Running in Orange Park

Welcome to Orange Park, Florida

In 1803, Zephaniah Kingsley purchased 1000 acres for a plantation and named it Laurel Grove. However, he stayed only briefly and sold it to John H. McIntosh. Subsequent owners were Owen S. Bryant, a Mr. Hookey and W.G. Benedict, who purchased the land in hopes of attracting Northerners to his sunny locale.

Orange Park received its name in 1877 and was incorporated on February 18, 1879. During the severe cold of 1894, 1895 and 1899 the many orange groves, for which the town was named, were destroyed and never replanted.

Over the years many famous people spent time enjoyable time in the old Sparhawk, Parkview and Marion Hotels. Such guests included Harriet Beecher Stow, Nixon Waterman, Sitting Bull, General Ulysses S. Grant, and General and Mrs. Philip Sheridan, just to name a few.

In 1921, the Loyal Order of Moose began purchasing property in Orange Park, and today you will find the Moosehaven Campus bounded by the river on the east and Highway 17 on the west. Moosehaven subsequently donated land for the Orange Park Town Hall and other city divisions.

While in Orange Park, one should venture down Plainfield Avenue and River Road. The two areas afford visitors a chance to see homes of varying age and architecture. One should not miss the Winterbourne Inn and Villa "Mira Rio" (now Club Continental) which are located on Astor Street.

The Orange Park Women’s Club, organized in 1910, established and maintained the first library, furnished school lunches and sponsored other civic activities. It has made significant contributions to the growth of the town and continues to be extremely active in the concerns of the community. Orange Park continues to grow and strives to maintain a residential atmosphere. It is a community proud of its accomplishments and history. | Back to the Top

St. Johns River Loop

(approximately 6-7 miles)

This beautiful shaded loop along the St. Johns River includes major portions of our Run to the Sun 8K and Autumn Fitness 5K courses. Start at Wells Road and the Orange Park Kennel Club Parking Lot. Proceed north on the sidewalk along US 17 to Old Orange Park Road, take a right on Eldridge to River Road. Turn right and follow River Road (use the running/bike path-there is water at the "A" frame just before Blake) to Kingsley, turn left on Astor (water fountain at tennis courts) and take a right on Milwaukee. Follow Milwaukee to US 17, turn left and take the sidewalk to end, then left on Holly Point East (water is on the left at the curve just before Red Fox) to a right on Red Fox, turn left at the end and return on Holly Point East to US 17. Take US 17 north to the traffic light at Kingsley. You have a choice here. You may continue north on the sidewalk along US 17 for about 1 ½ miles to the may turn right on Kingsley to River Road and follow it approximately 2 ½ miles to Eldridge to intersect Old Orange Park Road and return to your starting point. Always obey the pedestrian signals and use caution when crossing Kingsley or US 17! | Back to the Top

Black Creek Trail

(Approximately 16 miles round trip from Orange Park Town Hall)

For those who desire a long distance run, we recommend the Black Creek Trail running/bike path in Clay County. It parallels US 17 South from the Orange Park city limits to Black Creek Park just north of Green Cove springs. The trail starts at the Doctors Lake Bridge, but for safety reasons, we recommend you park at Town Hall and run south on the sidewalk a short distance to Milwaukee Avenue (traffic on US 17 is heavy and the sidewalk ends a short distance south of Milwaukee.) Turn right on Milwaukee and run on the sidewalk to Plainfield. Take a left on Plainfield, after approximately ½ mile, it then becomes West Holly Point Road, which returns to US 17 S. The trail begins here at the foot of the bridge (no parking here). Cross the bridge and follow the paved asphalt trail for approximately 7 miles to the end. There are several long wooden bridges and most of the trail is shaded south of the first long bridge. Water is limited on the trail but you can stop at one of the fast food outlets in the Eagle Harbor Shopping center (no sidewalks- be careful). There is also water at the church south of CR 220 and at the end of the trail in Black Creek Park.

Use extreme caution crossing the several intersections along the trail. Be especially cautious when crossing the intersections at Pace Island and CR 220 at Eagle Harbor. Vehicles turning right don’t always respect the “walk” signals and the walk signal timing is very short. | Back to the Top

The Doctor’s Lake Drive & Moody Road Loop

(Approximately 9 miles)

For a longer run, start at the intersection of Kingsley Avenue and the CSX railroad tracks. Parking is available at the start of the Doctor’s Lake Drive Running/Bike Path that is maintained by the Clay County Recreation Department in cooperation with the Florida Striders. It is a shaded, 4½-mile asphalt running/ bike trail that meanders between Drs. Lake Drive and the railroad tracks. Turn right at the end onto Peoria Road and proceed a little over ½ mile to the Moody road Intersection. The asphalt running/bike trail follows Moody Road for about 3½ miles that will return you to Doctor’s Lake trail at the Montclair School stoplight. Cross over the Railroad tracks to the Dr’s. Lake pathway (you can admire our club sign here), turn right and proceed north 3/4 mile to return to your starting point.

Water is available at the several stores at the start, again at 3 ½ miles (behind the right hand entrance to Ashbourn), the fire station on Peoria at 5 miles and the 7-mile point at the‘Lil Champ located near the Moody Road/Suzanne Drive intersection. You can lengthen this run to approximately 13 miles by running south from the Kennel Club on US 17 to Kingsley Avenue. Always use caution at intersections, obey the pedestrian signals and stop, look and listen before crossing the railroad tracks! | Back to the Top

The Plainfield Loop

(approximately 4 ½ miles)

This route passes some the most beautiful old homes in Orange Park and of course, includes a trip along our St. Johns River. Start in the First Union parking lot at the corner of Wells Road and US 17. Proceed west across the parking lot to Plainfield Avenue. Turn left on Plainfield and follow it (there is water the intersection just before Orange Park Elementary School) for about 1 ½ miles to Kingsley Ave. Turn left on Kingsley and cross US 17 at the light. Turn right on US 17 and proceed south to a left on Milwaukee Avenue and take a left onto Astor (water at tennis courts and just before you turn onto Kingsley). Turn right on Kingsley to River Road (there is water at the "A" frame house just north of Blake Ave.) and follow it about 1½ miles to Wells Road, turn left and run to the stoplight. You are finished! Be alert for tripping hazards on the Plainfield Avenue sidewalk, tree roots make pavement uneven. Use caution at all intersections and obey the pedestrian signals when crossing Kingsley and Wells Roads! | Back to the Top

The River Road Resolution Run 5K Course

(USAT&F Certified 3.1 miles)

We recommend the route of our Resolution Run 5K race for those who are pressed for time or runners who prefer to run a certified distance. The route begins on River Road just North of the Wells Road intersection. The start is marked on the pavement. Proceed on River Road and enjoy the beauty of our St. Johns River and the shade of the magnificent Live Oaks for the next 1½ miles (water is just North of Blake Ave. at the “A” fame house). Proceed west at the intersection of River Road & Kingsley Avenue approximately 100 yards and turn around at Astor Avenue (there is water just off Kingsley on Astor. Return on River Road to Wells and enter the road at rear of the kennel club. The finish line is marked seven feet from the large Live Oak tree. Markers are on the pavement at each mile of the course. Yield to traffic on River Road and use the running path where possible. Use caution at the intersection of Kingsley & Astor. | Back to the Top