Runs on Amtrak Routes

(2008 Dec blog post)

!Preliminary! Run information for cities will be added ---
as I find suitable runs, in consecutive weeks, along Amtrak routes.

Introduction :

It's a daydream of mine to set out around the country on Amtrak with a ticket good for traveling for at least a couple of months and with the ticket allowing for getting on and off the train an unlimited number of times (or at least once a week for the several months of train travel --- so about 12 re-boardings). I believe Amtrak allows for this. It can be checked if that is currently true, at

At each place I got off, I would enter a local run --- a 5K, a 10K, a half-marathon --- and, if I felt up to it, a marathon.

I looked over an Amtrak map of the routes in the U.S.A. (like the one near the bottom of this page) and consulted lists of runs, like in "Runner's World" magazine and on my runs-by-month web links page.

Since the runs in the southern part of the country (like Florida, Texas, and southern California) are generally in the cooler months, like January through April --- and the runs in the northern part of the country (like New York, Illinois, and Washington) are generally in the warmer months, like June through October, I thought that I would have an easy time mapping out a sequence of major runs that followed the northern and southern Amtrak routes. But no such luck.

It looks like, to get a good sequence of runs mapped out, I will have to search for not-so-well-known runs in the various towns along the Amtrak routes --- based on a given starting location (say Virginia) and a given start time (like late-April).

To provide a place to keep track of this information, I plan to use this web page, with sequences of cities along the Amtrak routes listed below. I plan to put candidate runs and their dates alongside each city name below.

Cities-Runs on Amtrak Routes Lists :

Here is a first pass at lists of cities --- along northern, southern, and other Amtrak routes.

I will list cities that are pretty close together, realizing that I will probably skip over many of them, to get to a run on a week-end in another city. Listing runs in most of these cities will provide alternatives in case of scheduling difficulties.

To use up the time between runs (which are usually on week-ends), I would spend some time in the 'to-be-run-city' or 'just-run-city' --- getting acquainted with the local attractions.

Northern-most Amtrak Route, east-to-west, VA-to-CA :
(an alternative mid-northern route could be charted ---
Pittsburg, Chicago, Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, Sacramento)

  • Newport News, VA
  • Williamsburg, VA
  • Richmond, VA
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • New York, NY
  • Providence, RI
  • Boston, MA
  • Albany, NY
  • Syracuse, NY
  • Rochester, NY
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • Buffalo, NY
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Toledo, OH
  • Chicago, IL
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Wisconsin Dells, WI or Winona, MN or Red Wing, MN
  • Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN
  • St. Cloud or Staples or Detroit Lakes, MN
  • Fargo, ND
  • Grand Forks, ND
  • Devil's Lake or Rugby or Minot or Stanley or Williston, ND
  • Wolf Point or Glasgow or Malta or Havre, MT
  • Shelby or Cut Bank or Browning or Glacier Park, MT
  • Whitefish or Libby, MT or Sandpoint, ID
  • Spokane, WA
  • Ephrata or Wenatchee or Everett, WA
  • Edmonds or Seattle or Tacoma, WA

West Coast Amtrak Route, north-to-south, WA-to-CA :

  • Seattle or Tacoma, WA
  • Olympia-Lacey or Centralia or Longview or Vancouver, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Salem or Albany or Eugene, OR
  • Chemult or Klamath Falls, OR
  • Dunsmuir or Redding or Chico, CA
  • Marysville or Sacramento or Stockton, CA
  • Martinez or Oakland or San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose or Salinas, CA
  • San Luis Obispo or Guadalupe or Santa Barbara, CA
  • Los Angeles or Anaheim or San Diego, CA

Southwest-to-Midwest-to-East Amtrak Route, west-to-east, CA-to-VA :
(see alternative more-southern route below)

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Bernardino or Victorville or Barstow, CA
  • Needles, CA or Kingman, AZ
  • Williams Junction or Flagstaff or Winslow, AZ
  • Gallup or Albuquerque, NM
  • Lamy or Las Vegas or Raton, NM
  • Trinidad or La Junta or Lamar, CO
  • Garden City or Dodge City or Hutchinson, KS
  • Newton or Topeka or Lawrence, KS
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Independence or Lees Summit or Warrensburg or Sedalia, MO
  • Jefferson City or Hermann or Washington or Kirkwood, MO
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Alton or Carlinville or Springfield, IL
  • Lincoln or Bloomington or Pontiac or Dwight, IL
  • Joliet or Chicago, IL
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Ashland, KY
  • Charleston, WV
  • Clifton Forge or Charlottesville, VA
  • Washington D.C. to Richmond to Newport News, VA

SouthUSA to-Texas-and-Florida Amtrak Route, west-to-east, CA-to-FL :
(a southern-most Amtrak route)

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Palm Springs or Indio, CA
  • Yuma or Maricopa, AZ
  • Tuscon, AZ
  • Benson, AZ or Lordsburg or Deming, NM
  • El Paso, TX
  • Alpine or Sanderson or Del Rio, TX
  • San Antonio, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Beaumont, TX or Lake Charles, LA
  • Lafayette or New Iberia or Schriever, LA
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Gulfport or Biloxi or Pascagoula, MS
  • Mobile or Atmore, AL
  • Pensacola or Crestview or Chipley, FL
  • Tallahassee or Madison or Lake City, FL
  • Jacksonville, FL

East Coast North-from-Florida Amtrak Route, south-to-north, FL-to-VA :

  • Jacksonville, FL (or start from Miami or Tampa or Orlando)
  • Jesup or Savannah, GA
  • Yemassee or Charleston or Kingstree or Florence, SC
  • Fayetteville or Selma or Wilson or Rocky Mount, NC
  • Petersburg or Richmond, VA
  • to Williamsburg and Newport News, VA

Click on this map image to see a larger one.


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Posted 2008 Dec 22.
Changed, to facilitate better printing, 2009 Aug 25.
Changed slightly 2013 Apr 16.