Next time you lace up, skip the treadmill and instead head outdoors. To get you started, here are our 10 favorite places to run in nature! Explore the list below or view the slideshow to see photos of these runs.
TRAINING LOG: Run along the sidewalk trail inside the park for a 2½-mile run with some gentle hills.
NATURE LOG: This run is all about your view of the iconic Hudson River. Skip the sunglasses though because you’ll be well shaded by healthy groves of elm trees, ornamental cherry blossoms and evergreen spruces.
TRAINING LOG: Stay on the Abbott Loop and log about seven, mostly even but sometimes steep miles on a dirt footpath.
NATURE LOG: Run past wild blueberries and azaleas on your climb toward the Pinnacles, where you’ll see blooming witchhazel in the Fall.
TRAINING LOG: Set out on the 3- or 5-mile course and be prepared for Cardiac Hill, a steep climb that offers a solid challenge.
NATURE LOG: Start on the boardwalk to look for shore birds along the Long Island Sound, then head down a wooded trail, where you’ll find thrushes, wrens, chickadees and waxwings.
TRAINING LOG: Run 11 challenging miles on this hilly, cross-country route.
NATURE LOG: Larger than Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Canyon and the Great Smokies National Parks combined Adirondack Park is a crown jewel of nature in New York. Enjoy sparkling waterfalls, impressive peaks and swaths of forests.
TRAINING LOG: Combine the Red and Yellow trails to run a 3-mile loop with some hill work and off-road paths.
NATURE LOG: Bring your binoculars because this is a birding hotspot. In the Fall, look for migrating hawks, falcons and other raptors. During Summer, you’ll spy wood thrush, scarlet tanagers, warblers and other songbirds.
TRAINING LOG: Start with the Mineral Wells Trail—an easy, 2-mile dirt path—and then combine with one of the other trails for a longer route.
NATURE LOG: In this arid park, you’ll see native California species like lilac, sage and sumac. Head deeper into the canyon to see walnut and mahogany trees.
TRAINING LOG: Get in training runs of different lengths on this marked, 18-mile paved trail.
NATURE LOG: Following the Potomac River and passing through woods and wetlands, this area is rich with life: Take a detour through the Marsh Dyke Wildlife Preserve and see nesting red-winged blackbirds.
TRAINING LOG: Follow the 7½-mile Mountain Bike course, a mostly flat, wooded off-road trail.
NATURE LOG: Framed by the Ramapo Mountains, this park is a great place to spot migrating birds, thanks to a variety of habitats: orchards, lakes, meadows and shrubby fields among others.
TRAINING LOG: If you’re prepping for the Chicago Marathon, complete the full length of this paved trail for a long, 20-miler.
NATURE LOG: Thanks to ongoing restoration work in this area, you’ll be privy to sweeping views of open prairies filled with colorful goldenrods, bluestem and northern dropseed.
TRAINING LOG: Stay on the Reservoir Trail for a flat, gravel path that runs 5½ miles.
NATURE LOG: In Fall, vibrant red maples steal the show, but the Charles River is always a peaceful backdrop along this path.