Find a Running Trail: A Complete Runner’s Guide

“Where can I find running trails near me?” When I talk to new trail runners, I frequently get this question. Finding excellent running routes in the country had to be made easier and better.

I certainly had my share of trail runs and walks that were cut short because the trail was too overgrown for me to continue.

Many tips runners had discovered were old-fashioned and would have taken them onto private property or dead-end paths.

You don’t have to stress picking the wrong course; instead, you can simply find running trails that are well-maintained and offer as much of a challenge as you want.

So, regardless of where you are in the world, I’ve created this list to assist you to find running trails you’re looking for.

The 10 Best Applications for Finding Running Trails

We’ve rounded up the most wonderful apps for finding running trails.

There is no absolute “best,” as with everything; it depends on the individual and what they seek. But first, a summary in general:

1. AllTrails

You will be prompted to grant access to your location when you register and log in. Then, based on your site and the “running trails near me,” it suggests tracks for you.

This trail finder app and website do an excellent job mirroring and immediately presenting you with a search bar.

It makes it simple to look in the city, park, or other location.

The explore option allows you to browse the map and find trails nearby. You can narrow the possibilities to discover the running trail type you want.

Save routes you prefer to view later Filter different trails depending on the difficulty level and distance, among other options.

You may download the maps to your phone if you join a Pro membership, allowing you to venture outdoors without worrying about phone connectivity.

2. Trail Run Project

If you live in the United States, Trail Run Project is superior. The software is comparatively simple and can help you find running trails quickly.

If you’re looking for something on the map, you can click “top runs” to see the area’s most popular trails. Additionally, a filter choice is provided.

The use of Trail Run Project is free. You can also download your favorite trails for offline usage without a subscription, unlike AllTrails.

The Mountain Project, MTB Project, Hiking Project, Powder Project, and National Park Trail Guide are sister initiatives of the Trail Run Project.

Don’t see your favorite trail? Add a track with photos, videos & more or get their mobile app and find routes on the go!

3. Wikiloc

Wikiloc, founded in 2006, is the group’s wise old man. It probably recalls the first time someone typed “find running trails near me” into a search engine.

You have the choice to upload your routes and help the community. When you try to find running trails, Wikiloc is a fantastic resource.

This trail finder app will welcome you with a few trails based on your location. You can filter these via or scan and search by map by choosing the map option.

Similar to the app, you may choose the kind of activity you want right away, then open the map and start searching by location.

Additionally, you may filter by country, which will display all of the trails that are accessible within that nation.

4. Strava

A large map created by Strava reveals routes—especially trails—that don’t appear on a typical map since it aggregates all the GPS data from its users’ activity.

The global heatmap can be accessed from your console on the website or the app if you are a premium member.

The software will display your location when you click the “Maps” button in the bottom navigation.

Using the global heatmap is quite simple, whether paid or free. It’s as easy as choosing the region you want to search—a nation, city, or town—and then tracing a route along the lines.

The primary and premium tiers of Strava are available. The Premium option will cost $5 per month or $59.99 a year, while Basic will be free.

5. Komoot

This trail finder app offers everything you need to arrange the ideal ride or trek, and it has more than 10 million downloads only on Google Play.

It is an excellent app even if you wish to explore new areas of your own backyard. It can show specific data like distance, surface, elevation profile, and difficulty level.

This function lets you quickly distinguish between single track, paved roads, and topography. It includes turn-by-turn voice guidance to make sure you stay on the path.

Komoot manages to keep you focused on the route by doing this. You can download your favorite trails to use your topographic maps without an internet connection.

Adventure track logs, which let you share your experience with others in the Komoot community by adding photos and telling your narrative, are another standout feature.

6. Footpath Route Planner

With 4.7 stars from almost 12,000 reviews, this walking trail app is among the best-rated. And it makes sense why!

This hiking software has a unique function that allows you to draw the hiking trails you want to take, and it will generate a suitable course for you.

It gives you all the trails and roads to get you there. Additionally, the map may be easily erased in places and features audio instructions that will direct you.

Find your inner zen if this sounds appealing by looking through our selection of the top yoga retreats in the UK!

If you’re a dedicated hiker or want an offline version of the program, the Elite version of Footpath Route Planner is a beautiful choice and costs £3.49 per month.

7. TrailLink App/Website (Rails to Trails Conservancy)

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is a nonprofit organization focused on developing a national network of trails from abandoned rail lines and connecting corridors.

You’ll discover long-distance trails in both remote regions of the West and populated parts of the East and Midwest.

Their goal is to establish a national network of trails from abandoned rail lines that connect areas to promote healthier environments for healthy runners.

Former railroad routes are now used to create multipurpose public walkways known as rail trails.

These walks are accessible and offer an excellent way to take in the outdoors because they are flat or have a gentle slope.

8. Gaia GPS

One of the most well-liked navigational hiking apps is Gaia GPS. This software may identify unique trails, log your travels, and store information about your hiking performance.

The Gaia GPS hiking app is available in both a free and premium version. The app provides the weather forecast and assistance in finding trails close to your hike!

Most day hikers find that the free version is sufficient. I advise the premium version for experienced hikers and backpackers.

Without cell coverage, traveling and maintaining a trail position is impossible without the offline map tool.

9. PeakVisor

Have you ever asked yourself, “What mountain is that?” while gazing off in the distance? If so, I’m happy to inform you! The application is called PeakVisor.

Using a combination of image recognition and GPS location will notify you when you open the app on your phone and point it towards the top.

The app will even recognize uploaded mountain photos from previous hikes or when you don’t have service! You can find over a million mountain summits worldwide.

This program also has a compass, which is helpful for hiking navigation.

There is a free and paid version of PeakVisor. The free edition can access most of the app’s features.

10. Google Maps

If you download maps in advance, you can still find your way to the trailhead even if your phone loses service.

This app can navigate the downloaded map because GPS continues to function without cell phone connectivity.

You may watch your progress on the route and keep on course using this map, which also displays many well-traveled trails in busy parks.

You can get a personalized region from the app. I advise downloading the entire trail area and the section from your house to the trailhead.

Simply open the app, choose Offline Maps from the menu, pick a custom map to highlight the area, then click Download to start downloading offline in this app.

BONUS TIPS: Travel with a map. Suppose you are traveling somewhere unfamiliar or remote, where getting lost or losing a battery/GPS signal can have significant repercussions. In that case, we strongly advise bringing an accurate map with you, even if you have studied the area online and downloaded the route to your GPS watch or portable device.

What Are the Best Alternatives to These Apps?

  • Caltopo is a sophisticated collaborative map-building tool akin to Gaia GPS for other outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Dark Sky offers exact weather predictions, so you can always know the forecast before leaving. (Only accessible through Apple).
  • Hiking Project is a crowd-sourced trail guide built by adventure enthusiasts. Although you can trail run, REI also provides a Trail Run Project if you’d instead use that.

How to Find Running Trails Near Me

Trail running demands more effort than simply walking out the door and down the sidewalk.

The extra equipment, the driving to trailheads, and, of course, the work of the path are all necessary since we don’t want to be without water or snacks.

Having stated that, I employ most approaches to locate my own routes whenever I travel, whether on paved or dirt roads.

Let’s greatly simplify the finding of running trails part:

1. TrailRun Project App

It is now among the resources I most frequently suggest. It’s an excellent tool for recording your progress and comparing it to friends and locals.

Not only will it assist you to find running trails near your location, and the GPS feature will also enable you to determine your location even when there is no phone service!

2. Facebook Groups for Trail Running

The groups there have allowed me to save countless hours.

These runners from all over the country are a fantastic resource when you don’t have a local trail running group!

3. Local Trail Running Shops

Most running stores are staffed by other runners who enjoy helping you.

It’s excellent to be familiar with your neighborhood store because they frequently hold trail running groups and events and can be a great resource.

4. Hashtags for Instagram

Have you noticed that some posts include the term “tag responsibly”? Instagram has inspired trail runners to visit destinations they had never considered before.

5. Utilizing Google

If you search for “State Name” State Parks or “State Name” National Parks, you’ll find some of the better-maintained running trails near your location.To get some of the most well-liked tips and frequently a list of blogs that have written about various running trails, search Trails Near “City.”

Picking a Trail Running Route: Things to Think About

Here are a few tips/things to think about before selecting your following new routes to hike or run because it’s always a good idea to be ready before you explore somewhere new:

1. How Long Will Your Run/Hike Last?

You don’t want to still be on the trails running after dusk; therefore, it’s crucial to consider how long an activity can take you to finish.

It is less of a problem if you come prepared with a nice headlamp.

2. How Far Can You Run or Hike Comfortably?

Consider how many miles and how long you can comfortably walk.

Considering the terrain, difficulty level, elevation gain, and the weight you’re carrying on your back, your hiking pace may be slower than the average walking rate of three mph.

3. What Is the Elevation Change?

Another element that affects how challenging a hike is is the amount of climbing or elevation gain. With experience, you’ll come to understand the difficult and what’s simple.

Consider shortening the run/overall hike’s mileage if you’re searching for some challenging, steep running trails near your place.

4. How Active Are You Today?

There are so many routes for running and hiking, so if you’re unsure how you’ll fare out there when you first start, be prudent and pick a softer trail.

Remember, this is supposed to be enjoyable, so try not to lose all of your motivation in the process.

5. What Season Is It, and How Does the Weather Look?

Before heading out, you should check with the running trail managers because specific running trails near your place won’t be passable in the early spring because of snow.

Always check the weather prediction before leaving the house so you can pack the appropriate clothing and equipment.

6. Logistics

Some runs and hikes demand a little more preparation.

For instance, you’ll need to shuttle automobiles to your destination if you go on a walk with different beginning and ending points.

7. Put on the Trail Runners’ Proper Equipment

Your following new path will depend on whether you want to hike, fastpack, or do trail running.

One of the best aspects of long summer days is setting out on new popular routes while wearing running shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You may learn more about the applications to finding trails by reading the commonly asked questions below.

How Do I Find Running Routes Near Me?

You can find trails nearby with these options: TrailRun Project App, Facebook trail running groups, local clubs, and Instagram hashtags by using Google.

What Should I Eat 1 Hour Before Running?

Eat any solid meal, such as toast with peanut butter and a banana, at least a couple of hours before you go for a run.

Try liquid fuel like a sports drink, juice, or meals with higher water content, like a banana, if you eat within 60 minutes or fewer of the start of your run.

Can I Run a 5K Without Training?

You might be able to finish a 5K running race without prior preparation, depending on your degree of cardiovascular fitness.

Is the App Hiking Project Reliable?

The Hiking Project is a fantastic tool for organizing your upcoming hiking trip and is equally helpful while out on the trail.

When adding unknown trails to the system, its trail library is carefully selected, with high pictures and GPS accuracy requirements.

What Qualities Should Trail Shoes Have?

Wide spaces between the lugs allow mud and soft soil to fall off easily; broad, multidirectional lugs on the soles provide traction on soft ground and muck.

Soft, gripping rubber that prevents slippage on wet wood or gravel surfaces is found in some shoes. It should provide extra traction on slippery snow or ice-covered surfaces.


Any trail finder apps or services will be excellent for finding running trails near you, wherever you go.

It’s lovely that there are so many top-notch trail finder applications and GPS watches to create locating top-rated routes easier.

It should make it easier for you in finding running trails nearby and lead to incredible adventures and learning opportunities.

Always be cautious and take the appropriate safety measures to avoid getting into trouble. Don’t forget to start tracking your running.

I hope you find this post and tips helpful in planning your next trail adventure. Trail runners must support one another at all times!