If your idea of a relaxing getaway includes a run on one of the best running trails America has to offer, consider these next ten bucket list running trails your heaven on earth. From coast to coast, these iconic American running trails offer different landscapes, terrains, and difficulty levels to lose yourself in–figuratively, of course!
No matter which type of terrain you choose to tackle, make your strides in the comfort of Feetures women’s running socks and men’s running socks–the #1 sock brand in U.S. specialty run stores engineered to keep you going without setback.
Without further ado, our top picks for the ten bucket list running trails in the U.S.
10 Bucket List Running Trails in the U.S.
- Yosemite National Park, California
From dusty trails to paved paths 10+ miles long, Yosemite National Park is a welcoming location for runners of all capabilities. Located in Central Eastern California and surrounding the western side of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite National Park is filled to the brim with deep valleys, gargantuan sequoias, sprawling wilderness, breathtaking waterfalls, and more scenic marvels to behold.
Whether you are headed out on the infamous Tioga Road, or tackling paths less traveled for a challenging adventure, rest assured your run through Yosemite National Park is one you won’t soon forget.
The Charles River Path, Boston, Massachusetts
Next time you’re in Boston, be sure to pencil in some time for a run down the Charles River Path.
A natural divider between Boston and Cambridge, this iconic running path offers gorgeous views of the city while taking you on a tour by historic landmarks and iconic institutions like MIT, Boston University, and Harvard. Start at Science Park and run 8.6 miles to Harvard Square, or jump in somewhere in the middle to get in a quick few miles on a flat, paved path.
Central Park, New York, New York
Nestled between the Upper East and West Side of Manhattan is our next best running trail, Central Park. With hundreds of pathways to choose from, Central Park offers a variety of scenic views, including lakes, ponds, trees, bridges, and of course–the city!If you aren’t familiar with the park, you may want to stick with one of the Park’s main running routes. These loops range in length, from just over a mile to 6 miles long.
Mesa Trail, Boulder, Colorado
With over 200 miles of running routes in and around the city, it’s no wonder Boulder, Colorado, is hailed as one of America’s best running trail towns. Boulder’s list of loops and lengths of the path includes the Mesa Trail, a 7-mile, somewhat technical route with rocky trails and railroad ties connecting a larger network of trails.
Whether you’re training for a big event or you’re in the area and want to look out on breathtaking scenes of scenic meadows, forests, and mountaintops, the Mesa Trail is one not to miss.
McKenzie River Trail, Blue River, OregonNext up on our list of America’s best running trails, we head over to the Mckenzie River Trail located in Blue River, Oregon.
This 25+ mile long trail located in the heart of the Cascade Mountains offers an adventure all its own, with a variety of smooth paths, steep climbs, log bridges, and hairpin turns to conquer. Stop to take in the scenery at one of the many blue pools or hot springs, or save your excitement for the Fall, where the River Trail blooms with autumnal colors too magical to pass up.
Pre’s Trail, Eugene, Oregon
Named after Olympic long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine, this four-mile, beginner-friendly running trail offers all of the lush greenery and dirt paths you could ask for–and all by design.
This flat, well-maintained, accessible, and scenic running trail was inspired by the late Steve Prefontaine’s trip to Scandinavia, where he became impressed with the many soft running trails he ran on. Steve proposed a similar trail system be constructed in Eugene’s Alton Baker Park, using local wood chips from local timber companies to cover the trail. Just four months after Prefontaine’s death in 1975, the trail was finished and memorialized in his honor. Today, it is one of America's most popular running trails for new and experienced trail runners alike.
Acadia National Park, Maine
From rocky peaks to a rugged coastline, Acadia National Park is the crown jewel of Maine’s Mount Desert Island. With a landscape marked by woodlands, rocky beaches, and glacier-carved mountains, Acadia National Park is one of the East’s most adventurous running locations you’ve got to see to believe.
Whether you run a section of the Carriage Road Trails (a gift from John D. Rockefeller) or dare to take on Cadillac Mountain–the highest point on the east coast, you won’t be disappointed with the view or experience. Once you’re through with your run, head into Bar Harbor for a Lobster Roll at Beal’s Lobster Pier, a Bar Harbor staple since 1969.
Waihe’e Ridge Trail, West Maui Forest, Hawaii
If visiting Hawaii is one of your bucket list items, this next running trail recommendation will “free two birds with one key.” While there are countless trails spanning all of the islands that make up Hawaii, Waihe’e Ridge Trail is one of the most popular for locals and tourists alike.
Not only is this 4.2-mile out-and-back running trail moderately challenging, but it also won’t take up your whole day, which means more time to explore the other marvels Hawaii has waiting for you. Open year-round and dog-friendly, the Waihe’e Ridge Trail is bursting with lush greenery, breathtaking views, and ridge-line hiking you won’t find back home.
Pacific Crest Trail
Are you feeling ambitious? The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) has 2,690 miles for you to test your skills or train for your next event. This world-renowned thru-hiking trail spans from Mexico to Canada, with plenty of spots to jump in along the way and a list of dedicated run sections to test out. Along the trail, you’ll encounter a variety of landscapes, wildlife, and traffic going both ways as thru-hikers and other runners take on the trail in sections or its entirety.
Last but certainly not least on our list of best running trails in America is the Appalachian Trail (AT)– a roughly 2,200-mile trail running from Georgia to Maine with plenty of trailheads to hit the ground running.
Like the PCT, the AT is a world-renowned thru-hiking destination for the world’s most dedicated hikers. For runners, it’s also a chance to run one trail and never run the same path twice. The beauty of running the AT is that you can take on as much of the route as you’d like or break your journey into shorter sections based on your location, time allowance, and skill level.
Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to traverse scenic wooded, cultural, and wild lands of 14 states and eight national forests. If you’re in the neighborhood of North Carolina and Tennessee, the Roan Highlands section of the AT is a favorite section of ours!
Explore New Terrain with Feetures
For all of the new terrain you plan to tackle, Feetures men’s socks and women’s socks can help you go further without fear of blisters, slippage, or bunching.
Whether you’re on a mission to learn How to Start Running Without Giving Up and know a scenic trail life will help push you forward, or you’re a tried-and-true runner looking to tackle all of the best bucket list running trails you possibly can, rest assured that with Feetures custom-like support underfoot, you’ll have one less thing to worry about as you crush your goals. And when you do, we want to hear about it! Share your journey with us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter (@Feetures)!