Pennsylvania is a huge state and as such offers diverse landscapes on which to run the Race the USA Virtual Run Series. Whether you prefer running with the bustling sights of Pittsburgh in the background or a more mundane lope near Amish Country, Pennsylvania is packed full of excellent running trails.
In fact, if you look at a map of Pennsylvania with all the running trails marked on it, you’ll see very little blank space. This means that no matter where you are in Pennsylvania, you are certain to find a 10K race, and therefore trail, near you.
Choose a part of the Appalachian Trail to run your virtual race in Pennsylvania, but beware of the basketball-sized rocks notorious for turning ankles. The Appalachian Trail stretches over 229 miles across Pennsylvania and is favored by those who prefer a mostly-flat, minimally inclining trail. Make your virtual 10K into a mini-vacation by staying in the historic Doyle Hotel, that has hosted the likes of Charles Dickens, in Duncannon just off the trail.
In the Hickory Run State Park area near White Haven, you’ll find Lehigh Gorge Trail, which consists of 24 miles of scenic Lehigh River views complete with waterfalls. Most of the northern part is shaded by soaring mature trees. Ending near Jim Thorpe, the hard packed trail is open year-round for multi-use.
If you prefer to keep it as rustic as possible, head north to Allegheny National Forest, home of the four and a half mile Tidiout RecTrek Trail. Composed of ballast, dirt, and grass, you can expect a comfortable run. This trail encompasses the wilderness as it meanders from north to south through towering trees, near a waterfall, and through a valley of wild ferns and wildflowers.
The Philadelphia Marathon is the most well-known race in the state, and since it is a non-qualifying event, it often draws crowds of 30,000 or more runners. Beginning at the bottom of the famous, or infamous, Rocky steps from the epic Stallone movie, it also passes by the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall allowing for excellent historic sightseeing. This route makes for a fun and educational experience for your virtual 10K.