Running with a View: 19 Fantastic Paths!
Huntington Beach State Park
Distance: 3 mile (6 miles round-trip)
Address & Parking: Huntington Beach State Park is located at: 16148 Ocean Hwy, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576. Parking is $5 per vehicle.
Just a short drive from the crowds of Myrtle Beach lies Huntington Beach State Park, a beautiful oasis with 3 miles of beachfront, several miles of hiking and biking trails, and over 100 beautiful camping sites. Murrell’s Inlet is a beautiful place in South Carolina, and it is close enough to Myrtle Beach that it can easily be incorporated into any vacation.
The Waccamaw Neck Bikeway crosses through Huntington Beach State Park and provides 3 miles of beautiful paved path, which is perfect for jogging or biking due to the flat, maintained surface. Huntington Beach is an ideal place to jog, the perfect spot for a weekend morning workout. The peaceful, scenic surroundings make the 3 mile journey a breeze.
The wooded trail provides a much needed escape from the hot, humid sunny skies of South Carolina. Take a break from the beach and get in a nice healthy workout surrounded by natural beauty. After your run, treat yourself to a little R&R at a beautiful, uncrowded Grand Strand beach.
Take your opportunity to leave the beach behind and enter this beautiful maritime forest. The views of the marshes and pine and oak trees along the way are just what you need for a picture perfect run.
Tip: Visit in the summer mornings before the temps become intolerable. Or better yet, plan your visit for the much more comfortable fall and winter months.
Distance: 7 miles (an additional 1-2 miles to get to the loop)
Address & Parking: There are 2 parking points to access the park. One is located at: 18205 Bruce B Downs Blvd Tampa, FL 33647 (from this point your will have an 11 mile total loop). Alternatively, you can park at: 14302 Morris Bridge Rd, Temple Terrace, FL 33592 for a slightly shorter route. Parking is $2 per car.
The 7 mile Flatwoods Loop at Tampa’s Flatwoods Regional Wilderness Park is the perfect place to take a relaxing jog. If you park on Bruce Downs Blvd. you will have a nice 11 mile total loop, the perfect half marathon training distance.
The views of the pine forests and swamps provide a nice, natural running setting. Flatwoods Park is a nice change of pace from the heavily congested Tampa metro area. Escape the insane beach crowds and enjoy a leisurely jog away from everything at Flatwoods.
You will almost forget you are in the densely populated Tampa metro area as soon as you enter this park. It is such a natural setting, and such a drastic change from its’ surroundings. Flatwoods is easily one of the best places for long distance running in the Tampa area, complete with shade coverage, beautiful views, and very sparse traffic. Can it get any better than this in the Tampa area!?
The towering pines, ample wildlife viewing opportunities, and lack of traffic noise provide a wonderful wilderness running setting, and more importantly, an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Tip: Another great park to visit in the same area is Lettuce Lake Park, just a 10 minute drive away. This gorgeous park features incredible swamp and river views and ample gator sightings.
Myles Standish State Forest
Distance: 13 miles of hiking trails & 15 miles of biking trails are available for runners.
Address & Parking: Myles Standish is located at: 194 Cranberry Rd, Carver, MA 02366. Parking is free.
Southeast Massachusetts’ massive state park offers the perfect running conditions: beautiful wooded views, peace and quiet, and a variety of terrain.
Whether you choose to run on the paved bike path or along the hiking trails, you are bound to have a wonderful, invigorating run. The 15 miles of biking trails lead way to the perfect hill run workout. Despite the challenging route, you can go on for hours and never tire of the gorgeous woods, streams, and ponds. The biking path is an even better place to run than the hiking trails as the path is wider, smoother, and even more scenic.
At Myles Standish, you have 3 seasons of great running conditions. Summer offers a nice shady escape from the city crowds. Spring features beautiful moderate, often rainy days. Fall offers the chance to take in the amazing colors of the season, beautifully reflected on the ponds.
If you ever find yourself in beautiful Southeast Massachusetts,you must carve out some time to enjoy a run in this peaceful state forest.
Tip: Check out the Myles Standish Trail Map before your visit so you can plan your route.
Long Beach Shoreline Pedestrian Path
Distance: 3 miles (6 miles round-trip)
Address & Parking: You can find side street parking around: Alamitos Ave and Ocean Blvd Long Beach, CA 90802. There is also a large public lot available near Alamitos Beach.
Long Beach, California, located just a short drive from Los Angeles, is home to numerous great attractions including a picturesque 3 mile oceanfront pedestrian path.
This paved path is flat and fast, making it ideal for runners. There is a separate pedestrian and cycling section which makes the path even more desirable. During the morning hours, the traffic is so low that you can easily enjoy the entire beach view for yourself! A portion of the Long Beach Half Marathon travels along this gorgeous path.
Not only is the path well-maintained, it’s absolutely gorgeous with unending views of the Pacific Ocean. On any given day, you will see other athletes out enjoying the year-round beautiful weather of Southern California.
If you prefer to save your joints some stress, go down near the beach and run directly on the sand! Nothing beats listening to the waves while taking in the gorgeous views! The sand here is smooth, non-sloping and very easy to run on. During the morning hours no one is around, so you can fully take in the secluded water views.
Tip: If you want to increase your mileage even further, you have the opportunity of continuing on until you reach Shoreline Village, a beautiful section of Long Beach, home to the Aquarium of the Pacific, Queen Mary, and various cruises. Jog up to the lighthouse for fantastic views of the city.