From wrestling boots to hiking boots, you need a pair for physical activities so you never stop exercising if you’d like to keep yourself in the very best of shape. Running is the most accessible of them all so here we recommend 10 great running trails in the U.S.
Let’s Get It Started
It doesn’t matter if you want to cover some extra miles in your daily trail running or you’d like to experience a nice view while doing so, we have prepared for you a list of 10 of the best running trails that you can find in the U.S., all in various locations and with various levels of difficulty.
The great adventure may wait for you just around the corner so check out the list and select which ones are more of your forte as we have included a little something for everyone, from easy mode in Montana to difficult in Hawaii. If you find yourself near any of these places, you’d be sorry not to try any of them at least once.
The Easy Ones
Waterworks Hill in Missoula, Montana. This easy trail has a length of 3.5 miles and will be captivating for all runners in search of a route with beautiful views without having to ascend too much and get drained of energy. You only have a slow slope to climb and you’ll get to enjoy the views that Missoula has to offer and the towns around it.
During the warm seasons, especially in summer, the hills are covered with an abundance of wildflowers of various colors, which make this place truly spectacular.
Another easy trail is the Air Line State Park Trail in Connecticut. This one is really old as it dates back to the 1870s! The area used to be a rail bed, but as of now, it has been transformed into a point-to-point gravel trail which is recommended if you care for an easy but long run that has a pleasant gradual elevation.
This area has two sections, one being the 21-mile North section (from Windham to Pomfret) and the other one being the 22-mile South section (from East Hampton to Windham). Regardless if you choose to do only a bit or the whole area, you’ll love the river views and canopy overhead. You can even bring your dog with you to this place!
Also on the easy level of difficulty, we have the Godwin Hill Loop Trail in Flint Hills, Kansas. This one can be found in the Konza Prairie Preserve and has a length of 6.2 miles. It mixes level surfaces with gentle hills so it can be enjoyable for all runners, all year-round. For the best view, you should visit here during the springtime when flowers bloom.
Between Easy and Difficult
For the fourth entry on our list, we move to trails that aren’t as easy and start to move to a more difficult level, such as the Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park in Jacksonville, Florida. This trail has 17 miles of singletrack which includes a Z Trail. They are rather sandy which means they are even better after rain as they don’t turn into mud.
The easy part is the flat profile which is found at sea level, but when it comes to the more difficult part, that is mostly because of the roots and various obstacles that can appear on the road. On the bright side, you have a 1.5 miles long beach you can also run on also in the park’s limits.
In the same category, we have the Red River Gorge in Slade, Kentucky where you will be able to go on 30 trails, all ready for you to explore. During autumn you can take part in the Rugged Red Half Marathon which will take you through rugged terrain, but also breathtaking mountain views.
Our sixth pick is the Mid Mountain Trail in Park City, Utah which has a moderate difficulty level. This place has an elevation mark of 8,000 feet and the air starts to get kinda thin, but the beauty of the trail will surely make it all worth it. You’ll travel between Deer Valley and The Canyons and you’ll get peaks of Park City and the Canyons resorts.
The Inner Basin Trail in Flagstaff, Arizona simply can not be missed! This running trail can be found in the Coconino National Forest. It starts in the middle of a meadow and it goes into the Inner Basin of the area which gives the trail its name. On this ride, you’ll get glimpses of the San Francisco Peaks.
You’ll also encounter a trail in the high-altitude alpine area which is also really close to Flagstaff. You can connect this 3.9 miles trail with various other trails that can be found in the area if you wish to try an even longer loop which we highly recommend as the scenery is just so beautiful that you can’t miss it.
For the last entry on the moderate level, we have the Green Lakes to Soda Creek Trail that you’ll find in Bend, Oregon. The trail is a 12.1 miles long loop that presents to you all of the beauty that the central area of Oregon can offer you. This trail is truly gorgeous and you won’t be disappointed for having tried it.
On it, you can pass by pine forests, meadows full of various types of wildflowers, waterfalls and you’ll even be able to see the snow-covered peaks of the mountains surrounding it. This trail is very easy to reach as it’s only 25 minutes away from Bend, Oregon in the area called Three Sisters Wilderness that is beloved by many hikers and runners from the area.
Now that we’ve finished with the easier trails available across the U.S., it’s time to move on to the big boys. These trails are much more difficult (as the name suggests), but the results are also much more impressive. Not only will you get a serious amount of exercise on these trails, but you’ll also see some spectacular views which take your breath away.
We’ve only picked two choices for the difficulty level as not everybody can take on them, but if you have no problems with all the aforementioned trails, then you probably will do just as well on these two trails.
As Hawaii is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. (not to mention the most distinct when it comes to the climate, animals, flora, etc), we couldn’t have skipped over it. To represent one of the most difficult, but beautiful trails in America, we have chosen the Awa’awapuhi Trail which you can find on the Kauai island of Hawaii.
The Na Pali Coast of the Kauai island is well known for the ocean scenery it gives to those who come there and for the beautiful sheer cliffs. You can view the coastline from 4,000 feet above, making it truly a sight to be seen. The 4,000 feet altitude also means not everybody gets to do it since it’s more on the difficult side of exercises.
The Awa’awapuhi trail can be found in the State Park of Koke’e and from here you’ll be able to see the Na Pali coast and go through the wonderful Waimea State Park. Across only 3.2 miles, this trail goes from 4,100 feet to 2,500 feet through rugged terrain and areas covered in forests.
On top of this, in order for you to return, you need to go through the same terrain – so if you thought going from 4,100 feet to 2,500 feet was difficult, imagine having to climb it back. Definitely not for the weak of heart, but also definitely worth it for those who try it.
The last trail on our list is the Art Loeb Trail, named after a hiker from the area who cared for it and explored it even more. The trail is 30 miles long and can be found in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina. You’ll climb and descend peaks and ridges all through it, making it a real challenge even for the experienced hikers.
This trail is made of four sections and the common way of tackling it is to approach it by segment and not in its entirety in a single day.
We hope this guide will serve you well and that you’ll have fun on the next adventure you’ll go on!