Scenic Running Routes in Billings

6 Scenic Running Routes in Billings

Billings has some incredibly beautiful running routes!

Black Otter Trail to Alkali Creek Rd Loop

Where: Billings' Heights 

Distance: about 8 miles 

Terrain: dirt/paved 

Depending on your desired distance, you can start at either trailhead of Swords Park (near the airport or the east trailhead) and follow Black Otter Trail through the tunnel to Alkali Creek Road. There you can follow the paved trail along Alkali Creek Road, turn onto Senators Boulevard, and then turn onto Judicial Avenue and follow it until you hit a “primitive” dirt trail where you can get some training on the dirt. For a shorter run, simply run the Swords Park section of the trail or park and begin at the east trailhead of Swords Park.


Four Dances Natural Recreation Area

Where: East of Billings (Sacrifice Cliff is included) 

Distance: just over 3 miles 

Terrain: dirt/rock/unpaved 

See the city from the other side of the rims at the Four Dances Natural Recreation area. This is a BLM section of land and features a natural stretch of trails, so watch for snakes! You can run along the trails, which will take you along Sacrifice Cliff. Be sure to stop and take in the view of downtown Billings and the Yellowstone River while 


Airport to Zimmerman Park and Back

Where: On top of the Rims 

Distance: about 8 miles 

Terrain: dirt 

On top of the Rims... Does a running route get a better view? I don’t think so! There are some great dirt paths all across the Rims so you can get some extra running inspiration feeling like you are on top of the world (or on top of Billings at least). To increase your distance a bit and enjoy a little wilderness, take a run through Zimmerman Park on the dirt paths. Zimmerman Park trails are not paved and it’s a natural park, so please be careful. Watch your footing and watch for snakes. For a shorter run, park anywhere along Airport Road that’s closer to Zimmerman Park and start from there.


Pioneer Park Loop

Where: Central Billings 

Distance: 3 Miles 

Terrain: paved 

At about three miles, this is a great route for beginners and those training for a 5K. This route takes you through and along the nicely shady Pioneer Park and up along the tree streets near Highlands Golf Club.


Jim Dutcher Trail beginning at Two Moon Park

Where:  Begins in the Heights
Distance: About 9 miles when you start at Two Moon Park
Terrain: paved

The Jim Dutcher Trail takes runners through four parks and along the Yellowstone River.  Begin up at Two Moon Park and follow the paved trail behind MetraPark and through Earl Guss Park.  Follow the path along the Yellowstone River at Coulson Park and to the end of the trail at Mystic Park where you can turn around and head back.

College Loop

Where:  MSU Billings Campus

Distance:  5 Miles

Terrain:  paved

Take a tour of Billings’ college campuses on this 5 mile loop. Begin at MSUB’s Tennis Bubble and run through campus to Virginia Lane. Go north to Rimrock Rd and follow it to 17th street where you can enter and run through the Rocky Mountain College Campus, through Veteran’s Park and back to MSUB on Parkhill Drive and Virginia Lane.

Happy Running!