The southeastern suburbs of Orlando are not a runner’s paradise but the area is teeming with runners looking for a route through the city for a good workout. The Lake Como to Lake Davis run, as mapped on Run.com, does the trick as long as runners can follow the trail. It’s part of a popular route mapped out on a number of web sites, including the Track Shack’s Downtown Orlando Lakes run, all focused on downtown runs and all centered on various lakes in mostly four- to six-mile loops.
The Lake Como to Lake Davis run goes from Lake Como to Lake Davis and back via E. Gore St. then on to S. Crystal Lake Dr. past Lake Arnold to Curry Ford Rd. From there it’s north on Primrose Dr. then west on Nancy St. The last leg of the trail heads north on S. Bumby Ave. past E. Gore St. and ending back at Lake Como. The trail is six miles long and mostly across the cobble streets of old Orlando.
It’s not the most picturesque run but it does have its charm, owing to the moss-drooping oaks along the way, the old homes and the cobble paths. Traffic is heavy during rush hour throughout the trail but the roads are so tightly wound with lots of parked vehicles that speeding vehicles aren’t usually a problem. There will be a lot of hopping and skipping out of the way of pedestrians, cars, intersections, driveways and the brick-covered road itself, so it’s a laborious six-mile run. If you can make it all the way without stopping consider it a lucky day.
Lake Como is too small to make any distance running around it, and parking is available only on side streets, so it’s not the best place for a group to meet for a run, and serves only as a landmark for this trail, although it is a great spot to stretch out or take a break without the comforts of restrooms or water fountains.
Lake Davis provides a much better starting point, especially with the runner-friendly 903 Mills Market, ”Orlando’s quintessential downtown deli restaurant,” across the street. The 90-year-old building has been the home of many businesses over the years and appears out of nowhere in an unlikely spot for a place for food and drink. It has outdoor seating, a surprisingly expansive menu and of course it’s open until 9:03 pm every day. Check out the web site for a better idea of the atmosphere of the establishment.
The views of downtown Orlando’s tall buildings over Lake Davis are impressive, especially around sunset, and the neighborhood (Greenwod/Lake Davis District) is a quiet one to wind down, take a seat and relax after the run or bike. The lake is surrounded by many historic old homes and bordered by Lake Cherokee Park with a playground for the kids.
The Lake Como to Lake Davis run is a pure urban run, albeit a pleasant urban area as Orlando goes. It’s not a good run for night-time as the footing is too treacherous for darkness and the path too difficult to follow it you’re not familiar with the area. If it’s downtown Orlando suburbs and cobble streets you want to experience in a run, the Lake Como to Lake Davis run is a good place to start.