The Best Places To Run In The USA (And The Running Gear You'll Need)

Believe it or not, Philadelphia’s Kelly Drive isn't the only place for a run (I know, we didn’t believe it either!). So we asked our Boathouse Sales Team from across the nation for their favorite places to hit the ground running to see if any compare to our favorite Philly spot. From short sprints to long runs, here’s what else is out there: 

Andrew Vargo – West PA, West VA, Michigan

I can run from my house to several state parks in Wilmington: Bellevue, Alapocas and Brandywine State Park. The trails vary from paved to rugged or hilly to flat. I especially like the 1 1/8 miles track at Bellevue State Park because it has exercise apparatus around it to make your run into full body workout. So make sure you wear something versatile and moisture wicking. I like the Boathouse Comfort-Dri Performance Tee and Liberty Short.

Ryan Sickles – Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin

The Appalachian Trail (full disclosure – I didn’t run, but I hiked) The Appalachian Trail is the most famous hiking trail in the U.S., extending 2,189 miles from Georgia to Maine. 46 miles of the Appalachian Trail meanders through Cumberland Valley Pennsylvania, including a 13-mile section that is the longest, lowest and flattest section on the entire trail and one of the most accessible portions to park and take a short day trip. 

Photo: Ryan Sickles and wife, Christine, atop MacAfee’s Knob in Virginia sporting the Rio-Lite Helium Jacket and the True North Waterproof Helium Jacket. 

Kenny Porras – West Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut

My go-to running trail is 13 mile loop in Narragansett, RI. The Narragansett-Grassland Trail is a 1.7 mile loop trail located near Charlestown, Rhode Island that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and birding. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

My second favorite is Rhode Island's best-known rail-trail, the East Bay Bicycle Path, hugs the shores of Narragansett Bay, from Bristol in the south and north to India Point Park in Providence. The 14-mile paved path accommodates a wide variety of users. Markers on the pavement every half mile help you keep track of your progress. The trail is also part of a larger network of trails called the East Coast Greenway, stretching from Maine to Florida.

The trail takes you through an alternating landscape of stunning natural areas, as well as more urban enclaves. Spur trails lead to several parks and conservation areas, including Colt State Park in Bristol, Burr's Hill Park in Warren and Veterans Memorial Park and Haines Memorial State Park in Barrington.

Last but not least, I love the 10 Mile Sakonnet Greenway Trail in Portsmouth, RI. This is considered the longest nature trail for Aquidneck Island, and the most kid friendly wildlife habitat corridors between Portsmouth, and Middletown. Many walkers, and trail runners use this trail, as well as horseback riders on certain stretches of the trail. There is an ongoing plan to connect a new segment of the trail, which will further expand it by 2+ miles.

Jace Jackson – Utah, Wyoming, Colorado

My wife and I love to run at Three Sisters Park in Evergreen, CO. Located about 40 minutes outside of Denver, CO, its five minutes from our house and offers breathtaking views of Mt. Evans, a 14,000 foot peak that towers over our town.

Pictured: Jace’s wife, Taylor, at Three Sisters in her Boathouse comfort-dri tank top.

Nicole Gregus – New Jersey

The boardwalks of the Jersey Shore! My favorites include Long Branch, Sea Bright, Sandy Hook and Belmar. There’s nothing better than the ocean view and smell of the salty air in the morning.

Local parks – lots of people doing various activities and staying active. Some favorites near me: Cheesequake State Park, Oak Ridge Park (Edison/Clark, NJ), Rahway River Park, Merrill Park. Also the D&R Canal State Park in Princeton so you can stop for a quick canoe or kayak down the river!

Parks along the NYC Skyline – the best city and view of the best skyline in the US – Liberty State Park or Weehawken Waterfront Park.

Thomas Jay - Georgia

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield. Its beautiful and peaceful with multiple trails of varying difficulty. It was also the site of a monumental battle during the Atlanta campaign of the Civil War, so there is a rich history to experience and absorb during your run. The peak of the mountain is the highest point in the Metro Atlanta area, and you can see the entire city skyline from the top.
*Honorable mention goes to Downtown Charleston, South Carolina

Matt Steele – Director of Team Sales

Cloudland Canyon State Park in November.  Get out of the city, clean air, cool temps and beautiful scenery. There are a few trails of varying difficulty, but my favorite is Waterfalls Trail. It begins at the Main Trailhead and drops quickly down into the canyon depths to two sizable waterfalls, Cherokee and Hemlock Falls. It is approximately ½ mile to Cherokee Falls, and a much steeper ½ mile further down to Hemlock Falls including 600 stair steps. The flow of water over the falls varies significantly from week to week and from month to month, but in general, winter and early spring offer the strongest and most constant flow.

John Strotbeck – Founder/CEO

I must chime in on local Philly runs as I have made so many in my youthful past.

  1. The loop – 8.2 miles. Start at Art Museum or Boathouse Row, run up either side of the river, cross the Falls bridge, and head home. Flat, choice or hard surface, gravel or grass. You’ll be motivated by the many other runners, bikers, Rollerbladers and you get to see a lot of running fashion. Best run in Boathouse Running Shorts and Quarter Zip Training Tops.

  2. Fairmount Park, off Lincoln Drive – endless choices. The largest inner city park in the world has variety of terrain and sights to see. Run on Forbidden Drive - 5.2 miles end to end, gravel, along the Wissahickon creek. Watch for bikers and horses. There are numerous small trails in the hills all around Fairmount Park for trail running and mountain biking. Best run in Boathouse compression tights and compression training tops. Add packable Helium jacket in colder weather.
  1. The steps at Belmont Ave exit. Little known secret that only the hard core should want to know. For building your Quads and lactate Tolerance. Near Belmont Ave exit off the Schuylkill expressway, on the south side, tucked just up Jefferson Street behind the gas station. There’s a metal switchback staircase leading up the side of the hill to neighborhood above. About 192 steps up. Use to run up twenty times at a shot.


So there you have it – some of the best places to run in the USA including Philadelphia (you didn’t really think we were going to leave our hometown out of this post, did you?) Did we get it right? Do you have a suggestion or recommendation you think we should add to our list? What's your go-to Boathouse gear when you're going out for a run? We want to hear from you – Post your comment below and let’s talk!