Trail, make a left on the road. Wind your way along this road to Corl Rd. Cross Corl Rd (WATCH FOR CARS!!!) and make a left and run on the Bike Path. Continue on the Bike Path and make a right on the portion of that path that goes up Park Ave. Continue back to the light at North Atherton and Curtin across from Rec Hall.

Figure 8: The Figure 8 route covers the same ground as the Perimeter Trail, except it makes an "8" by tracersing the section of the Bike Path along Corl Rd. twice, as shown below.

The Golf Course routes provide very pleasant, but challencing running in good weather. The routes are generally far enough from golf ball trajectories to be safe. I've never been hit by a flying ball in the 15 years I've been running the courses. The completion in 2002 of the Bike Path system linking Penn State to various Bike Paths in town also revived the Figure 8 route. The older version of the Figure 8 had run along the old railroad bed that crossed the White Course just east of Corl Rd. That railroad bed, shown below, has long been covered by fairways on the White Course. The new Figure 8 is longer than the old, and safer, too! There is no need to dodge golf balls.

The course profiles are for the courses when run as shown by the colored arrows on  the map above.

Profile for Perimeter:
Profile for  Figure 6:
Profile for  Figure 8:

        Added: 9/00
        Updated: 1/03