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Sustainability Program

Walk. Run. Explore!

Our surroundings are an inspiring backdrop for innovation

Argonne’s natural beauty and walkable campus fosters the laboratory’s groundbreaking research and supports an active culture. Our cutting-edge facilities are nestled among hundreds of acres of wilderness and connected by a walk-friendly campus.

Throughout the year, employees and visitors alike can be seen walking, running and cycling around campus for leisure and transportation.

Walk. Run. Explore! Campus Map

Walk. Run. Explore! Campus Map

Looking to explore our beautiful natural surroundings while on campus? Download this informative map detailing Argonne’s biking- and walking-friendly amenities.

Download the PDF

Sidewalks, footpaths, and paved shoulders help connect people to their destinations and offers a green transportation alternative. Our walkable campus also provides ample opportunity for logging some steps and supporting healthy habits.

The loop around Inner Circle Drive offers a view of historic red-brick laboratory buildings and takes approximately 25 minutes to walk, mostly on sidewalks (~1 mile). 

The loop around Outer Circle Drive provides a 50-minute walking route (~2 miles) where a gravel shoulder provides a pedestrian path for the majority of route.

Walking routes also connect our laboratory community to the cafeteria in Building 213 from other key parts of the site. Popular routes include:

  • Paved sidewalks from Building 401 - 18 minutes (0.7 mile)
  • Wooded trail from Student Housing - 15 minutes (0.6 mile)
  • Wooded trail from Building 362 - 20 minutes (0.75 mile)
  • Paved sidewalks from Building 240 10 minutes (0.37 mi)


Popular routes also showcase our natural resources with views that highlight our various habitats. About 50% of our site is managed as natural habitat including woodlands, grassland and prairie, wetlands and other habitats. Our Oak woodlands are beautiful in all seasons. Read more about natural resource management.

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve

We are completely surrounded by the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, providing close access to 2,500-acres of prairies, savannas and oak-maple woodlands.  With a quick trip from North Gate or West Gate our laboratory enjoys access to 11 miles of gently rolling to hilly trails which are popular to hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders and cross-country skiers year-round. Employees and visitors should remember to bring their ID Badge to gain access back onto the Argonne site.

  • North Gate to Waterfall Glen – 13 minutes (0.5 miles)
  • West Gate to Waterfall Glen- 8 minutes (0.3 miles)

Safety is our top priority 

We strictly follow Illinois law, giving pedestrians in a crosswalk the right of way. Drivers of motorized vehicles and bicycles must yield to pedestrians who are in, or preparing to enter, a cross-walk. To increase safety when you are walking at the laboratory:

  • Use sidewalks or paths when available
  • If no sidewalk is available, face oncoming traffic and stay in single file when vehicles are approaching
  • Cross streets at crosswalks
  • Use caution when crossing the roadways
  • Wear light-colored or reflective clothing at night
  • Attempt to make eye contact with drivers when crossing a road

Bicycles are welcome

Bicycles are also a wonderful way to explore Argonne. Personal bicycles are welcome at the laboratory and bicycle owners can use the bike racks across the site. All bicycle riders must wear a bicycle helmet. Visitors and employees can also use our Bikeshare program which provides a fun and eco-friendly option from April through October. Read more

Explore with Argonne Clubs

Organized activities also help us explore the laboratory through a variety of special interest clubs at Argonne. Our clubs provide social and recreational opportunities for employees, family members and retirees.

  • Running Club – organizes Run & Walk events monthly throughout the year.
  • Garden Club – provides on-site garden plots to grow produce and flowers using environmentally sound gardening practices

All employees are welcome and encouraged to join Argonne’s various clubs. Learn More