The Globetrotting Guidebook: Our Most Memorable Runs Across the Planet

A powerhouse panel of pro runners, legendary coaches and race directors share the routes they'll never forget

February 4, 2024 7:00 pm
The Globetrotting Guidebook: Our Most Memorable Runs Across the Planet
Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

Sponsored by STRAVA

Running has a real knack for mimicking life’s rhythms.

The standard run is as familiar and formulaic as a workday commute. It has to be — only by dragging yourself dutifully out of bed and around the same block over and over again are you ever able to lock in the habit, build that base and cultivate a relationship with the sport. Things stick when you stick to them.

But it’s not all pushing a vacuum around. There are rewards along the way: Race days. Runs with nice views. Running camps. Training days where everything goes right. Weekenders where you remembered to pack your running shoes. Trips where you got away for the express purpose of getting miles in. The tail of these special run days — a sort of serotonin shimmer — takes a while to streak across the sky. It can last a shockingly long time, maybe even the rest of your days. Why not? Core memories find a way to linger in running, as in life.

Late last year, not long after finishing the New York City Marathon, I decided this special brand of runs deserved extra preservation. So I began outreach for what I imagined as a sort of “digital coffee table book.”

We asked a powerhouse panel of runners — from brand-sponsored pros, to former Olympians, to trailblazing ultrarunners, to Instagram influencers, to the goddamn race director of the Boston Marathon — to reach back into their mental (or Strava) library of runs and share their favorite route they’ve ever logged miles on. The Globetrotting Guidebook emerged from months of emails and fact-checks and wee hours spent parsing through AllTrails.

It should come as little surprise that some of the best runners alive are also among the most well-traveled people around. Their answers span the globe and comprise a dozen ecosystems and climate zones, climbing from sea level (Sydney, Australia) to well, well above it (St. Moritz, Switzerland).

There’s no overwhelming through line in the favorites of these runners, but there are certainly some fascinating snapshots reflected in their choices, like the explosion of trail and ultrarunning in recent years, the resilient love of marathons and halfs, and the fact that an inordinate amount of these submissions involve New York City.

(You might blame us for a Nobel Prize-esque Scandinavian bias here, as we’re based in NYC, but this seems to also speak to running’s growing ubiquity in social and popular media, alongside the steady rise of running collectives. New York is all but drowning in run clubs, running brands and races that sell out like concerts.)

If one thing is certain, there is surprising clarity and endless joy in the descriptions of these nominations, and in the ways that their nominees have clung to them. It’s a reminder that miles pay memory dividends, and the best ones — logged around places beautiful, serene and challenging; places so much larger than your life — have the potential to leave you very rich at the very end of it.


Where in the world: The Alps, Southeastern France

Mileage: The mythical UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc) course is over 100 miles, with 10,000 feet of elevation gain, but less ambitious runners can tackle parts of the course, or choose from this handy local database

Nominated by: Hellah Sidibe, Hoka athlete, the first Black man to run across the United States and “run streaker” five years and counting

The case for Chamonix: “For the past two years I’ve been so fortunate to get to experience the beauty and energy of Chamonix during the UTMB race series. I’ve never raced one of their actual races, but I’ve run through town and every turn offers the most beautiful views. Being around nature and so many other active people is so special. The great Scott Jurek shared these miles with me last time I was there and it was a run I’ll never forget!” — Sidibe

Kalalau Trail

Where in the world: Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii

Mileage: A 19.6-mile out-and-back along a trail that is not to be underestimated

Nominated by: David Kilgore, also known as “Florida Man,” Red Bull ultrarunner who famously ran seven marathons on seven continents in seven days (and won them all), and founder of the nascent NYC Trail Fest

The case for Kalalau: “One of the most beautiful runs I’ve ever done. I also have to admit that my first time it was a lot harder than I expected! I went with a friend who has also done tons of marathons and we thought that we would be fine without bringing any food. But as stunning and fun as the route was, it beat us up bad and we were starving. Luckily there was local fruit growing along the path and we were able to snack on some guavas and papayas with an incredible view. Not a bad meal at all.” — Kilgore

Pinhoti Trail 

Where in the world: Southern Appalachian Mountains, Alabama and Georgia

Mileage: 349 miles if you were to complete the entire route, but start here for a reasonable slice

The case for Pinhoti: “This route extends through Alabama and Georgia. I love it because of the steepness and ruggedness of the mountains, along with it being an East Coast classic. You can run or hike anywhere on the trail in all four seasons and have a completely different experience.” — Woltering

Holmdel Park Loop

Where in the world: Holmdel, New Jersey

Mileage: 3.1 miles, including “The Bowl,” one of the most infamous inclines in high school cross country

Nominated by: Chris Bennett, global head coach at Nike Running, host of “Coach Bennett’s Podcast

The case for Holmdel: “There are miles of different trails you can take here. But my favorite is the 5K XC loop. You get challenging uphills, exciting downhills and stretches of flat and rolling trails as you run in and out of the deep woods of Holmdel Park. It’s a challenging 5K that never ever gets boring.” — Bennett

Willis Gulch to Hope Pass

Where in the world: Twin Lakes, Colorado

Mileage: 8.6 miles, there and back

Nominated by: Reid Burrows, former member of Triathlon Canada, Merrell runner, finished second at the Foxtail Hundred

The case for Willis Gulch: “It travels along a good portion of the toughest part of the Leadville 100-miler course. As you approach the top of the pass you can look back and see where you started at Twin Lakes. It’s an eight-mile-ish round trip, with roughly 3,000 feet of gain.” — Burrows

Phantom Ranch to Ribbon Falls

Where in the world: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Mileage: An 11.9-mile out-and-back via the North Kaibab Trail

Nominated by: Luke Carlson, CEO of Discover Strength who has run 22 marathons (so far)

The case for Phantom Ranch: “Perhaps the greatest run in the world to me. Running right across the bottom of the Grand Canyon. If you start at Phantom Ranch, Ribbon Falls is about 5.5 miles away. It makes for a wonderful out-and-back route. The route is a gorgeous trail through one of the most beautiful, peaceful and inspirational places in the world.” — Carlson

Four Rivers Trail

Where in the world: South Korea

Mileage: 379 miles in total, also known as the “cross-country path,” and enormously popular with cyclists

Nominated by: Matt Choi, D1 football player turned running coach, video producer with ~300K followers on Instagram, completed the Grindstone 100M

The case for Four Rivers: “The best thing about this run is the amazing mix of terrain. The country is split up by four different rivers — the Hangang, Nakdonggang, Geumgang and Yeongsangang — which is where the name comes from. I personally love the moments when you get to run by the river. But when you aren’t by the river, you’re able to ascend up the mountains; it’s almost like you’re climbing Everest some times. There’s a bike trail that you can run along, but you can even deviate from that on these small little off-road sections. The real beauty is getting to see all the parts of the incredible country that aren’t the major cities, like Busan or Seoul. Each of the little towns on the way have these amazing restaurants where you can eat the most delicious local dishes, and get your fuel for the next part of the trail.” — Choi

New York City Marathon

Where in the world: New York, New York

Mileage: 26.2 miles

Nominated by: Tina Muir, former professional marathoner for Saucony (with a PR of 2:36), ran internationally for Great Britain, author of Overcoming Amenorrhea, CEO of Running for Real, host of “The Running for Real Podcast“, Athletic Greens Ambassador

The case for NYC: “While I’ve run as an international athlete and had many incredible opportunities all over the world, this November, I ran the 2023 NYC Marathon alongside Kayleigh Williamson, one of the first women with Down syndrome to complete the NYC Marathon. On that day, I got to spend 10 hours celebrating Kayleigh as she danced, sang, high-fived her way along 26.2 miles, all while working incredibly hard to make it to the finish line. Kayleigh made thousands of people light up with joy and love in seeing her thrive as her authentic self on this momentous journey. — Muir

St. Moritz

Where in the world: Engadin Valley, Switzerland

Mileage: Entirely up to you, check out some of the top trails here and start your run in town

Nominated by: Colleen Quigley, Lululemon ambassador, world record-holder in the 4x1500m relay, finished 8th in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2016 Rio Olympics, former member of Bowerman Track Club

The case for St. Moritz: “There are endless trails here, so it’s really create-your-own adventure. I haven’t been back since 2019 but I’m hoping to go back this summer. We would start in town, at the track, then follow the road out a bit to where the trail starts. You go through the woods for a mile or so then pop out onto the first lake, run around the lake, then there’s another lake, and another! It’s mountains and lakes and green grass and just everything looks like a postcard.” — Quigley

Courtesy of Lou Serafini

Green Bay Loop

Where in the world: Peacham, Vermont

Mileage: 6.9 miles on a single-track trail, start and finish at the community-supported Peacham Cafe

Nominated by: Lou Serafini, Tracksmith global community director, U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier, PRs of 3:59 in the mile and 2:13:00 in the marathon

The case for Green Bay: “Gravel roads in Vermont are my favorite. You can’t go wrong because they’re quiet, scenic, soft, and for better or worse, hilly. My favorite loop is in a small town in the Northeast Kingdom called Peacham. It’s a hilly but gorgeous seven-mile loop that features expansive views of farms and mountains.” — Serafini

Richmond Park

Where in the world: London, United Kingdom

Mileage: 13.67 miles, two laps around the park

Nominated by: Sam Holness, Hoka endurance athlete, and the first autistic person to complete the Kona Ironman, as recognized by Guinness World Records

The case for Richmond: “My favorite route is the 22km, two laps of Richmond Park, based in Southwest London. Richmond Park matters to me because it’s the place where I did the first 5K run, it’s where I do most of my trail and road running training and the place where I developed my love for running.” — Holness

Ted Corbitt Loop

Where in the world: New York, New York

Mileage: 6.1 miles around the perimeter of Central Park

Nominated by: Chris Chavez, founder of CITIUS MAG (a digital media platform covering track and field), member of Central Park Track Club

The case for Ted Corbitt: “It’s hard to beat six miles around the best place in New York City. Although it has a few hills along the Upper West Side, it’s the best loop to pass the time with friends on an easy run or get you fit for a big race. The east side of the loop features a flat stretch perfect for speed workouts. You can make the most of it.” — Chavez

Mount Entoto

Where in the world: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mileage: It’s a big mountain, start with this 4.4-mile loop

Nominated by: Becky Wade Firth, professional runner, won the California International Marathon, author of Run the World, has written extensively on running for InsideHook

The case for Mount Entoto: “It’s a mountain just outside of Addis Ababa that reaches over 10,000 feet of elevation. It captures everything I love about running in Ethiopia: it’s scenic, rugged, challenging, invigorating and a great spot to meet local runners.” — Wade Firth

Birch Canyon Trail

Where in the world: Smithfield, Utah

Mileage: 7.74 miles, though you can easily keep going on this trail

Nominated by: Mike McKnight, Injinji athlete, winner of the last Cocodona 250, set the FKT for the 500-mile Colorado Trail (from Denver to Durango) in 2020

The case for Birch Canyon: “This is my all-time favorite run. The trailhead is 50 feet out my front door, and you can do dozens of different variations. If you wanted to, you could take the trail for hundreds of miles. I run different variations of this every day, usually with my running pup Kona.” — McKnight

Rim to Rim

Where in the world: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Mileage: 25.9 miles, down into the canyon and back up

Nominated by: Brandon Dugi, Hoka ambassador, ultrarunner who grew up in the Navajo Nation, adventure photographer, featured in “Time to Hózhó

The case for Rim to Rim: “Of the many miles of trails I’ve run, this one always comes to mind. The infamous Grand Canyon. Rim to Rim is my route: from the South Rim down and across the Colorado River, up to the North Rim. That’s over 7,000 feet of elevation gain. This route is always fun, but on my favorite trip I took two friends who had never run the Grand Canyon before. To take them down, have them experience all that the Canyon has to offer and help them connect with Mother Nature — physically, mentally and spiritually — was so special!” — Dugi

Tokyo Marathon

Where in the world: Tokyo, Japan

Mileage: 26.2 miles

Nominated by: Phil Dumontet, creator of the Boulder Marathon, ran the NYC Marathon in 2:42:03

The case for Tokyo: “One of my favorite races in the world. Go for the race, stay to experience the magical country of Japan. The race itself is a blast, with an awesome course running by beautiful temples and landmarks, with great crowd support throughout. Plus, they served tomatoes instead of bananas at Mile 20. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but ended up loving it and happily consumed the fuel. Tokyo was also the first time I broke 3:00, and only by a few seconds, so it will always hold a special place in my running journey.” — Dumontet

Potomac Heritage Trail

Where in the world: Arlington, Virginia

Mileage: 710 miles in total, but start with a manageable eight miles in Arlington

Nominated by: Michael Wardian, Injinji athlete, six-time winner of the National Marathon in D.C., owner of the speed record for the 631-mile Israel National Trail, once ran 13 marathons in a span of nine weeks

The case for PHT: “I love the PHT’s eight miles in Arlington, Virginia. The route offers a rugged, beautiful, technical and rocky dirt trail with views of the Washington Monument and Potomac River. I’m the Strava local legend on this route.” — Wardian

RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon

Where in the world: Brooklyn, New York

Mileage: 13.1 miles

Nominated by: Gemma Ward, Road Runners Club of America-certified coach, New York Road Runners runner training and products specialist

The case for Brooklyn: “Particularly the final stretch down Surf Avenue up onto the boardwalk. I love how the race starts in the lush park and finishes with the fresh ocean breeze.” — Ward

Montauk Highway

Where in the world: The Hamptons, New York

Mileage: 18 miles in a straight line, finishing at the Montauk Point Lighthouse

Nominated by: Tanner Garrity, senior editor at InsideHook, finished the NYC Marathon in 2:59:09, has reported on The Speed Project, the origins of Trials of Miles and community trends like run streaks, run-walk intervals and bridge training

The case for Montauk: “The running community’s content-folk have long made a habit of running out to the very tip of Montauk, sometimes from as far away as Manhattan (that’s a 131-mile trip). My trip started a little closer, in Amagansett, but it still took me 18 miles to reach one of the nation’s first public works projects, a satisfying white-and-red sandstone tower, which burned whale oil when it opened in the 1790s. I remember listening to Andre Agassi’s Open on this run — I remember drinking in occasional glimpses of the ocean, getting honked at by trucks, alarming the few people who spotted me chugging past the the Gig Shack, losing my will a few times, praying for the 85-degree sun to go down, feeling lonelier than ever once it did. When I finally got the lighthouse parking lot, there were more deer than surfers. My parents and girlfriend picked me up for fried seafood at Gosman’s.” — Garrity

Lake Bohinj Loop

Where in the world: Stara Fuzina, Slovenia

Mileage: 6.9-mile loop of Lake Bohinj, located in Triglav National Park

Nominated by: Ana Alarcón, brand communications lead at On, NYC Marathon finisher, featured on “The Running Effect Podcast

The case for Lake Bohinj: “This is an epic trail and road jog around Slovenia. It’s a local lake, where we saw many runners, walkers and campers. Most people finish their activity with a jump into the freezing lake, so we did that too!” — Alarcón

Laugavegur Trail

Where in the world: Laugavegur, Iceland

Mileage: 34 miles across Iceland’s Southern Highlands

Nominated by: Chris Burkard, perhaps the most prolific adventure photographer on Instagram, who has hiked, surfed, kayaked and run all across the world

The case for Laugavegur: “My favorite run hands down is the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland. It’s a long-distance, 50K trail that weaves through the most beautiful landscape, and also happens to be incredibly diverse. I mean, you are going through three different types of terrain in one journey, including an active volcano. Places like this trail are the reason that I have fallen in love with the country. I’ve done it three times and I can’t wait to go back again.” — Burkard

Courtesy of Ken Rideout

Gobi March: Stage 4

Where in the world: Central Mongolia

Mileage: 48 miles, one stage of the notorious, week-long Gobi March foot race

Nominated by: Ken Rideout, winner in the 50-and-over division in the NYC and Boston Marathons, former boxer who turned to endurance sports to cope with opioid addiction, Momentous ambassador, co-host of “The Fight with Teddy Atlas

The case for Gobi: “Picking a single route is very difficult, considering I’ve run 365+ times a year for the past several years. But the one run/race that really stands out to me is an approximately 48-mile race as part of the seven-day stage race across the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. I won this stage and took the overall race lead. I would go on to win the Gobi March, a 155-mile, self-supported stage race. It was my first ever ultramarathon, first ever stage race, first time camping, first time running with a backpack. To get the overall win was an incredible experience!” — Rideout

Sydney Half Marathon

Where in the world: Sydney, Australia

Mileage: 13.1 miles

Nominated by: Dan Churchill, Centr performance nutritionist, chef at the Osprey in Brooklyn, host of “Dan Churchill’s The Epic Table

The case for Sydney: “One of the most special places to run for me is Sydney, my hometown. You have the iconic run across the Harbor Bridge with world landmarks like the Opera House, then get to run around the epic Pyrmont region, before running around Circular Quay. While my favorite marathon may be my new home in New York City, the Sydney Half has definitely been one of the most special.” — Churchill

Flatirons Vista to Spring Brook Loop Trail

Where in the world: Boulder, Colorado

Mileage: 7.1-mile lollipop in the endurance epicenter of America

Nominated by: Jonathan Levitt, sales and endurance team manager at InsideTracker, host of “For the Long Run” (on which he has interviewed over 100 professional athletes, including Olympic gold medalists), has completed seven marathons to date

The case for Flatirons: “It starts off on a dirt access road (which sometimes has cows passing through) with absolutely stunning views of the Boulder skyline throughout the entire approach. You then run down the ‘draw’ on a switchback trail, where the views just keep getting better. You’re dropped at the bottom of a two-ish mile up-and-down loop which is perfect for a quick trail tempo or you can take it chill and enjoy the views. You can also add to it via any of the other trails in the area!” — Levitt

Russian Gulch State Park

Where in the world: Mendocino County, California

Mileage: Every trail at RGSP is 6.2 miles or under, check them out in full here

Nominated by: Sid Garza-Hillman, race director of the Mendocino Coast 50K trail ultramarathon, author of Ultrarunning for Normal People, wellness programs director at Stanford Inn & Resort

The case for Russian Gulch: “The Russian Gulch State Park trails are breathtaking — redwoods, soft ‘California carpet’ trails, creeks, a waterfall and some pretty good ups and downs. On the trail, under the shade of the redwoods, you are completely cut off from the modern world (in the best way possible!) and fully connected to nature.” — Garza-Hillman

Chicago Lakefront

Where in the world: Chicago, Illinois

Mileage: 6 miles, out and back, though you can easily tack on more distance

Nominated by: Alison Mariella Desir, GU Energy Labs athlete, author of Running While Black, founder of Harlem Run, hosting a BIPOC-focused running, racing and glacier kayaking event in Alaska later this year

The case for Chicago: “My favorite running route is along the Chicago Lakefront: the views are beautiful, it has water fountains positioned along the entire route, and it’s nice and flat! I did an out-and-back of about six miles (longer routes are possible) and with the perfect weather that day, I felt like I could run forever (which was the confidence boost I needed a month out from the NYC Marathon).” — Désir

Fenway Park

Where in the world: Boston, Massachusetts

Mileage: 26.2 miles…assuming you run the warning track enough times

Nominated by: Dave McGillivray, race director for the Boston Marathon, founder and president of event management organization DMSE Sports, has consulted on event-planning for the Olympics, completed 165 marathons, run the Boston Marathon 50 years in a row and counting, famously ran 3,452 miles from Medford, OR to Medford, MA for cancer research in 1978

The case for Fenway: “I both directed and ran in the Fenway Park Marathon. It was 113 laps around the warning track of the historic, iconic ballpark. There were 50 runners in the race. I always wanted to play 2nd base at Fenway, but of course that never happened. However, if I couldn’t ‘play’ in Fenway, I was going to someday ‘run’ in Fenway. And the 50 of us raised $300,000 along the way for the Red Sox Foundation.” McGillivray

Buffalo Range Road

Where in the world: Raymond Wildlife Area, Arizona

Mileage: 14 miles, nice and easy, in the middle of nowhere

Nominated by: Hannah Steelman, professional runner for On, 10x NCAA All-American at North Carolina State, Olympic Trials semi-finalist in the steeplechase

The case for Buffalo Range: “Buffalo Range Road is 30 miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona off of I-40 (Exit 225). I love a long run here (14+ miles) to escape the snow in the winter, take in the view of the San Francisco Peaks and enter that flow state with my friends.” — Steelman

United Airlines NYC Half

Where in the world: New York, New York

Mileage: 13.1

Nominated by: Ben Delaney, director of NYRR Training Programs, Road Runners Club of America-certified coach

The case for NYC Half: “Times Square is closed down just for this race — it’s the only time other than New Year’s that it’s closed. The route finishes near Tavern on the Green in Central Park. It doesn’t get any better than that.” — Delaney

Ceredigion Coast Path

Where in the world: Aberporth, Wales

Mileage: 7 miles, out and back, starting in the seaside town of Aberporth

Nominated by: James Rodgers, online running coach, former triathlete for the University of Wales, Swansea, national champion in the aquathlon, personal best time of 31:30 in the 10K

The case for Ceredigion: “We started from the coastal village of Aberporth, West Wales, U.K., and did an out-and-back along the coastline for seven miles. The route is undulating and challenging at points, but it’s a lot of fun and has incredible views, including a waterfall and beaches, and you may even be lucky enough to see dolphins. I loved it because you can enjoy the run and surroundings rather than focusing on time or pace.” — Rodgers

Bondi to Coogee

Where in the world: Sydney, Australia

Mileage: 4-ish miles, depending on where you start, and whether you choose to turn back or peel off for a well-earned brekkie

Nominated by: Garrity

The case for Bondi: “Zone 2 paradise. There are too many tourists snapping photos and locals walking dogs and soaking wet lifesavers finishing their third workout of the day to ever run all that fast along the Eastern Suburbs’ coastal walk, but that’s perfectly okay — this is a place to slow down, to lean into the winding coastline and to breathe in the uninterrupted blues. (No freeways next to Aussie beaches!) While many nominations on this list require runners to travel places empty and far from home in order to sample the sublime, Bondi to Coogee is a beating heart in a city of five million people. Fitness here is infectious and can feel almost involuntary; Sydney might be the easiest place in the world to start your run in a good mood. You end it with a dip and a coffee.” — Garrity

Dipsea Trail

Where in the world: Mill Valley, California

Mileage: 7.5 miles from an old train depot to the beach, including hundreds of stairs, and miles in Muir Woods National Monument, Mount Tamalpais State Park, and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Nominated by: Dylan Bowman, Red Bull athlete, co-founder of Freetrail, host of “The Freetrail Podcast with Dylan Bowman

The case for Dipsea: “An iconic trail that runs from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. All self-respecting trail runners must complete it at some point in their lives. The trail is 7.5 miles in distance, one-way, with about 2,200 feet of vertical gain. It’s also home to the legendary Dipsea Race which is one of the oldest foot races in the world (celebrating its 113th edition in 2024). You can feel the history every step of the way on this beautiful and challenging route.” — Bowman

Claremont Wilderness Trail Run

Where in the world: Claremont, California

Mileage: 5 miles up and down in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains

Nominated by: Cooper Knowlton, founder of Trials of Miles (perhaps the most creative racing platform around), former runner at Amherst College

The case for Claremont: “There’s a five-mile trail loop in Claremont, CA (where I currently live), that’s the perfect run if you’re looking for an adventure, but short on time. Known as the Claremont Loop, it’s basically two miles up and two miles down (with a flat mile in the middle), but in five miles you can get an epic workout, insane views, and close out the run bombing down a trail with perfect footing.” — Knowlton

Dragon’s Back Trail

Where in the world: Hong Kong, China

Mileage: A 2.9-mile point-to-point with just the right amount of elevation gain for more casual runners

Nominated by: Charles Thorp, frequent contributor to InsideHook, ran Nick Bare’s “Go One More” Marathon, host of the “Great Adventures” podcast, has hosted panels on behalf of Apple, Build Series, National Geographic and ESPN

The case for Dragon’s Back: “I was looking for somewhere to escape the crowds on my first visit to Hong Kong, and a local was kind enough to point me in the direction of the Dragon’s Back along the Hong Kong Trail. The majority of people walk it, but I decided to turn it into a trail run and was not disappointed. I didn’t run into a single soul on my run and was gifted with beautiful views of the city, standing above the clouds. The walk can take around two hours, but running it during the cooler parts of the day you can knock it out quicker. I’ve returned since and never regret it. The route ends at Big Wave Bay, where you can get some post-run eats by the beachside.” — Thorp

Courtesy of Eric Orton

Paintbrush Canyon: Cascade Canyon Loop

Where in the world: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Nominated by: Eric Orton, best-selling author of Born to Run 2 (co-written with Christopher McDougall) and The Cool Impossible, has studied evolutionary biomechanics amongst ancestral communities like Mexico’s legendary Rarámuri ultrarunners, founder of Eric Orton Global Run Academy

The case for Paintbrush: “If running could ever be a work of art, this would be it. Every step provides an epic view and transformative experience that doesn’t quit. You will not believe something this beautiful exists, that you’re actually able to take it in on your own two feet.” — Orton

Teton Crest Trail

Where in the world: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Mileage: A 41-mile point-to-point mountain adventure with pizza and ice cream at the finish

Nominated by: Andy Cochrane, freelance journalist and contributor to Outside and The New York Times, ran the entirety of Japan’s ancient Nakasendo Trail with Olympic alumni Des Linden and Magda Boulet. Cochrane covered his favorite Teton trail in expansive detail in 2023.

The case for Teton Crest: “It’s 41 miles of unreal views, remote wilderness, rugged trails, and epic climbs and descents. A dream come true for trail runners.” — Cochrane

Arthur’s Seat

Where in the world: Edinburgh, Scotland

Mileage: The 3-ish-mile loop is contained within Holyrood Park, but you can easily add to that sum by running into the Meadows, a public park astride the University of Edinburgh

Nominated by: Garrity

The case for Arthur’s Seat: “Any trip to Edinburgh is moody, literary — it’s a city of alleyways, narrow stairwells, basement pubs and ghost stories. Then there is this other Edinburgh, the fresh air of Arthur’s Seat: an ancient and extinct volcano that towers over the city, always green, but covered in yellow rapeseed in the springtime, all the more fantastical because at the other end of its rainbow is Edinburgh Castle, and within its grounds itself is Holyroodhouse, the principal royal residence in Scotland. Running royalty has graced the 822-foot hill for years, too — the great Eliud Kipchoge himself won a title here in 2007 — and for good reason. It’s a soft trail on a jagged hill with temperate weather and killer views. You can take advantage of the other Edinburgh when your run is through.” — Garrity

Williamsburg Bridge

Where in the world: Brooklyn, New York

Mileage: 7 miles if you come back over the Brooklyn Bridge, check out the exact route here

Nominated by: Nēv Schulman, personal best of 2:58:54 in the NYC Marathon, has run that marathon as a guide for Achilles International, host of MTV’s Catfish

The case for Williamsburg: “My hometown route starts in Brooklyn running over the Williamsburg Bridge, which has a good incline and makes it a good test right in the beginning. I love getting to see the Manhattan cityscape as I’m running towards it. I follow the river for a bit, but then I go up Broadway from the south for some great people watching. I come back over the Brooklyn Bridge and into the Navy Yard. I don’t run into too many other runners on my route, which sounds impossible in New York. I think it’s really special to find your own spaces and enjoy the city your way.” Schulman


Where in the world: Aspen Grove, Utah

Mileage: A 3.5-mile out-and-back with a pitstop at Utah’s gorgeous Stewart Falls

Nominated by: Thorp

The case for Sundance: “For years my only experience of the Sundance area was the freezing film festival in January. But on a few occasions since I’ve had the opportunity to go in the summer, and anyone whose been to Utah during those warmer months knows it’s a great place for the outdoors. A friend took me on this trail awhile back, and it’s become a regular run whenever I’m in the area. The route is well-marked, which is crucial for forest runs, and not busy at all in the mornings. Three adventurous miles into the wilderness and you end at a picturesque waterfall where you can cool down with a splash. Doesn’t get much better.” — Thorp

Wonderland Trail

Where in the world: Mt. Rainier, Washington

Mileage: 93 miles of Cascade Range goodness, but you can choose a specific stage here

Nominated by: Cochrane

The case for Wonderland: “I’m a fan of Timberline Trail, a 40-mile loop around Mt. Hood in Oregon, which has fields of wildflowers, and takes you over rocky moraines, and across rivers, with frequent views of glaciers on the upper volcano. That said, Wonderland is basically Timberline on steroids. Huge climbs, technical descents, surreal vistas and diverse ecosystems in a circle around the tallest peak in the PNW.” — Cochrane

Additional reporting by Charles Thorp.