5 Awesome Trail Running Spots in North Carolina

By Anna Glazebrook

5 Awesome Trail Running Spots in North Carolina

Hiking is a great way to get out and explore but the best way to get your heart pumping is running. While running the treadmill is an option, running is so much more entertaining when outside and viewing nature. Here are five awesome running spots to get in your daily cardio while exploring a bit of the state’s beauty. 

1. George Poston Park

Those ready to escape during their run can appreciate the scenery the loop trail at Poston Park offers. Runners can enjoy their run while they cross several streams by bridges, and take in the gorgeous views of the lake. With a total of seven miles, this location is perfect for a runner looking to fit in a run, any time of the day. Open from 7 a.m., until 11 p.m., this trail is a peaceful and friendly environment to run in the Gastonia area.

2. Graveyard Fields Loop Trail

For runners looking for a great run, Graveyard Fields Loop Trail of the Pisgah National Forest is an easy trek. Runners looking for some challenge can enjoy the hilly areas and some obstacles. But, the trip is relaxing with both the falls and the stream to enjoy. A total of 3.2 miles, the Graveyard Fields Trail is a loop that can give breathtaking views any season. During the summer, watch the warm sunrays glimmer against the cool mountain water and during the fall, as the leaves change, view the foliage that tends to peak in October.  

3. Cape Fear River Trail

Tour the marshes and woodlands of Fayetteville on the beautiful five-mile trail along the Cape Fear River. This one-way trail is great for runners of all skill sets, with the majority of the terrain being flat with some hills along the way. The Cape Fear River Trail is a tranquil location to enjoy river views. The best part about this spot? Trail users can enjoy the shade throughout from the tree coverage.

4. Salem Lake

Serious runners ready for a challenge should run the seven-mile trail on Salem Lake. This scenic run on the multi-use trail of the park is a hidden gem, the trail consisting of a dirt path that is well maintained for use. For a cooler run with more shade, the trail is best to run in the morning. Park your car at Linville Road., tighten your shoelaces, and get running!

5. Cox Mountain Trail

Take a round-trip run on the Cox Mountain Trail of Eno River State Park. About 3.75 miles in length, travel down to the river and then across it on the provided bridge. Continuing along the trail, runners will soon reach the hilltop with an increase in elevation by several hundred feet. And then, runners can descend back down to complete the trail. A moderate run, the trail is open year-round to enjoy the forest, river, and wildlife. 

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