1. William B. Umstead State Park
Located between I-40 and Highway 70, Umstead is a favorite spot for many local trail runners. It features miles and miles of trails ranging from wide, rolling bridle trails to more technical single tracks.
2. Lake Johnson Park
Located just off of I-440, Lake Johnson Park is a great place for beginning trail runners. On the east side of Avent Ferry Road, you’ll find a three-mile paved loop. But cross Avent Ferry and you’ll find two miles of unpaved trails. On weekends and in the evening the paved section can get crowded.
3. Falls Lake State Recreation Area
Willing to go a little bit farther afield? Klay, whose favorite trail race is the Owls Roost Rumble Half in Greensboro, recommends the Beaverdam section of Falls Lake, north of Raleigh. There, you’ll find 15-20 miles of single track trails, he says. “The Blue Trail runs along Falls Lake and has some great views.”