Time was, people sought to slow things down on hiking trails. Not anymore.
In 2010, the latest year for which figures are available, the Outdoor Foundation counted 5.1 million trail runners in the United States, an increase of 1 million from just four years earlier.
Instead of lumbering through the woods like a groggy bear emerging from a winter’s nap, we’re increasingly inclined to bound down the trail like a spooked deer.
We do it to seek solitude, we do it en masse to see who’s the fastest. The Umstead 100, Salem Lake Trail Runs the various races at the National Whitewater Center and scores of other runs fill up immediately, sometimes within minutes of registration opening.
With all that trail running, we’re constantly in search of trails to run on. Hence our latest effort in our collaboration with the Great Outdoor Provision Co.: Five great trail runs in seven North Carolina cities. Those cities: Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem.
We’ve written up descriptions of each location and provided all the information you need — location, directions, route details and more — to plan and execute your trail run.
You can find the runs in one of two ways. One, since you’re already here at GetGoingNC.com, go to the bar on the left side of the home page and click “Trail Running.” A drop-down menu will appear showing you the seven markets. Click on the market of your choice and you’ll be given quick descriptions of each run. Click on a run you’re interested in and you’ll be whisked over to the Great Outdoor Provision Co. Web site where the descriptions will live. Your other option: go directly to the GOPC site.
The locations selected reflect a joint effort by GetGoingNC and Great Outdoor Provision. I come up with a preliminary list of locations, I then send that list to GOPC, which submits the recommendations to the appropriate market. There, it’s gone over by the local GOPC staff. Something to know about the people who work at Great Outdoor Provision: they aren’t exactly in it for the money. Rather, they have a passion for the outdoors and a resulting knowledge that they are only too glad to share. They get out a lot and they know their terrain better than anyone. You’re getting recommendations from the people who know the most about their locale and the best places to be outside.
Check out our list, lace up your sneakers and hit the trail.