Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Best Trail in North Carolina

I'm going to go out on a limb here and pretend that more than one North Carolina trail runner accidentally reads this blog on occasion. So, I want to pose the following question:

What is the best trail you've run in North Carolina?

Guidelines (Because you'll wonder)

trail head at Falls Lake Trail section 4Please respond in the comment area below this post. Provide as much validation for your response as you like.

No, there is not a prize—unless you count my appreciation as a reward.

Yes, you may respond with the name of a park or a race instead of a specific trail.

Obviously, this is a purely subjective thing to consider. Your answer will be neither right nor wrong. (Okay, it's wrong if you answer with the name of a paved road. Trails are unpaved in this case)

You don't even have to run on trails very often. But, you can't hate trails. I don't want you to play if you're a hater.

Know, too, that you do not necessarily need to respond with the name of your favorite trail or park. A favorite thing implies that you partake of it frequently. However, your best trail run may have occurred once or twice in the past. And, due to geographic limitations, you aren't able to run the best trail as often as you'd like.

My motivation for asking this question is to simply find out where a trail runner will be happy in North Carolina. With all the trail races to choose from over the coming months and vacations to be planned, a discerning runner needs to know.

Thanks in advance for your response!


  1. Of course I'm going to answer my own question:

    My best trail run would have to be the Rock 2 Rock Trail Run at Camp Rockmont in the vicinity of Black Mountain. I really wish I'd been able to run this one again this year. It incorporates all the things about trail running that I love: Elevation, rocks, views, etc.

  2. I really enjoy Company Mill and Sycamore (looped together) trails in Umstead. They are my favorites. There's something really magical about those trails, with the bridges, creeks, and elevation changes. Love it.

  3. Greensboro has a pretty awesome trail system. I highly recommend Triple Lakes:

  4. Scott: Yes, that really is a great run at Umstead. Those two trails combined as a figure eight are fantastic!

    Josh: I've definitely heard good things about the trail system in Greensboro. It's hard to believe I haven't made it up there yet.

    Joey: Oh, yes, Tsali is a place I'd love to run sometime soon. I was eyeing a race out there last year. And, I really wished that I had the time to make the drive.

  5. I live in the Triad and the trails around Lake Townsend and Lake Brandt are excellent! Easily marked, many are maintained by the Fat Tire Society- a local group dedicated to mountain biking and hiking. If you love elevation changes, great lake views, and variety than this is a place to put on your to do list. Very lucky that it is only a few minutes from my house. Easily over 25 miles of combined trails. Park at Burmil Park and pick up a trail map in the office. You won't be dissapointed!

    1. Thanks for the info about the trails in the Lake Townsend and Brandt area. There are a few races up there that I keep meaning to run. I really need to get over there some day.



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