How to Find Running Trails

How to find new running trails.

By on October 5, 2011 | 34 comments

Whether you’re new to trail running, new to an area, or exploring a new area while traveling, finding new trails is often exhilarating… but the process itself can be frustrating. To make it a bit easier, here are a few suggestions for how to find new running trails.

How to Find Running Trails

  • find new running trailsFind a trail running club. A local club may have online trail resources and its members will have a wealth of knowledge about local trails, so chat with them on a run, at a local event, or on the club’s forum or email group.
  • Stop by a specialty running shop or outdoor store. Folks who work at running shops or outdoor stores (especially the later) tend to be local trail experts. Even if the person you ask doesn’t know the trails, he or she will point you toward the people or resources that’ll have you out on sweet, new singletrack in no time.
  • Look for other trail users. Look for local hiking and mountain biking organizations as they’re looking for the same dirt strips you are.
  • Search for trail races. A trail race is a sure sign of a trail network. The course map might be a good primer for initial forays into the new trail system.
  • Be an observant explorer. Finding new trails can be as easy as keeping your eyes open on your next road or trail run. Sure, you may end up hitting dead ends during these exploratory side trips, but you can always come back the way you went out. For your safety, always be respectfully of no trespassing signs and other indications that you’re on private property and are not welcome there.

Call for Comments
We’d love to know how you find new trails (we’ll add some of our favorites to the above list).

We’d also love to hear about some of the adventures you’ve had on newly discovered trails this year and what the gift of new trails means to you.

Finally, are you driven to explore new trails or are you happy to observe your surroundings slowly change as you run the same trails regularly.

Bryon Powell

is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.