Best Trail Running in North Carolina

This list represents the most popular trail running in North Carolina. Use this list to plan your next North Carolina trail running trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Blowing Rock: The Glen Burney Trail


The Glen Burney Trail makes it easy to wander away from your lodging on quaint village streets to virgin timber and tumbling waterfalls. This trail has been in use since the earliest days of human hab…
From the guidebook "Hiking North Carolina"
Blowing Rock, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 3 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#2. Asheville Trails


Any hiker in North Carolina, especially a mountain-lover, eventually gets to hip, happenin’ Asheville. More Blue Ridge Parkway visitors enter and exit the road in Asheville than at any other place. Th…
From the guidebook "Hiking North Carolina"
Asheville, NC - Hiking, Mountain Biking, Trail Running - 1.7-3.4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Greensboro Trails


Greensboro’s Lake Brandt watershed is unique in a state where many reservoirs are subdivision sites for million-dollar McMansions. At least for now, there’s a relative lack of development and a growi…
From the guidebook "Hiking North Carolina"
Greensboro, NC - Birding, Fishing, Hiking, Trail Running - Several options
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Bald Eagle Loop


This hike travels the banks and wetlands of Brush Creek on its way to Lake Higgins, one of Greensboro’s municipal watershed lakes. As you near Lake Higgins, the hike loops up a densely wooded valley f…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Greensboro and Winston-Salem"
Summerfield, NC - Hiking, Mountain Biking, Trail Running - 3.3 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Laurel Bluff Out-and-Back


The Laurel Bluff Trail is widely regarded as one of Greensboro’s most scenic watershed trails. It certainly offers varied habitats. The hiker-only path travels along Reedy Fork, exploring lush botto…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Greensboro and Winston-Salem"
Summerfield, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 3.6 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. Hagen-Stone Park: Chatfield Trail Loop


The Chatfield Trail loops around the entirety of Hagan- Stone Park. It begins as a lakeside singletrack path then travels along a babbling stream before making higher ground. It descends to cross one…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Greensboro and Winston-Salem"
Pleasant Garden, NC - Cross-Country Skiing, Hiking, Trail Running - 3.4 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. Deep Creek Loop


This truly great, longer circuit hike is also the park’s easiest (no doubt handicapped accessible) walk to a spectacular waterfall, Tom Branch Falls, not to mention Indian Creek Falls and a tubing run…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Great Smoky Mountains National Park"
Bryson City, NC - Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Trail Running - 4.2 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. McAlpine Creek Greenway


McAlpine Creek Park is a wonderful place for the urban hiker to explore level dirt trails and granular greenways that weave through wooded areas, along a creek, and past two park ponds. The suggested…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Charlotte"
Matthews, NC - Hiking, Mountain Biking, Trail Running - 7 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#9. Shelley Lake–Sertoma Park


This paved loop trail is a wonderful way to enjoy nature without venturing too far from civilization. The loop takes you on a stroll around 53-acre Shelley Lake, a nesting area for hawks, herons, gees…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Raleigh, NC - Hiking, Mountain Biking, Trail Running - 2.8 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. Secret Creek Trail to Lake Access Road


This quick hike takes you through the highlights of Durant Nature Park in less than a mile. Begin with a stroll on the banks of Secret Creek, then visit the picnic area, playground, and boathouse. F…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Wake Forest, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 0.8 mile
Published by Falcon Guides

#11. Lake Johnson Park


This hike begins with an easy wooded walk around the western side of Lake Johnson, then strikes out on a paved path to tour the eastern side. The last leg of the hike is a rugged footpath that closely…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Cary, NC - Hiking, Mountain Biking, Trail Running - 4.9 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#12. Sal's Branch Trail


Sal’s Branch Trail is a great introduction to the 22 miles of hiking trails at William B. Umstead State Park. This loop trail runs downhill through pine forest and mixed hardwood forest. The far end…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Morrisville, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 2.5 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#13. Laurel Cliffs Nature Trail


This short self-guided nature hike offers an introduction to some of the region’s most important plant species. The trail begins with a wooded uphill climb and ends at the Laurel Cliffs with a spectac…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Durham, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 0.4 mile
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Blue Jay Point County Park


This loop trail begins with a self-guided interpretive hike, then strikes out for the shore of Falls Lake. Follow the lakeside, stopping for a great view before heading back for home. Wildflowers are…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Wake Forest, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 2.2 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#15. Johnston Mill Nature Preserve


This former homestead area is predominantly flat, with a series of bluffs as you head south. The bluffs can be bypassed for an easier hike, but to fully appreciate this diverse forest you’ll want to c…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Chapel Hill, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 2.8 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#16. Historic Yates Mill County Park


Yates Mill Park is one of the most pristine parks in the region and is home to a breathtaking diversity of plant and animal species. Begin your hike by crossing the pond boardwalk and exploring the ne…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Raleigh, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 2.8 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#17. Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve


This beautiful preserve in southern Cary is one of the few places where you can see mountain plant species in the Piedmont. Begin your hike with the short Swift Creek Loop Trail, which offers magnific…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Apex, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 1.9 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#18. Lake Crabtree County Park–Lake Trail


This loop trail around Lake Crabtree passes through woodlands, across an earthen dam, and through wetland areas. The hike’s varied terrain includes some steep climbs, providing photographers and natur…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Morrisville, NC - Hiking, Mountain Biking, Trail Running - 5.8 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#19. Ridge Trail to North River Trail


This hike features a moderate uphill climb that passes through different stages of forest succession, changing from young pine forests in the low areas to mature mixed hardwood on the bluffs by Little…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Rougemont, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 3.3 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#20. Pump Station Trail to Laurel Bluffs Trail


At the Pump Station access to Eno River State Park, you can explore the ruins of Durham’s first pump station, then take a long walk along the banks of the Eno River. Along this rugged trail you’ll s…
From the guidebook "Best Easy Day Hikes: Raleigh-Durham"
Durham, NC - Hiking, Trail Running - 5.2 miles
Published by Falcon Guides