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5 Best Running Trails on the East Coast

by Kat » on Sep 12, 2014 0

photo 2 (4)The East Coast is home to some of the nation’s best trails. Runners who are looking for new territory to conquer should consider paths that offer uninterrupted distances, intense climbs, and rewarding views. Below, are five of the region’s top places to run.

The Long Trail – Winhall, VT.

Vermont’s renowned Long Trail presents runners with inclines and views throughout the Green Mountains. This trail stretches from the Vermont and Massachusetts border to the Canadian border. Every year, dozens of runners “pack light” and take the Long Trail in one big gulp, over a period of days and nights. Others repeatedly enjoy a favorite Long Trail chunk. Either way, this century-old trail that stretches for nearly 300 miles will delight most trail runners.

Shut-in Trail – Asheville, N.C.

As fascinating as the historic Biltmore House is, a running trail that shares its benefactor is similarly captivating to Asheville’s off-road runners. The man behind Biltmore, the late George Vanderbilt, wanted a direct route to his hunting cottage 18 miles away on Mount Pisgah. He forged the Shut-in Trail, which climbs 3,000 feet and takes runners through tunnels of vegetation that encourage contemplation.

Lower Nanamocomuck Trail – North Conway, N.H.

The Lower Nanamocomuck Trail rests amid New Hampshire’s top mountain-resort region. Nestled near several ski areas and other scenic delights, “The LNT” takes runners from gravel to often-muddy single-track terrain as its seven miles wind through marshes and over creeks. Nine months of the year, the LNT makes a nice accompaniment to any North Conway vacation.

Capital Crescent Trail – Washington, D.C.

City runners cannot always make it out to the country to run. Fortunately, some cities offer excellent running trails. In D.C., runners can take in the Capital Crescent Trail. This asphalt-paved trail follows a former railroad bed. It winds from the Georgetown waterfront through the charming Bethesda neighborhood up to Silver Spring, Md., and it allows distance runners an exhilarating 22-mile round-trip run. The path is extremely accessible from apartment buildings in Bethesda and the Georgetown University dormitories.

Central Park Trail System – New York, N.Y.

In New York City, runners will delight in the miles of pathways found in Central Park. Here, a system of mostly-paved trails offers runners views of nature with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. Daily, thousands run the six-mile loop of Park Drive and enjoy an invigorating start to a busy New York City day.

Any runner who takes in these five great East Coast runs will be rewarded with wonderful sights, and a healthier heart!

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