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For joggers and runners, Dalian can be a challenging place. Busy roads and dangerous intersections require great care when on the road. Additionally, Dalian's cold winter requires care on icy sidewalks and roads. In many places, sidewalks may not exist, although a lot of effort has been made to install brick sidewalks around the city.
Perhaps the best run in along Binhai Lu (Coastal road), which is a well maintained nature area in the southeast side of the city. There is little development and the area is well maintained. The big bonus is stunning ocean views of the Yellow Sea.
There are two possible routes from city centre: First is the east route, from Tiger Park (Laohutan) to the east coast road, then back to city centre. The total distance from Labour Park and loop back is about 22 km. The distance can be cut by starting from Laohutan Park and avoiding the busy Jiefeng Rd access.
Second route is from Laohutan south across the bridge as far as Xinghai (Global) square, then taxi back to city centre. Its also possible to run around Xinghai Square, which is touted as the worlds biggest square (it is very huge), but once again traffic can be a challenge. Total distance is about 20 km. Once again, distance can be cut by starting at Laohutan Park, rather than city center (Labour Park).
A third route cuts through the center of the city, and most easily done from the hotels near the rail station or Zhangshan Square. This route follows the street car route along Luxun Road to Huale Street to the end of the line. Along the way, the congestion eases. At the end of the road is a street car station and an an area under construction (at this writing)
Labour Park is not recommended for running as the park is very crowded, particularly in mornings, with tai chi, social dance groups, and fitness walkers. In addition, the trails are not very good.
Note, GPS seems to be slightly inaccurate in Dalian, perhaps jammed by local authorities.
East Binhai Lu
Scene as seen from the jogging track
East Binhai Lu. Note board walk at right, perfect for jogging.
Carefully marked trail with distance
Binhai Lu has excellent infrastructure and is well maintained
Ocean view as seen from Binhai Lu
Street cars along Luxun Rd