Trail runners in Virginia have an embarrassment of riches to choose from. Should you head to the beach and the oft-sighted First Landing State Park? Or what about the Shenandoah Valley, one of the most gorgeous locations on planet earth? Below, we’ve highlighted seven awesome, lesser-known trail running spots in Virginia for your running pleasure.
The Preddy Creek Trail Park in Charlottesville, Virginia, is over 570 acres in total, 10 miles of which are reserved for hiking, running, biking, and horseback riding. The wooded park has easy topography, allowing you to go at your own pace and enjoy the scenery.
One of the lesser-traversed parks in the Richmond area, Powhite nonetheless offers wonderful natural trails with gorgeous foliage and abundant wildlife. Runners, watch out for other hikers, birdwatchers, dog walkers, and bikers.
Prince William Forest has over 47 miles of hiking trails on its 15,000 acres. The trails are of varying difficulty and terrain, with some cutting through wetlands and most through forests. Runners, consider the Laurel Loop Trail to start. You’ll likely come back over and over again.
The Freedom Park in Williamsburg sits on over 600 acres of forested land, with around two miles of multi-use trails. The park is steeped in history, with notable sites dating back to the 1650s.
Located on the Potomac River, Great Falls Park will make your invigorating run a lot more relaxing with all of its scenic sights. If you’re looking for an easier trek, try out the 1.5-mile Ridge Trail, rated from “easy to moderate.” This trail is popular among hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders.
For an incomparable summer jog, head to First Landing State Park. Try out the moderately-rated Bald Cypress Trail at 1.8 miles-long. This trail is among the most popular in the park and boasts a picturesque boardwalk swamp overview. Enjoy the spectacular sights of bald cypress swamps and other breathtaking natural features.
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Encompassing a portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park provides limitless opportunity for exploration. If you’re in the mood for a jog that will help you clear your head, try the Jones Run Falls route in the Loft Mountain Area. Roundtrip, the trek is 3.4 miles with a steady incline of 915 feet. And there is a real treat on this hike: a magnificent 42-foot waterfall enveloped in rocks, moss, and bushes. Shenandoah’s official site describes the waterfall as a “jewel.”