One of my least favorite things to do is to run inside. Trying to keep up a good pace on a treadmill while staying motivated is so difficult, and I find myself wanting to do something (anything) else instead. When I get the chance to run outside though, I love it. Soaking in the views and enjoying the weather make running worth it for me, especially when I get to see something cool.
Here are some of the most beautiful places to run in the US.
Yosemite National Park: This park’s beauty is hard to write about, because it actually leaves me speechless. The looming, sentinel like mountains with waterfalls like spider webs make you feel tiny and insignificant, and from the distant rush of water to the wildlife that inhabits the park, this place is peaceful but never quiet. It’s distinctly alive, vibrant, and breathtaking. There are plenty of trails throughout the park, with plenty of variety in difficulty and scenery that everyone can enjoy. No matter where you are in this park, you’re sure to see something incredible.
Flat Irons Vista Trail: Colorado sports many beautiful views and trails, so while I think any of them would be a great idea the Flatirons Vista trail stood out to me. It’s a fairly flat loop trail with some gentle hills, so it’s more beginner friendly. It also sports some gorgeous views of the surrounding area, so this would be a great way to get your spouse or friends involved in an easy-going, scenic run. There’s plenty of wildlife to be seen along this trail, so keep an eye out and you might see something special like an eagle or bear. (Depending on the season!)
The 606, Chicago, IL: Moving away from the natural views is a trail that unveils the urban beauty of Chicago. Completed in 2015, this trail was built on the foundations of an elevated rail that served as a passenger and freight line until 2001. It has now been converted into a public greenway, stretching for 2.7 miles with multiple access ramps along the way. The trail boasts an exclusive appreciation and view of Chicago, including artwork and events throughout the year. This would be a great spot to visit if you want to see a different side of Chicago, whether as a tourist or a resident.
Crissy Field to Hopper’s Hands: This is considered one of the classic runs of San Francisco, and anyone can see why. With a beautiful view of the bridge and brimming bay, this trail offers a cool breeze along with it’s amazing sites. You can watch people, ships coming into the bay, and the waves hitting the beach. This is a 3.2-mile flat route that you can double back on to add some distance, so runners of any skill level can use this path. Make sure to bring a jacket with you just in case, as the wind can get a little chilly!
Mall and Monuments Route, Washington, DC: I think it’s only natural to talk about this route considering we’re talking about places in the US. Locals suggest that you give this path a try during the fall and winter so you can avoid the tourists and get the most out of this tour. The trail is 5.7 miles in length, and offers a stellar view of all the monuments and memorials of Washington DC. It’s perfect if you’d like to take a tour of some of America’s most memorable buildings and memorials from a distance, with some nice views to go with it!
Trail of Tears National Historic Trail: This trail is laden with meaningful national history as it shows the route that many tribes removed from their territories had to take in 1838-1839. Not only was this journey harrowing and heartbreaking, but it spans for 9 states. You can pick and choose which sites you’d like to see, but the effect that this trail has on people is poignant and meaningful. If you’re interested in learning more about the trail itself or the sites it includes along the way, you can check the National Park Service website for more information and pictures of the various sites on the trail.
While all of these places are beautiful, there are numerous other locations all over the US that deserve just as much praise and recognition. It just goes to show that there are endless opportunities to explore and see this country in unique ways. Whether you visit these or other places, I hope that you find something memorable and worthwhile on your run!