Smooth Fitness Blog

Ten Best Running Locations in the U.S.

July 21st, 2011
Man Running at Sunset

If you’re looking for some incredible new running locations then look no further! We have put together a list of what we think are 10 of the best running locations in the U.S. These locations include, trails, parks, beaches, and islands sprinkled across several different states from coast to coast. Don’t miss out on these incredible running hot spots!

     

     

     

  1. Forest Park Trail System – Portland, OR: Forest park is over 5,000 acres in size and spans across sections both inside and outside the Portland city limits. Forest park houses beautiful, lush, trail systems that can be as long as 30-40 miles like the Wildwood Trail. The forest park system operates as an integrated loop that connects directly into pedestrian walkways along the Columbia River and Portland city trails. Portland is also home to the Nike Corporation.
  2. Golden Gate National Parks – San Francisco, CA: The Golden Gate National park system spans over 80,000 acres covering a 70 mile spread north and south of the Golden Gate Bridge. These trails offer incredible views, varied terrain, and an amazing number of route options. This system will have something to suit any runner, plus the weather in California cannot be beat.
  3. City Limits – Eugene, OR: Eugene, Oregon is known as “track town” USA. Full of beautiful green foliage, incredible trails, and a crisp low humidity climate this city and its outlying lands make the perfect runners destination. Eugene does get a good bit of rain throughout the year, but if you spend time there during June, July, August, or September you will find sunshine all day long.
  4. Walden Pond State Reservation – Boston, MA: The Walden Pond State Reservation offers over 450 acres of beautiful forest that surrounds the gorgeous Walden Pond. Circling the pond are several hiking and running trails that offer serene beauty and a peaceful running environment. Also, taking a swim in pond itself is a great way to cool off after a long day of running.
  5. Central Park – New York, NY: Central Park is host to thousands of people every day and runners certainly make up a big part of that group. Central park offers a lush trail system that stretches along a 6 mile interior loop of center city New York. Central park is very popular and often over-crowded; however, it still offers city bound runners an “emerald” escape from the Big Apples’ daily bustle.
  6. Florida: All across Florida incredible running hot spots exist. Whether you want a great beachside workout or crave amazing inner-city dashes, Florida is the place to be. Some popular locations include Fort Lauderdale in North Florida, Winter Park in Central Florida, and Jacksonville in South Florida.
  7. Mackinac Island – Michigan: Nestled between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, Mackinac Island is a beautiful destination that resides within Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After getting off the ferry to Mackinac you will soon realize something is missing from this incredible island; cars! Mackinac has a ban on cars and instead offers horse drawn carriages as bikes as the primary modes of transportation. This makes Mackinac a runner’s paradise! Host to an 8 mile paved path that stretches around the entire island, Mackinac offers some of the most breathtaking views you will ever see.
  8. South Mountain Park – Phoenix, AZ: The South Mountain park system is a 17,000 acre desert mountain preserve. While much of the terrain along the 51 miles of South Mountain is rocky, some runners may enjoy this added challenge. The climate is great and the natural beauty is quite serene. Also, mountain biking and hiking are other popular activities well suited for South Mountain Park.
  9. Rampart Reservoir Shoreline Loop – Denver, CO: Offering a 15.3 mile round trip around the beautiful Rampart Reservoir Shoreline, this running loop is one you should not pass up. The terrain is varied and there are several locations along the way for picnicking or camping. The view of the reservoir is spectacular and the weather is gorgeous from April to November.
  10. George S. Mickelson Trail – South Dakota: The George S. Mickelson Trail is a beautiful system of over 15 trails spanning about 110 total miles worth of amazing running space. The surface is packed gravel and the inclines will only reach about 4% grade. The trails are lined with old railroad bridges (which have been converted and are safe to run on) and rock tunnels all nestled within the Black Hills of South Dakota. The trails at George S. Mickelson offer a spectacular running experience for all ages and skill levels.

 

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