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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Seven Rewarding Pit Stops to Make When You're Tackling the Merri Creek Trail

Jog on to tranquil lakes, community veggie patches and historic cafes on this popular trail.
By Marnie Vinall
March 19, 2021
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By Marnie Vinall
March 19, 2021
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in partnership with

The Merri Creek Trail is a popular walking, running, biking and strolling track for many northside Melburnians. It's also home to collared sparrowhawks, eastern rosellas and plenty of ducks. You'll be pacing along Wurundjeri Country and it's a route full of nature, as well as plenty of places to stop along the way — including community gardens, cafes and swimming pools. To enhance your next run, we've teamed up with Adidas to bring you seven rewarding pit stops for when you're tackling the Merri Creek Trail. Take a look, then plan your own adventure using the map below.

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Dog running off leash

Matthias Zomer

SUMNER PARK

First, head to Sumner Park on Alister Street in Brunswick East. The park features extensive lawns for some light exercises, like leg swings and calf stretches, plus a drinking fountain. Importantly, this park is a regular hangout spot for furry friends, who can run off-leash and play. Is there any better way to warm up than when surrounded by good boys and girls?

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Jamie Dale Photography

CERES COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENT PARK

Make a stop on the corner of Stewart and Roberts Streets at CERES Community Environment Education Centre and Park. Here you can learn some good eco tips and tricks as well as grab some caffeine. The social enterprise has a community garden and nursery, which you can peruse as you pick up some seasonal produce advice or organic seedlings to put in your bum bag. There's also an organic cafe, pouring coffee made from locally roasted organic beans and serving sandwiches, wraps, salads and baked treats.

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Laya Clode; Unsplash

MERRI CORNER COMMUNITY GARDEN

Past Abrahams Reserve, Merri Corner Community Garden is full of vibrant flowers, plants and plenty of buzzing bees. Catch your breath and slow your heart rate as you walk around the garden beds that are maintained by various groups in the local community. There are benches to enjoy a proper rest, or for calf stretches while you enjoy the floral scent in the air. And, hey, you may even spot an eastern rosella among the sunflowers.

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Moreland City Council

DE CHENE RESERVE

Just past Bowden Reserve is De Chene Reserve, a large dog park and sports field connected to the Merri Creek Trail. Here you'll find spots to have a breather among the gum trees. There's also an outdoor gym with various exercise equipment for strength training. Or, there's a walking track if you feel like keeping up your cardio at a slower rate. Make use of the drinking tap near the playground, too.

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COBURG SWIMMING POOL

Take a break from moving on foot by heading to Coburg Olympic Swimming Pool, on Murray Road. Swap the trail for a body of water and get some laps in at the 50-metre outdoor pool. There's also a diving pool with a one-metre diving board if you've got a swan-like plunge to show off. Entry is $6.70. Alternatively, Coburg Leisure Centre is just a stone's throw away and has a spa and steam room if that's more your style. It's $10.30 for a swim, spa and steam.

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THE BOOT FACTORY

After your dip, head to The Boot Factory. The family-owned cafe is housed in the old Coburg Penitentiary and dates back to the 1850s. Take in the history while enjoying an eggs benny, sautéed mushroom medley or a wagyu beef, chicken or haloumi burger. Alternatively, give in to your sweet tooth with a rose and pistachio chocolate brownie or lemon cheesecake.

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Creative Commons

COBURG LAKE RESERVE

Finish off your run at Coburg Lake Reserve, an picturesque lake surrounded by greenery and wildlife. You'll definitely see a duck or two and white ibises. Cool down in the shade and enjoy the tranquillity of the park. There's also a public bocce court if you want to stick around for the rest of the arvo.

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In need of a new pair of runners? Take a look at the new Adidas Ultraboost 21 runners here. Launch the map below to start plotting your own running adventure in and around Melbourne.

Top image: Pexels

Published on March 19, 2021 by Marnie Vinall

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