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The 9 Most Scenic Urban Running Trails

Living in a city doesn’t have to mean giving up running in nature


Finding your groove running in the city—or even just a little respite from chaotic urban life—can be challenging. Thankfully, many city planners understand that creating and preserving scenic trails and pathways is vital to keeping people happy and fit. Here are nine of our favorite places to do just that.

Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC

There are plenty of running paths that make their way around the famous landmarks in DC, but to truly feel like you’re outside the city, head to Rock Creek Park. The 1,754-acre escape is the nation’s third-oldest national park and offers up a wide variety of dirt and blacktop pathways for runners of all abilities.

Gateway State Trail, St. Paul, Minnesota

A flat, paved 18-mile rail trail, the Gateway trail will give you a taste of urban and country living as it heads away from St. Paul and toward Pine Point. Don’t be surprised to spot a horse or two in summer, or a cross-country skier in winter, on the adjacent natural surface trail.

Balboa Park, San Diego

There are 65 miles of trails in Balboa Park, darting in and out of sculpted gardens, the famous zoo, and several museums. Trails vary from paved to natural, wooded pathways.

Deschutes River Trail, Bend, Oregon

A mellow packed-dirt path, this riverside trail offers a mix of Cascade and gorge views as it connects downtown Bend and Sunriver resort community with more than 12 miles of rolling terrain.

Burke-Gilman Trail, Seattle

A 27-mile rail trail, the Burke-Gilman begins at 11th Avenue Northwest and weaves its way through a series of parks. You’ll spy Lake Washington and the Sammamish River along the way.

James River Heritage Trail, Richmond, Virginia

Running alongside the James River, this trail network gives city dwellers the sensation of another world altogether. Runners can connect paved and unpaved segments, taking in wildlife and water in any direction.

Swamp Rabbit Trail, Greenville, South Carolina

This 20-mile paved rail trail follows the Reedy River and allows runners a chance to move quickly from city to country. Take the trail to the end and you get a nice tour of nearby Furman University.

Cherry Creek Trail, Denver

This 42-mile paved pathway follows the natural greenbelt through the heart of the city south to Franktown. The trail intersects with several others along the way, offering endless possibilities to adventurous runners.

Three Rivers Heritage Trail, Pittsburgh

Serving as the hub for several other trail system connections, the Three Rivers trail affords runners a look at many of the city’s neighborhoods and its iconic riverfront stadiums.

These urban trails that take you from pavement to dirt and back again are a perfect mix of terrain for the ASICS GEL-CUMULUS® 20. Its FLYTEFOAM®PROPEL Technology provides great cushioning as well as full-ground contact for a smooth ride, no matter where you take it.