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Ethan Rambacher | 05.20.2019

Trail running has become a popular sport for daily exercise. Having trails right outside your door is always great motivation for getting your run in. But for city dwellers, it can often be challenging to find trails to run on. To get you started in your search for your next trail running location, here are 10 parks either in the city or located close by, all perfect for trail running.


Stunning seaside vistas on the running path in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Andrew Stohner.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

One of Vancouver's largest urban parks, Stanley Park offers almost 1,000 acres of trails and recreation. You'll find both gravel and paved paths, as well as the park's beautiful 13-mile seawall along the park's border. From the aquarium to the lighthouses to picnic locations, there's also plenty of other recreation for your rest days.

Middlesex Fells Reservation, Boston, MA

A 10-minute drive from downtown Boston, this dog-friendly park offers over 2,500 acres of nature, and over 100 miles of mixed-use trails. Established in 1893, this park has scenic views of over a half dozen ponds. The park is open sunrise to sunset all year, and in winter the lakes and woods become a snow-covered winter paradise, perfect for local winter excursions.

Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC

This park, just 3 miles from downtown D.C., contains both paved walkways and double-track hiking and running trails along the scenic Rock Creek. The park also includes recreation such as tennis courts, but with over 32 miles of trails there is plenty of trail running to do!


Sights on the trails at Volunteer Park, a short run from Interlaken Park in Seattle, Washington. Shane Kucera.

Interlaken Park, Seattle, WA

A forested park conveniently located on the north end of Seattle, Interlaken Park features over 50 acres of gravel and dirt trails for runners, hikers, and bikers. It is also located conveniently next to Volunteer Park and the Washington Park Arboretum, both of which are also great running locations.

Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

The beautiful Bay Area seashore is filled with numerous trails that pass lakes, the Golden Gate Bridge, and of course the coastline itself. Stunning viewpoints abound, and come here for challenging hill climbs that mix gravel and paved paths. Wildlife such as marine mammals, birds, and elk can also often be spotted. And with a variety of beach options, it's not hard to find a relaxing place to recover after your run. Plus, it’s in the heart of downtown San Francisco, one of the country’s most beautiful cities.

Memorial Park, Houston, TX

Located just a few miles from the downtown, Houston's Memorial Park contains dirt and crushed gravel trails through flat forested land with beautiful creeks. The popular 3-mile Seymour Lieberman Exer-Trail includes exercise equipment stations for working out, or explore the remaining 30 miles of hiking trails throughout the park.


Often overlooked, the outdoors around Los Angeles include Griffith Park's 53 miles of trails. Em Wooden.

Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Griffith Park is a trail runner's dream—over 4,000 acres of hilly terrain with paved and unpaved trails throughout. The largest urban park in the U.S., Griffith Park includes numerous attractions along the paths, including the Hollywood Sign, the L.A. Zoo, and Griffith Observatory. Great views of the city and the opportunity to see wildlife such as deer, bobcats, salamanders, and birds make Griffith Park an ideal location for a trail run.

Pennypack Park, Philadelphia, PA

Boasting miles of singletrack and double-track trails and gravel carriage roads, Pennypack Park surrounds the beautiful Pennypack Creek and its numerous scenic falls. The park is home to an annual series of trail running endurance races such as the Dirty German Endurance Fest and the 1/2 Sauer 1/2 Kraut marathon. With flat trails along the river, rolling hills, and meadows, the park has something for every runner.


Forest Park's Wildwood Trail is more than 30 miles long, and it hosts its own annual marathon. Daniel Sherman.

Forest Park, Portland, OR

With over 80 miles of trails, trail runners love Forest Park for its—well, forests. The greenery is stunning, and with long trails like the 30-mile Wildwood Trail, you will never get bored of Forest Park. Plenty of hills, numerous waterfalls, interesting plant species, and features like the Stonehouse add to the allure of this beautiful park.

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, Chicago, IL

Just a 30-minute drive from Chicago center, this beautiful park offers hiking and running trails across gently rolling terrain. Numerous waterfalls along Sawmill Creek offer eye candy during the run, and the neighboring parks such as the Saganashkee Slough Woods and Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve allow you to extend your trail run.

Trail running is an incredibly enjoyable and rewarding sport, but depending on your location, it can be hard to find good trails to run on. Although this list is nowhere near complete, hopefully it gets you started and motivated to get outside and find some trails near you!


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