Lap The LakeBeginner
Submitted by Melissa Franklin
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Virginia Lake is a great little place to go for a run where there are no dogs, cars or cyclists. On occasion the geese can be a bit mean, but I'm sure you can run faster than them! You can loop around the lake as many times as you like, in many different directions, but this is the route I like to take which sees you running all three tracks (top, middle and bottom) around the lake and incorporates Otamatea Reserve as well.
Start on Babbage Place and run up the road past the Bird Aviary and kids playground. You will head up this road past Kawau Place and it will just end, but continue on the green strip towards Great North road. Run along side the road up the hill until you get to Virginia Lodge rest home. Go down the driveway to Otamatea reserve (dog exercise area).
Run straight across the reserve until you see the green strip that goes between two rows of houses. Run along this green strip until you exit on Norfolk Drive. Run across this road to the dirt track and continue on this track which will take you to the back entrance of the lake. Turn left past the gate and follow the single track as it undulates around the top of the lake. Once you hit a seal path turn right and then left and then left again up the stairs.
This will take you back to the top track which will take you to the lake exit on Great North Road. Once you reach the exit (there is a drinking fountain here if you need), turn back and run back along the track which is to the right of the top track you just exited from. This is the middle track, run this until you exit again on Great North Road.
Once here turn left and left again so you run along the lake edge (bottom track) and continue on this track around the lake again. Once you have completed the bottom loop, run back via the top track and instead of exiting the lake via the gate you came in, continue straight ahead and you will exit the lake by the Bird Aviary and kids playground area, where your car is parked.
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Features of interest
Wildlife (mostly ducks and swans)
Make Up of Run
Technical Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 85%
Sealed Road: 5%
Babbage Place, Whanganui
Carpark on Babbage Place by Bird Aviary
Just keep following a track as eventually it will exit on a road.
Windproof jacket, Cellphone.
Drinking foundation at gate (don't drink lake water!)
Can get a little muddy after rain and cold in the shade in winter, but you will be running faster enough to keep yourself warm!
Post run indulgence
Fucky Duck Cafe
Virginia Lake Reserve, 110 Great North Road
Great coffee and food. Small playground outback for young children.
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