The Best Trail Running Destinations on the East Coast

Staying fit and healthy is one of the most important things that you can do. If you can combine this with travel, then it makes for a very sweet combination. Trail running is one way to make this a reality. Along with providing an excellent workout, it allows you to see some of the most beautiful areas of the country. The east coast has some fantastic destinations, whether you are looking for hiking or trail running, and the scenery here varies from attractive mountain vistas through to lovely coastal paths. Here are some of the best destinations to inspire you to enjoy trail running in these areas.

01 of 07

Bradbury Mountain State Park, Maine

October view from Bradbury Mountain in Maine

visionsofmaine / Getty Images

Bradbury Mountain may not actually technically be a mountain, but the slopes of this 500-foot hill are still a very pleasant place to run. There is a good range of trails here, with some that will test you with ascent and descent, and others that are a little easier. There are over 20 miles of trail in total, with single track often used by mountain bikers, and double tracks too, while the fall, when the area is at its colorful best, is a spectacular time of year to visit.

02 of 07

The Laurel Highlands Trail, Pennsylvania

A wooded trail on the property of Falling Water within Bear Run Nature Reserve in Laurel Highlands

Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

Within easy reach of the town of Johnstown, this 70-mile trail is great for those who are looking to get away from the grind of towns and cities in the country, although there are three spots along the route that have potable water available. While it is possible to cut this down to two easy stages, it is also possible to access the trail along the route, making one day of trail running possible for those traveling with more than one vehicle, while the scenery during your run through the forest is very attractive.

03 of 07

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Florida

Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, boardwalk through swamp

Westend61 / Getty Images

This state park is home to a fifty-mile trail race that is held in February every year. In February, the temperatures and surroundings make the trail far better for running than during the main summer season when temperatures can soar and add another challenge. The trails in this park have very little elevation change, while the range of wooded areas and prairie offers a variety of surroundings in which to run.

04 of 07

Lower Nanamocomuck Trail, New Hampshire

Lower Nanamocomuck Trail

Tom Duff / Alltrails

This trail is used for skiing during the winter, but between the months of March and November it is open to runners and mountain bikers. It is fourteen miles if you run to the end of the trail and back again. Traversing a fairly marshy area, this trail can be a little muddy, but is a great route to run and offers a whole lot of attractive scenery. You may have to slow down in order to cross the log bridges which can be a little slippery.

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05 of 07

Jay Peak, Vermont

Jay peak from Owls head

Philippe Waterloos / Getty Images

This is another area that is used for skiing during the winter. Outside of the snow season, many of the trails around this attractive mountainous area are perfect for trail running, and if you enjoy routes with plenty of elevation change, then you will be in your element here. There is also an annual trail running festival held here around Labor Day that offers a series of races for the whole family to participate in, from 5-kilometer blasts up to a 50km ultra race. There is a kids track, too.

06 of 07

Finger Lakes, New York

Taughannock Falls State Park, The Finger Lakes Region, Upstate New York

Tony Shi Photography / Getty Images

The Finger Lakes are a lovely destination in central New York and are a series of long and narrow lakes surrounded by beautiful hills and natural scenery that makes for a nice backdrop for running. There are several different types of trail available that will give you something to enjoy whether you prefer hilly or flat terrain, and there is also a club for runners in the area who arrange regular events too.

07 of 07

Acadia National Park, Maine

A beautiful sunrise from the coast of Mount Desert Island Maine inside Acadia National Park

Photography by Deb Snelson / Getty Images 

This coastal park in Maine is one of the most idyllic areas of the country, with rocky peaks and a stretch of rugged coastline, while most of the area is covered in natural woodland. There is also an interesting run which can only be completed at low tide out to Bar Island and back, while you can also choose from routes with hills and mountains or attractive coastal trails that are a lovely place to run.

Especially during travel, staying active can prove difficult. However, when you find a way to stay active and healthy while on the road, the rewards are astounding. These trail running destinations are a gem for anyone who lives close by or is visiting from afar.

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