The saving grace of my quarantine has been North Carolina’s beautiful running trails. The trails give me a nice change of scenery, as they provide a way for me to get out of the house in a safe, socially distanced manner. Not only that, but the fresh air and physical activity does wonders for my physical and mental health.
Although I’m no longer living at university, I’m still based in the NC Triangle Area. Here are four local trails I’ve been loving that are great for those living in the area, as well as for people staying around UNC-Chapel Hill!
- American Tobacco Trail
The American Tobacco Trail is 23 miles long, and it runs along an abandoned railroad that has been converted into a trail. Not only is the old railroad bed a cool piece of North Carolina history, but it also means that the trail is nice and flat!
I pretty much live at the American Tobacco Trail. Even before quarantine began, I spent a lot of time on this trail, over the years. I trained for and ran the Tobacco Road Half Marathon with my dad there, a couple of years ago. I’m not training for anything in particular now, but I still get out to the trail at least a few times a week to bike or run.
- NCMA Museum Trail
While the inside of the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) is currently closed, the surrounding park has stayed open.
I really enjoy running around the museum’s outdoor area because I get to look at the art structures as well! There are also some parts of the trail that run through a section of woods, which is pretty and peaceful.
- Pumpkin Loop
The Pumpkin Loop is a smaller, 2.4-mile trail in Carolina North Forest. This trail is a great resource for those living in Chapel Hill or near UNC, as it’s located on the university’s north campus.
- Capital Area Greenway Trail System
The Capital Area Greenway Trail System is a network of trails that spans over 100 miles. It also connects several of the state’s parks! This system is a wonderful resource for bikers and runners, as well as for those interested in bird and wildlife watching!
Whether you’re looking to run, bike, walk or just get some fresh air, these trails are a great way to safely spend some time out of the house.