Your Running Bucket List: 5 of the World's Most Amazing Routes and Trails
Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes. And when it comes to exercise, variety and novelty are crucial to keeping things interesting and ensuring you keep up with your routine.
Has your running regime become stale lately? Even the most enthusiastic runners can get bored of pounding the same pavements or running the same trails again and again. If you have found yourself struggling to get out for your regular sessions, boredom may be part of the problem. Exploring a new place and trying a new route could be just what you need to fall in love with running all over again.
To help you get inspired, here are just a few of the world’s most beautiful routes and trails. Which one will get you inspired, and can you find something just as amazing in your town or city?
Glacier Point Road in Yosemite National Park (California, USA)
Image: National Parks Service
With its formidable cliff faces, sweeping landscapes, and breathtaking waterfalls, Yosemite National Park is often regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the USA if not in the entire world.
The Park offers numerous fantastic opportunities for keen walkers, runners, bikers, and climbers. One of the best stretches to run is the Glacier Point Road, situated over 3200 feet above the Yosemite Valley and offering wonderful scenic views.
Glacier Point Road is accessible by car from approximately May to October or November (exact dates vary every year.) The entire road is 16 miles in length, though it’s easy to just choose your favorite section to run.
Sydney Harbourside (Sydney, Australia)
Image: Time Out
If you spend any time in Australia’s most populous city, you’re sure to see many people out and about for a run.
At around 7.5 miles (12km) in length, this flat route is accessible and suitable for runners of all experience levels. You can choose to run the entire route, or just a section. Starting at the eastern end of Circular Quay and following the footpath down to the Opera House gives you a great circular run, taking in some of the city’s most famous sights as you go. Don’t miss the stunning Botanical Gardens.
Want to really break a sweat and challenge yourself? Try running up and down the steps in front of the opera house!
Four Royal Parks (London, England)
Image: Kensington Gardens on Visit London
The UK’s capital city is famous for its numerous tourist attractions, world-class museums and theaters, and for being the home of the British Royal Family. But did you know that London is also home to some huge and beautiful green spaces?
With a run of a little over 10km, you can pass through four of London’s beautiful Royal Parks—Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St. James Park—and even see the iconic Buckingham Palace.
Want to challenge yourself a little further? The Royal Parks Half Marathon takes place in October each year and places are awarded on a ballot basis or through the race’s numerous charity partners.
Lake Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland)
Image: Great Runs
Switzerland is known for its stunning lakes and mountains, and is home to many beautiful places to run, walk, and cycle. At 40 km in length and 3 km across at its widest point and located within sight of the Swiss Alps, Lake Zurich (or Zürichsee) offers incredible city and mountain views.
Lake Zurich has few bridges, so is best run as a “there and back” route rather than a circular run unless you are looking for a serious distance challenge. Try running the promenades for scenic waterfront views, taking in the parks and marinas as well as panoramic views of the Alps from the eastern shore, or using public transport to get out of the city and then running back along the lake.
Meguro River (Tokyo, Japan)
Image: Metro Residences
Tokyo is a unique and fascinating city with many beautiful sights to see and places to explore. The Meguro River run is a 5km trail in the heart of the city, lined by cherry trees which provide shade in the summer and shelter from the elements on wet days.
The route passes through the Setagaya, Meguro and Shinagawa wards of Tokyo and at night, lanterns line parts of the path.
The absolute best time to run the Meguro River is in the spring, when the cherry blossoms (or sakura) are in full bloom. Try to go early or late in the day, though, as the trail is not particularly wide and will be packed with locals and tourists viewing the sakura during the middle of the day.