What is a Grand Rapids Running Tour?

A guided tour for groups (small or large) through the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. While we move, your tour ambassador, Caroline, will enlighten you with historical, cultural and newsworthy facts and stories. She promises an unforgettable blend of sightseeing and exercise. You choose from one of 80 unique thematically organized tours.

Do you only do running tours?

Caroline is pleased to offer walking versions as well.  In addition, if your group or organization would like a guided bus tour, she will  “step on” your bus with your driver and narrate as we traverse downtown!

What size are the groups?

It all depends on the registration for a particular tour. Sometimes it is five people and sometimes it is ten.  A special event may have fifty!

How much does it cost?

The price for a running or walking tour is $20 per person.  For groups larger than 10 participants, the cost is $15 per person.  Participants can pay cash or VENMO, at the start of the tour.

What is included?

Lots of smiles, good cheer and a constant stream of fun facts!

What equipment do I need?

Just your body clad in comfortable clothing, plus a good pair of shoes and a great attitude!

How long does it last?

Each tour is a unique experience … distance, number of participants, pace and weather all affect the duration. Typically, tours are completed within 75 – 90 minutes of fabulous fun.

Will I be able to keep pace?

Yes, Caroline is skilled at managing different paces to ensure no one is left behind.

Do I need to run or walk fast the whole time?

We move for a bit, stop at a sight, chat about it.  Repeat.  You’ll have the opportunity to catch your breath.

What is a custom tour?

Anything you want it to be. Maybe you want a different distance, geography or theme than is listed on the Tour Menu .  Chat with Caroline about it…the possibilities are endless!

How do I register?

Visit the Register page to book and pay for publicly scheduled tours.  However, please email carcook900 [at] gmail [dot] com to register for a tour of your choice on your preferred day and time.

Where do I park?

There is parking at the JW Marriott hotel, including valet parking, but it is the most expensive option. The City of GR Louis Campau Ramp (covered garage) is kitty-corner across the street at 43 Monroe Ave. NW, 49503.  The cost is $5 for 2 hours.  A little further away, to the west, the City of GR Scribner lot (partially covered) is at 265 Scribner Ave., 49504.  The cost is $4 for 2 hours.  And even further to the west, by the downtown YMCA, is the DASH West Area (not covered) at 201 Mr. Vernon Ave. NW, 49504.  The cost is $2 for 2 hours.

Do I need to sign a waiver?

Yes – you must sign an electronic waiver before completing online registration. If you register in person, Caroline will ask you to sign a paper waiver. The waiver certifies that you accept the risks for engaging in demanding physical activity on busy sidewalks and streets, and that you will not hold Grand Rapids Running Tours liable for any damages you might suffer.

What if I have to cancel?

Cancel at least 72 hours before your scheduled event to receive a full refund. Sorry, no refunds for cancellations made within the 72-hour window. However, a rain check can be issued.

What about weather?

We tour rain or shine, snow or lake effect clouds, in hot weather and cold – but we will cancel and reschedule events in the event of lightning, tornado or extreme ice. The decision to cancel will be made as close to start time as possible. A rain check can be issued if you are unable to make the rescheduled event.

What about bathrooms?

Bathrooms are available at the point where we begin and end our tours – typically, the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. Should you need a potty break during an event, we’ll try to locate one near the route. Sorry, there are no secluded woods on our tours!

What do I do with my “stuff” while I’m touring?

We suggest that you arrive for your tour with only your essentials that can be zipped into a pocket. Caroline uses her hands to expressively point out and describe the sights – she won’t be able to hold your “stuff” for you.

Can kids join in?

Yes – running or walking kids are welcome to participate, as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian, and are capable of keeping up with the group. Children in running strollers receive a 100% discount.

What about pets?

Sorry, but pets are not allowed on “group” tours – some folks are allergic or phobic.  OR, schedule a private tour for just you, your friends and your pooches.

Can I tip my guide?

Tipping is not required (nor will it be refused!).

Is it true that you now offer virtual tours?

Yes!  Caroline presents “tour topics” with media support for your group at a venue of your choice/arrangement. In fact, her presentations are regarded as quality activities for clubs and organizations all over west Michigan.