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Affordable first trail running vacation? Running solo? (Read 598 times)

bbadger


    Can anyone recommend a good (and affordable) trail running destination? I am a 22 year old female and will be traveling from Wisconsin.  I'm a distance runner (marathons and half marathons),  but normally stick to road running (because my options are limited). I want to fit in a short 4-7 day trip before going back to grad school in June, so I'd be traveling in late February,March, or early April.  I'd like like a destination with sun and decent temps, too, if possible.  I'd probably comfortably cover 8-14 miles each day. 

     

    Also, does anyone have experience with group excursions?  I don't have any friends or family who run at this level, and I'm not aware of any options aside from traveling and running on my own, which might be lonely (and dangerous).

     

    Thanks in advance for your advice!


    On On

      A lot of options really come down to how much you want to pay and how much you want to do on your own.

       

      I know people run parts of the Grand Canyon and Tahoe in April.   Both sound beautiful to me. 

       

      Or you could do one of the longer multistate trails like AT or PCT and start at the southern terminus and head north.

      GinnyinPA


        Given the time frame, I'd head south to Florida or Georgia - lots of great state parks to run in - or go to Arizona and run in the Superstition Mountains near Phoenix or the Rincons near Tucson.  Rent a car and try out different trails. 

         

        The AT would probably have snow and ice at that time of year, and besides, the rocks make it less than ideal for a first running vacation. 

          I had a 2 week business trip last June in RTP, North Carolina, near Raleigh. I ran everyday on the fire roads and trails of Umstead Park. Runs ranging from 7 to 16 miles. I am normally a road runner, done little trail running. This for me was a trail running paradise with very foot friendly trails through thick forests (read as shelter from the wind). It was very hilly though. But great workouts.

           

          I am also eyeing the Tobacco Road Marathon in that area which will be in Mid March. There is an accompanying HM with it. I hear NC is very nice weather that time of year, not too hot yet. If not the race, see another thread bouncing around here about running in the Raleigh area.

           

          I would avoid anything in the northeast on trails, likely to be snow covered and or icy, or at best muddy. I am an avid hiker and nothing about the AT has made me want to run it. Frequent tree roots, loose and/or slippery rocks, and other opportunities for debilitating ankle injuries.

           

          As for the west I know little about it for running. For hiking the trails out there seem much more foot friendly then the east. So trail running might be something I would do more often if Iived out there. Caveate March is peak snow depth for most mountain regions in the USA. Arizona, Southern Cal or New Mexico might be good options at lower elevations. If you are into snow shoe running a whole new world opens up to you.

            Not to seem like a homer but knowing what I know about the SF Bay Area I'd recommend it for trail running.  There are abolutely endless trail options in the mountains that ring the Bay Area.   The trails that run though these mountains are not remote at all and there will be other trail users which would comfort me if I was a single female looking to explore unknown trails.  Many of them, though quite close to the population centers of the Bay Area, are very beautiful.  No snow, good weather and , at the time you're interested in, the hills will be green.


            Wandering Wally

              Run!  Just Run!

               

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              Arimathea


              Tessa

                Not to seem like a homer but knowing what I know about the SF Bay Area I'd recommend it for trail running.  There are abolutely endless trail options in the mountains that ring the Bay Area.   The trails that run though these mountains are not remote at all and there will be other trail users which would comfort me if I was a single female looking to explore unknown trails.  Many of them, though quite close to the population centers of the Bay Area, are very beautiful.  No snow, good weather and , at the time you're interested in, the hills will be green.

                 
                I would agree with this. The Bay Area or the central coast. No worries about snow and lots of trails. If you were going later in the year I'd recommend the Pacific Northwest.
                 
                How comfortable are you with critters? There are bears and mountain lions throughout California.
                NHLA


                  You can come run in the Blue Ridge Mts with me. Miles and miles of trails. Groomed to very hard trails. Weather can be a litte iffy but it shouldn't bother a WI gal. The Big Hungry, Bent Creek, DuPont Forest, and Pisgua Forest.


                  A Sweetheart

                    dangerous

                     

                     

                    As a female who travels all over the U.S. by herself, I don't think that traveling puts you in any more danger than you would be at home. If you plan on being on the trails by yourself, let someone know where you are going. Be alert (no headphones) and use common sense and you will be fine. Have you considered looking at races and building your trip around that? Even if it isn't a goal race, you can use one as a long run. There are plenty of trail races that can be found in interesting locations. Plus you get to break out of just racing on roads.

                    I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart

                     

                    Tennessee Beer Mile Queen


                    Queen of 3rd Place

                      When I was first trying out trail running, I was completely wowed by the magical, redwood-forest studded, Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail near Santa Cruz, CA. It would make an easy 3 day trip even though it's close to 30 miles, as it's not particularly rugged and has a net downhill. A few pics here:

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyline-to-the-Sea_Trail

                      Ex runner