A Dreamer's Guide to Epic Running Trails
Hunkering down, sheltering in place, idling around... none of these come easily to a dedicated runner. There's no better antidote for a trail fanatic emerging out of this lock-down period than heading to one of the world's wildest spaces. As a reset of soul, body, and spirit, we've compiled a helpful list of life-changing trails. Hopefully, you've been giving that treadmill a run for its money, and fitness is no object. If it is, we've included some more forgiving options.
Atjan Wild Islands
Most of us have been quarantined to a land mottled with buildings and concrete structures. That's what makes the Atjan Island race astonishing. Unless you've treated yourself to this Scandinavian marvel, there's no way to describe it adequately. It's a pristine, almost surreal land of waterfalls, unspoiled ridgelines, and navigable caves. The five-day no-holds-barred epic journey runs along fjords under the bluest skies imaginable, and it's all made possible by kayaking between 18 volcanic islets. Mornings commence with yoga, and you'll celebrate the finish line each day with an unforgettable Scandinavian style party.
Boulder, CO, Green Mountain Summit
While we are stuck in the US territory, for now, think about adding
the Green Mountain Summit to your runner's diary. Peaking at 8,100 feet, Green Mountain Summit commands a full frontal view of the soul-affirming Rockies, and for a post-COVID launchpad, there's no better début than the Saddle Back Route. At 5 miles, this is the shortest option that still allows one a decent challenge after being stifled for too long. If that's not grueling enough for you, there's another full 20 miles worth of trail options to occupy your day.
Bozeman, MT, Sourdough Canyon
Montana is just redolent with stunning trails, and what better way to scout Big Sky Country than the old logging route that follows Sourdough Canyon? Some cross-fit capabilities are a requirement if you're taking on Bozeman Creek. If you're not up to scaling the 8-mile incline, follow the flat day-trail to Mystic lake and turn in for a beer at the MAP Brewing Company to end the day on a high note.
North Conway, NH, Black Cap Mountain
For the solitary runners who needs a public presence to feel at ease, the Green Hills Preserve Loop 16 km track is a tamer option while still nestling you in its verdant woods and shaded paths. One all-important factor is the illusiveness of signage, so we'd highly recommend you download the All Trails app from the offset.
Eugene, OR, Pre's Trail
For one of the prized gems of trail runners around the globe, the 4 mile Pre's trail is remarkably close to civilized life. Oregon U's campus is nearby, even if the bulk of your running time is consumed in greenery and gushing streams. This comfortable balance makes it an easy addition to the list.
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