Trails Worth the Effort. Part 1

Running enthusiasts have all sorts of options, from treadmill to urban landscapes. However, one of the most desirable options for a casual morning exercise or a long and challenging run are nature trails. The unspoiled terrain and beautiful sights make these runs not only a good way to stay in shape and push one’s athletic limits, but also get fresh air, clear one’s mind and experience the best of what our wonderful planet has to offer. While some have the luxury to go trail running whenever they wish because a nice nature trail starts in their backyard, those who live in big cities have to try harder and turn these runs into a planned activity. If this is the case, it always nice to know what some of the best trails out there are.

AWA’AWAPUHI TRAIL

Kauai, Hawaii

Hawaii is famous for its spectacular, preserved nature and remoteness. It is loved by hikers, rock climbers, mountain bikers and most definitely by runners. Awa’awapuhi trail is a magnificent challenge. It is located on the west side island of Kauai, in Waimea Canyon, and it’s certainly not fit for those with extreme fear of heights. It is also important to consider that it is a challenge not just because of the mountainous terrain, but also due to the elevation. Starting the 10km run at 1255 meters in elevation, there is a 2000-meter elevation change both ways, so you need to make sure you pace yourself and retain some energy for the way back. A piece of advice – check this trail out during the dry season because the it might get slippery and that combined with breathtaking cliff drops in some parts can prove to be unsettling. That being said, if you have shoes you trust and little dislike for heights, go and enjoy the views and the exercises whenever!

Moonlight Track

Queenstown, New Zealand

The Moonlight track grants sights so spectacular that it is difficult to remain unmoved my them. The trail takes the hikers and runners to the top of Ben Lomond and stretches to cover the valley that has sharp mountain peaks to show off. It’s demanding both as a run and as a hike; the distance is around 24km and the surface isn’t always the smoothest, but it’s so worth the challenge! Be reminded that you will have company on the way, if not other hikers or runners than definitely all the mountain goats and sheep that wander around enjoying the beautiful sights as much as you do – you will have a view down to Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, an inland lake, the longest one in New Zealand, whose name originates in the original Māori language A suggestion would be not to try and push it as quickly as possible, but instead take the extra minute to stop, breathe and take in the best of what nature has to offer.

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