Latvia is a country in Northern Europe and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. Latvia is known for its dense forests, which covers half of the country, making it one of the most forested countries in Europe.
Latvia also has scenic beaches, unique cuisine, rich culture, stunning ancient and art nouveau architecture, museums, parks, lakes among others.
One of the best ways you can experience Latvia’s sceneries is through running tours. GO! Running Tours offers the best-guided runs, uncovering the country’s best sceneries.
This article outlines top trails for the best nature runs in Riga, Latvia.
Mežaparks is one of the distinguished neighbourhoods which is divided into residential and green spaces. There is an urban park with several trails winding through it as well as a loop track which is about 6km and has Lake Ķīšezers at the centre.
If you want a long run, traverse the Brīvības street to get to Mežciems, and then run along the Bikernieku street that leads to Teika, a neighbourhood known for its functionalist architecture. From Teika run back to Mežaparks following the Gustava Zemgala and Kokneses prospekts streets.
The Old Town of Riga features a classical route comprising top architectural and historic sites, cobblestone streets and beautiful green spaces.
Riga’s Old Town offers routes of varying distances but with stunning views. Among the best routes, you can run in is a 2.6km loop trail. The trail starts and ends near Riga Central Market. The trail setting takes runners past iconic places such as the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation, Illusion Museum, Riga Cathedral and Three Brothers.
There’s also a 7km loop trail that starts near the Akmens Bridge and offers spectacular views of places such as the House of the Black Heads, Latvian Museum of Natural History, Art Nouveau buildings found in Albert St, Riga Castle among others.
The Urban Run
This is the ultimate urban run in Riga. The trail covers a lap around the Grīziņkalns park, and then through the vibrant Pērnava street until you get to the Great Cemetery. From here, run through Skanste district to the Quiet Centre of Riga, where you’ll come across the fascinating art nouveau architecture. Then move to Dzirnavu Street and connect to Kr. Barona Road takes you to Pērnava Street and back to the Grīziņkalns Park. You can take final laps around the park to fulfil your fitness goals.
The Pārdaugava trail
The Pārdaugava trail is located between two scenic parks of the city—Victory and Arcadia parks. These two parks are loaded with scenic greenery, asphalted paths and generally a peaceful place, ideal for exercising.
Victory Park is popular for its historic monuments that were laid in honour of the soldiers of the Soviet Army. Arcadia Park is popular for its historic spherical willows and beautiful waterfalls.
You can start the trail at Victory Park. Then run along Kokles Street and around the scenic Māras Dīķis to Arcadia Park. Run across the street to the starting point for a 5km loop run.
The Daugava promenade- Lucavsala Island- Old Town Trail
The Daugava River offers waterfront promenades with amazing water views and also allows you to enjoy the city vistas as you run.
There are so many routes you can run from these promenades. One such route takes you through the city centre, the Old Town and you’ll cross two bridges.
Start at Daugava waterfront, and run towards the Salu Bridge which gives off panoramic views of the river. Cross it to get to Lucavsala Island and run a few laps there.
From the island, take the Bieķensalas Street and run back to Akmens Bridge. The Akmens Bridge takes you back to the city centre from where you can run through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town.
The Parks’ Run
This combines the city’s scenic parks. It covers the Viesturdārzs, Kronvalda, Esplanade and Vērmanes Garden Park in Riga, Latvia.
Viesturdārzs Park presents the oldest park in Riga and features classic sculptures, ponds and alleys. Past the Viesturdārzs park, along Eksporta Street is the Kronvalda Park, which is known for its beautiful fountains and flower gardens. Run along Elizabetes Street to connect to Esplanade Park, a tranquil, scenic green space with minimal traffic. Then connect to Vērmanes Garden Park which is just across the street.
Runners can take a few laps in Vērmanes Garden Park and run back to Tērbatas street to connect back to Viesturdārzs Park.
This green space offers various colourful routes in different terrains such as forests, marsh, dunes and boardwalks. The most popular trail is the Great Ķemeri bog boardwalk that spans 5k long. The boardwalk enables you to easily explore the surrounding green vegetation, dark lake, wildflowers and watch birds on this difficult to access land.
The Ķemeri Boardwalk has two loop trails of 1.4km and 3.2km. We recommend running in the morning hours to catch the rising sun as it shines gracefully on the beautiful scenery of the bog.
More paths on this park can be found in Vulguma Lake, Sloka Lake and along the dunes.
Daugavgrīvas Lighthouse and Tower Trail
This is an 11k loop trail that has an elevation gain of 68m. This colourful trail has so much to offer when it comes to sceneries. Some include water views, wildlife, beach, purple sand, scenic old architecture, a lighthouse to name a few. The main highlights of this route are the Daugavgrīvas Lighthouse and the Observation tower.