If you are like us, you are likely bored of the same routes every morning around your neighborhood. To celebrate Global Running Day this year, we asked four friends who know a thing or two about trails to tell us about their favorites, and what they like to take with them on their runs.
If a friend was coming to town, what are some of the top running trails you would take them to?
Lindsey: The Bruce trail! This is one of Canada’s most iconic trails, running clear across the province of Ontario. It’s 885km long, so typically we run sections of it on any given long run day. The great thing about this trail is that the scenery and foliage is always changing. It’s always beautiful and never gets dull. It also runs straight through our backyard. The Forks of the Credit provincial park is another great option because there are lots of loop options through this beautiful park, including a lovely riverside trail and a view of a spectacular waterfall beside an old mill ruin. In the winter it’s great for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Miguel: The first trail I’d recommend would be Arthur’s Rock at Lory State Park! It’s a quick descent that is less than 2 miles and just under 2000 feet of elevation gained. But you climb to the top of a rock sticking out of the mountain with a sweeping view of Horsetooth Reservoir and Fort Collins! It’s always a good place for time trials or just stop and enjoy the view. Another trail that is a nice long run and goes from Fort Collins to Loveland is known as Bluesky. It’s 16 miles long and it is awesome single track along the devil’s backbone, coyote ridge and a couple sandy spots that can be really fun and challenging in the rain. Plus you only gain about 800 feet so the run is really enjoyable, just watch out for rattlesnakes. One last trail that isn’t technically a trail, but it’s the Poudre River trail that runs through Fort Collins. It’s a cool way of seeing town because it follows the waterways in every direction of town. So you can bike or run anywhere between a mile to 21 miles through Greeley and Windsor. It is paved so it’s totally bike or stroller friendly too. I’ll finish up my morning run and head to Blackbird coffee for a drip when I’m done since it’s right off the trail.
Ryan: One trail I would recommend is the Devils pulpit trail, on the Bruce trail. It is right by my doorstep and features a steep technical trail. Killarney’s “la cloche trail” is another standout trail as it is 80 km long, and totally wilderness based. It has giant white quartzite cliffs and secluded trails make this route stand out! A third one to check out is known as the “great range traverse. It is a route in the Adirondacks that traverses 25 miles with 10,000ft of ascent. 7 peaks provide endless challenge and views.
Amelia: Easy, Quicksilver Almaden Park, Big Basin State Park, and Marin Headlands/Mt. Tam
What has been your favorite trail running experience?
Lindsey: Locally, the La Cloche trail in Killarney Provincial Park. Within Canada, the West Coast Trail in British Columbia. In the world I’d have to say some of the mountain hikes we’ve done in the Adirondack mountains of New York, Mount Whitney in California, or the High Peak District and Lake District of England. Really, it’s hard to pick!
Miguel: One of my favorite trail experiences would have to be my first Ultramarathon. It was a 50k in Silverton, Colorado. We ran from 9,000 feet to just over 13,000 feet through the California pass. Most of the run was jeep roads and ridges but it was incredible to see so much history in this area. It was huge for mining before so we basically ran through a few of abandoned towns from the Wild West too.
Ryan: My favourite trail experience was my first solo hike across the Dix mountains in Adirondacks. I was young and inexperienced, but had a fabulous time.
Amelia: To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than watching the sunrise from a mountain summit – I live for that early in the morning.
Do you have a favorite music playlist to run to?
Lindsey: It depends on my run and my mood. If I’m doing an intensity speed workout, I listen to a lot of electronic music. If I’m out for a long run, I listen to lots of country and acoustic.
Miguel: I tend to focus on the trails and enjoying my surroundings because there’s lots of wild life in my area. If I really feel like music I’ll leave my phone on speaker mode and listen to all the greats from classic rock on Soundcloud of Spotify!
Ryan: I like running to Taylor Swift, or dubstep, or rock, or rap. Basically anything good, that gets me jazzed up to move!
Amelia: I have a mix on an iPod shuffle I’ve been adding to for the past 5 years – it contains everything from heavy metal to Gregorian chants to Taylor Swift. But a lot of the time, I run to silence, nature sounds, and my own thoughts.
What’s in your pack for a long trail run?
- I always have my little medical kit. It includes a few alcohol wipe pads, some duct tape and medical tape rolled up around a little pencil (the whole roll would be too heavy), a few tylenol, and Aquatabs in case I need to treat stream water for drinking. I keep this in a little waterproof baggy.
- About 2 litres of water
- Enough snacks to eat every 1/2 to 1hour of my run. For my this usually includes a few nut bars, Cliff shot blocks or Honey Stinger energy chews, and chocolate bars. Healthy, right?! Your body needs the sugar and calories on a long run.
- A light windbreaker/semi waterproof jacket, weather dependant. I have the Arcteryx Squamish hoodie. It only weighs 5.5oz and fold up to the size of an iPhone.
- My phone, for photos and emergency calls. If it’s going to rain I stick it in a ziplock bag.
- A headlamp.
- For runs over 4 hours: Water, Chocolate bars, Water treatment tabs, Wind breaker, Headlamp, Tape are in my pack for big days (over 4 hours).
- For runs under 4 hours: I don’t bring anything but my gps Suunto watch.
- I’m pretty minimalist – water, keys, a Neo40 tab, a stick of gum.
- I keep it simple – Just water, calories, electrolytes, a steristraw, and of course, Beetelite.