#WeHeartTrails! June 7th is National Trails Day!

The first Saturday in June is designated as National Trails Day.  That's right, National Running Day just passed on June 4th, and now we have another opportunity to celebrate the sport we love. YAY!


We've made no secret of our love of trails, or off-road running.

  • Trails are cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than running on streets and sidewalks. I've noticed that through some of our woods that it can be up to 10-12 degrees cooler.
  • Trails and their beauty provide endless distractions.
  • Nature ensures that the trails are always different.  So channel your inner Pocahontas and explore!

Unsure about trail running?

Runner's World UK rated the Top 10 Running Surfaces.
The top three are no surprise to trail runners: Grass, Woodland Trails, and Earth (dirt trails). Easier on the feet and joints, and routes often accompanied by beautiful scenery, taking our runs 'off-road' is a no-brainer. 
We are fortunate that where we live in North Florida there are many trails to enjoy.  

Our typical weekends look like this. 

But wherever you may be, you can seek out a trail.  It may surprise you, even the most urban areas will have a few hidden gems lurking.

Fun for all

Hiking and running on trails is a wonderful family activity - so grab the kids, the dogs. If someone doesn't want to walk or run, they can bring a bike.  The point is to enjoy the trail together!

What do I bring?

You don't need fancy hiking or trail gear.  There really just two essentials:

1) Comfy shoes (ones you won't cry over if they get muddy)  
2) Water

Any other gear you bring is just icing on the cake: sunscreen, bug spray, GPS, etc. Me personally, I love to connect with my inner Pocahontas and bring as little as possible.  Now that we have a puppy though, we carry water, snacks, leash, and toys for him.

A few resources to check out

  • Trail Runner Magazine (gear reviews, race info, training plans, more)
  • Trail Running by Jeff Galloway (everything you need to know about run/walk/run off-road,  including comprehensive training plans from 5K all the way up through ultra distances, final chapter includes a state by state guide of trails recommended by other runners)
  • Trails.com to find a trail near you (while this is a good resource, the trail listings are not very comprehensive)
  • US National Parks (this page will allow you to search by state and activity - enter 'hiking' to find a federal park near you with trails)
  • "Your State" Parks site - search online for 'your state name' + parks + trails (here is Florida's page )
  • "Your city or county" Parks and Recreation - make Leslie Knope proud and go enjoy your city parks. Search your city or county government webpage and find some trail map.
  • Your running store or local running clubs - Ask around and I can promise you there are a few, if not several trail running groups near you.  We live in a small city, but there are over a dozen weekly training groups of various distances and abilities with recurring 'group runs'. 

DG will be updating the blog in the coming months with recaps from the  Gulf Winds Summer Trail Series.  

So tell us:  
How will you celebrate National Trails Day?

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