Florida might not be the first place you think of when you imagine majestic running trails. But, Florida has some unbelievable places to run a 5k. While you might not see many mountains, you will certainly see some beautiful scenery while you enjoy a 5k run Florida-style. From the Panhandle to the Everglades, fun run Florida locations are plentiful and the amazing weather means you can run all year. Many of the best places for scenic 5k runs are in the Florida State Park system and are just right for the Race the USA Virtual 5K Run Series.
In the Panhandle, check out the Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail. This paved 20-mile rail trail connects Tallahassee to St. Marks along the Gulf of Mexico. When this trail was covered with train tracks, it was the longest running line in the state – with 147 years of history attached to it.
Another great option for a 5k run Florida is in the northeast part of the state at Fort Clinch State Park. This 5.6 mile trail takes you past Fort Clinch and the Atlantic Ocean. It is paved and shaded, making it ideal for anyone who loves to run and not bake in the Florida sun.
Central Florida is also home to several amazing trails that take you away from the hustle and bustle of the area. Near Orlando, but far from the tourist destinations, is Windermere, which is home to the Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve. There is a 3.6-mile loop that is perfect for a 5k run in Florida. This is a trail, not paved, so be sure to wear the right shoes. And, big bonus – no bikes or dogs are allowed on the trail, so you can run in peace. Keep your eyes open for wildlife.
While in Florida, why not enjoy the views of the coast? On the west coast, there are plenty of trails, especially at the Fort De Soto State Park near St. Petersburg. This state park has easy, moderate, and challenging trails of all lengths. But, the best part is that you can run along the Gulf of Mexico on the sand, if you want the challenge. You can also run along the Anderson Blvd, which goes right through the state park.
Finally, we have to include a favorite trail in the Miami area. Virginia Key Trail is four miles long and right along the ocean. The views are amazing and the trail is well-maintained. For the best run, head out as the sun rises and have a real fun run Florida experience as you compete in the Race the USA Virtual 5K Run Series at what will quickly become your favorite trail. Your participation benefits the Feed the Children organization.