If you are not a local, it may take some time to realize there is much more to Georgia than Atlanta traffic and peaches! Running trails and 5K races abound from sea-level beaches to rocky mountain summits above 4000 feet. It simply isn’t hard to find a place to complete a virtual 5K in Georgia.
The Appalachian Trail is a popular hiking destination and Georgia’s 78 miles of it make for a unique backdrop for any virtual run. Springer Mountain, located within the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests, is the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, and its approach trail is nearly eight miles alone.
Encompassing over 866,000 acres of Northern Georgia combined, the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests offer nearly 100 trails ranging from a quarter of a mile to 78 miles in length. Maximum elevation is about 3,809 feet, so you might not get a virtual race PR here, but the views are absolutely stunning.
If you enjoy running near the coast, especially on even terrain, check out Savannah, Georgia’s oldest city. In the heart of the historic district is Forsyth Park with over 30 acres of land. A paved path around the park is almost two miles in length and could be doubled for a virtual 5K race. You’ll glide through Savannah’s famous gnarled oak trees gently draped in Spanish moss while breaking away from the bustle of the town.
A destination with fun for the entire family is Chehaw City Park just outside of Albany, Georgia. While you complete your virtual race on part of the nine-mile dirt path, your family can visit the adjoining teaching zoo. Here you will run amongst dense woods featuring tall pines, loamy dirt, and rooted pathways.
You could even double up by participating in one of the thousands of 5K—or farther—races all over Georgia while completing this Race the USA Virtual Series at the same time.
One popular race typically held on the Fourth of July is Georgia’s Peach Tree Road Race in Atlanta. Each year, it draws tens of thousands of runners to register for the 60,000 available slots. Starting in Buckhead near Lenox Square Mall and ending in Piedmont Park, this 10K race is one of the largest road races in the country and is a local favorite.