Grab the leash the next time you lace up your running shoes: 7 reasons why running is good for you and your dog plus 7 of the best parks and trails in Kalamazoo.

If you've never taken your dog with you on a run, experts all agree that there are many benefits to both of you when you exercise together.

  1. Your dog won't complain or skip the workout; man's best friend is there for you.
  2. Whether you run 7 1/2 or 12 minute miles, your dog doesn't care. She is just happy to be outside.
  3. You'll keep your weight (and your dog's) in check.
  4. Solo running can be risky for women in certain areas- your dog can offer protection.
  5. Try not taking the dog out once he's gotten used to a regular run and you'll find out what a great motivator he can be,
  6. Experts agree, a tired dog is a good dog. Behavior problems often are the result of lack of exercise or too much pent-up energy.
  7. You will meet new people; isn't that one of the reasons you got a dog in the first place?

Have I convinced you? Here's where you and your four-legged friend can run together in Kalamazoo:

  • 1

    Celery Flats

    The historic Celery Flats inside Portage Creek Bicentennial Park offer paved paths branching in many different directions.

    Google Maps Street View
  • 2

    Spring Valley Park

    A scenic lap around the lake is 2.2 miles, or you can venture West through the woods, cross Riverview Drive and link to the KRVT.

    Google Maps Street View
  • 3

    Markin Glen Park

    A County park located near Kalamazoo Nature center, Markin Glen offers the option of paved multi-use trails or hiking trails.

    Photo: Bobby Guy
  • 4

    Kalamazoo River Valley Trail

    There are literally miles and miles and miles of trails to choose from. The most scenic leg begins on D Ave.

    Photo: Bobby Guy
  • 5

    McLinden Nature Trails

    Another loop that is about 2 miles with a steep climb that rewards a picturesque view of Campbell Lake.

    Google Maps Street View
  • 6

    Al Sabo

    Hike Texas Corners at the Al Sabo trails.

    John Mason/TSM
  • 7

    Fort Custer Recreation Area

    When you want to get in double-digit miles and your dog is not afraid of horses, explore Fort Custer's equestrian trails.

    Photo: Bobby Guy