6 of the Best Scenic Running Trails in the U.S.

running-trails-usa

With the new year in full swing, many people are looking for ways to stay fit—including me! And after realizing how much fast food I ate while road tripping across the U.S. last summer (a hamburger and fries set me back 629 calories), I want to start incorporating more exercise while traveling. To get inspired – here are six of the most beautiful places to go for a run or hike in the U.S.!

1. El Moro Canyon Loop, Laguna Beach, California

Full of attractions, celebrities, shopping opportunities and tours, Los Angeles is a great holiday destination. But if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, Runner’s World recommend the El Moro Canyon Loop, calling it “a cherished refuge.” It’s an 8.5 mile loop, snaking through canyons and along the ridgetops of the San Joaquin Hills, which rise 1,000 feet from the Pacific coastline.

2. Charles River Esplanade, Boston

If you’re in Boston, it’s a great idea to run alongside the Charles River for views of the Back Bay and Cambridge. You can get the route for a 3.1m run here. It even passes a Whole Foods store where you can grab a quick refuel before taking advantage of what Boston has to offer!

3. Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Washington

This 3,100-acre park on the outskirts of Seattle boasts 36 miles of soft, rolling trails. It’s part of the lowest and westernmost part of the Issaquah Alps highlands, and offers a variety of routes to suit all running abilities. Whichever one you decide to take, you’ll be able to witness the spectacular scenery – cascading waterfalls, bubbling creeks, glacial boulders and various viewpoints.

4. The Appalachian Trail

Arguably one of the USA’s most famous routes, the Appalachian Trail runs for an impressive 2,181 miles. Currently, the fastest-known time for completing the entire length is 45 days, 22 hours and 38 minutes, ran by Karl Meltzer. But plenty of casual runners hit different parts of the trail for much shorter runs. If you want to decide where you’d like best, watch this hiker’s time lapse of the journey in five minutes.

5. Palmer Park, Colorado Springs

Shared by equestrians, hikers and runners alike, Palmer Park’s 703 acres is popular with everyone. And it’s no surprise – there are dedicated areas for dogs, recreational facilities (baseball and football fields, as well as volleyball courts), playgrounds and picnic areas. For runners, there are about 25 miles of formal trails within the park.

6. Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

If you’re lucky enough to be in Hawaii, take the Kalalau Trail to explore the area. It starts at one beach (Ke’e) and ends at another (Kalalau), and passes through gorgeous scenery, so what more could you want? People do warn it’s not for the faint-hearted though, as plunging cliff sides make it a nightmare for those with a fear of heights.

Have you tackled any of these running routes? Share your experiences with us!

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Erin founded the Wonderlost Travel blog in February of 2015 after her experience of studying abroad in Europe. Erin has had the opportunity to travel throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and parts of South America and Asia. She enjoys writing about and photographing her travel experiences in order to inspire others to get out and follow their travel dreams. She has collaborated with tourism departments, restaurants, and other travel bloggers to share reviews and travel advice with readers in over 100 countries. Erin has a passion for traveling the world to experience other cultures and explore nature!

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