Best Running Routes in Raleigh, NC You Must Try Out
While we all have our go-to running routes, there are lots of beautiful paths you can take in Raleigh. Whether you are looking for a challenge or a beautiful scenic route, there is a running trail for everyone. Here are four of the best running routes to try on your next jog.
Neuse River Greenway Trail
The path offers views of the Neuse River and takes you over boardwalk areas and through the wetlands. It is a 27.5-mile paved pathway and runs from Falls Lake in North Raleigh to Wake County line. It is part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which is a trail that stretches across North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains all the way to the Outer Banks. Runners can enjoy views of historical sites, and if you take the lower Neuse Greenway path in June, you can look at the beautiful sunflowers that bloom just off the trail.
Lake Johnson Park
This park is located near North Carolina State University and includes a paved, 3-mile loop as well as two miles of unpaved trails. The paved section has some fun hills you can climb, but it tends to have bigger crowds than the unpaved pathway. The unpaved trail is flatter but offers a nice, quiet run.
Lake Johnson Park has a 700-foot-long boardwalk that spans across the lake. Once you get to the other side, the east loop connects with additional paths to give you an even longer run.
William B. Umstead State Park
The William B. Umstead State Park is North Carolina’s most visited state park. It has more than 5,000 acres of forest with 13 miles of multi-use trails and 22 miles of hiking trails. Many runners park at the Old Reedy Creek Road Trailhead to start their run and follow the Reedy Creek Trail until they reach the far end of the park.
The path is 5 miles in one direction. From there, you can either turn back or keep going on the South and North Turkey Creek Trails. These routes will add approximately six more miles to your run before you head back to the trailhead.
Another path runners may want to try is the Sycamore Trail. It has lots of elevation changes and shade. It is a total of 7.2 miles but gives you the option to connect with other trails as well for more distance.
Dorothea Dix Park
This park is Raleigh’s largest city park. It covers 308 acres and allows runners to enjoy historic architecture and rolling landscapes. There are also lots of beautiful views of the Raleigh downtown skyline. While there are no real trails, you can follow the paved roads inside the park and enjoy the quiet, tree-lined streets and massive fields. This park is ideal if you want to do hill repeats, and it also offers challenging loops. If you run in a loop along the outer edge of the park, the distance is just about 3 miles.
These are just four of many running trails in Raleigh. For more ideas, the website Visit Raleigh has a great list of running paths you can try.