Trail Running Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

Trail Running

Did you know the first Boston Marathon was essentially a trail race? The roads between the starting line in Ashland and downtown Boston were a dirty, dusty, unpaved mess back in April 1896. The runners didn’t need to navigate rocks and roots, but they had to cope with the ruts left by countless wagon and…

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Sometimes I set out with a specific loop and distance in mind. Other times I plan to wander. And sometimes I stumble from one into the other. A couple weekends ago I decided to take a friend’s recommendation and run through Arlington’s Great Meadow (AGM) over to Whipple Hill and back, making a loop of…

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I like to think of myself as a minimalist. I hate carrying extra stuff when I’m running, whether in my hand or on my back. I still wear shirts, tights, and jackets that I’ve had for 15 years, and I’m one of those snobs who scoffs at wearing headphones on a run. But that doesn’t…

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Twenty-some years ago I was running through Belmont, Mass., with a few high school teammates. Our coach steered us off the familiar roads we ran almost every Sunday and onto a trail: a narrow, grown-over path that cut through the forest behind McLean Hospital to a road on the other side. It wasn’t much of…

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One of my favorite things about moving to a new area (maybe the only thing I like about moving) is finding the closest trail and seeing how far it goes. Five or 10 miles of closely clustered trails is just about perfect for trail running. That sort of network is big enough to explore over…

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For years, AMC’s Four Thousand Footer Club has awarded intrepid hikers who climb all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot peaks with a commemorative patch. There’s another patch for those who hike the 48 in winter and yet another for those who complete New England’s 67 4,000-footers. Even dogs can earn a patch. If you complete…

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Whether afoot, on skis, or astride a bike, there are lots of ways to get around AMC’s nearly 75,000 acres of Maine Woods Initiative (MWI) property in the 100-Mile Wilderness region—and lots of trails to get around on. At last count, AMC’s growing network of recreational trails covered 130 miles, including 90 miles of groomed…

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My favorite piece of running gear isn’t a perfectly fitting pair of shoes or a well-worn race T-shirt. It’s my running watch. My first running watch was the Timex Ironman: cheap, beautiful in its simplicity, and ubiquitous. A survey of wrists at an early 1990s high school cross-country meet would’ve revealed a lot of trademark…

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For a trail-loving runner, the search for a new stretch of off-road running never ends. I’ve lived in towns from Downeast Maine to Philadelphia, and the urge to explore defined many of my runs. In each spot I found a local go-to destination for regular runs, but I also kept looking for new trails, perhaps…

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A furry head skims the surface of the pond a few feet from the trail. Then it’s gone, just a ripple and a question remaining: Was it a beaver? A river otter? I’m eager to get another look. I’m only 100 yards into my weekend run, following the Dike Trail through Great Meadows National Wildlife…

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