Run the Carolinas! 5 Places to Get Fit and Have Fun

08.19.2015 | Setup



Anyone who lives in, works in, or visits the Carolinas knows the truth—they’re home to some of the best places to run in the America. If you’re planning a trip or looking for a new route, you’re in luck—we’ve rounded up some of our favorite spots to log a few miles. From beautiful lakes to historic downtowns to a truly unique dam, the Carolinas really are a runner’s dream come true.

Greenfield Lake in Wilmington, NC

Wilmington, NC has many great places to run, from short, steep hills near the Riverfront to beach runs along the Atlantic coast. One of our favorite spots, however, is Greenfield Lake. An easy four-mile loop circles this lake, which is full of cypress trees draped in Spanish moss and lined with lush azaleas. In fact, it’s such a beautiful and well-known running route that the PPD Beach to Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon has made it an official part of its challenging course. Just make sure you keep an eye out for alligators!

Mountains-to-Sea Trail in Asheville, NC

If you want to do some serious hill training, look no further than Asheville! Within a 30-mile radius of the city, you have access to over 500 miles of trails located in beautiful places, including the Appalachian Trail, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Pisgah National Forest, among others. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail in particular is a great for beginners. There’s a section between the Folk Art Center and the French Broad River that’s about 13 miles long, not to technical, and safe, thanks to the many other runners and hikers you’re guaranteed to see.

Lake Pinehurst in Pinehurst, NC

When it comes to a comfortable yet challenging run, you can’t beat Lake Pinehurst. One loop around the 200-acre lake is just about six miles long, and it includes small rolling hills coupled with flat sections, quiet residential streets with plenty of shade, and a great view of the lake. Not to mention you can refuel after your run with a picnic by the grill. Lake Pinehurst is also home of the Pinehurst International Triathlon, which is a great way to experience this run while earning a bright shiny medal, and the 35th Annual Firsthealth Pinehurst Turkey Trot—register now for a fun way to torch those Thanksgiving calories.

Historic Downtown in Charleston, SC

If you love historic buildings and beautiful architecture, a run through downtown Charleston will fly by—there’s so much to see, you won’t know where to look! The peninsula is an easy way to log five miles while you’re vacation, and might help with the excess calories you’re bound to consume—Charleston just so happens to be one of the culinary capitals of the USA. If you’re looking for a great way to swim, bike, and run your way through Charleston, we highly recommend the Charleston Half and Sprint races. Held each April, they’re a great way to see this majestic city.

Lake Murray Dam, Lexington, SC 

The Lake Murray Dam Walkway is a unique place to get a run in. It’s built directly across the top of the Dreher Shoals Dam along SC Highway 6, and is 1.7 miles for an out and back route of 3.4 miles total, which offers amazing views of Lake Murray and the Columbia skyline. The annual Dam Tri makes great use of this distinctive route—the entire run takes place along the top of this monumental structure!

This post is by no means an exhaustive list of all the Carolinas has to offer its runners. In fact, we’re sure you know of some amazing spots we missed. If so, tell us on Facebook and let the world know who really runs the Carolinas.

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