Walking and running are two of the most effective physical activities that exercise multiple muscle groups including lower leg, hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps and upper body. And unlike treadmills, walking outdoors requires your body to adjust to constantly changing elevations, resulting in a much better workout.
Luckily, beautiful walking trails are never too far away no matter where you are in Raleigh, N.C. Check out our top picks to see if your favorite Raleigh walking trail made our list:
William B. Umstead State Park
A great thing about Raleigh, N.C., is that the state’s capital offers the perfect mixture of city life and nature. William B. Umstead State Park is situated in Northwest Raleigh on 5,559 acres of protected land. Make sure to bring your bike, running shoes, hiking boots, pets and swim trunks — because a visit to Umstead State Park is an all-day occasion. For runners and walkers, Umstead State Park has over 20 miles of hiking trails; simply grab a park map and choose which path you’re most interested in, a short nature stroll or an extensive hike into the woods, and head out for an adventure.
Historic Yates Mill County Park
If you’re into walking trails and history, then Historic Yates Mill County Park is the choice for you. The park is named after Yates Mill, a gristmill built around 1756. The mill sits on the 174-acre wildlife refuge and acts as the centerpiece of the park.
Lake Lynn Park
Although Lake Lynn is the primary attraction at Lake Lynn Park, there is an extremely beautiful walking trail that surrounds the lake in addition to a baseball field, batting cages, tennis courts and community center. The park only covers 52 acres, so the 2.8-mile greenway trail is one of the smaller walking trails on our list. Lake Lynn attracts lots of wildlife, though, so we promise this trip won’t be a disappointing one.
Neuse River Greenway Trail
Something about Neuse River Greenway Trail calls out to the adventurer inside everyone. It acts as a segment of North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea trail, a long-distance trail that runs from the eastern Outer Banks to the western Great Smokey Mountains. Visitors are free to run, walk and bike on the greenway, while water-lovers canoe, kayak and fish (with a current NC Fishing License).
Now it’s time to grab a water bottle, slip on your running shoes with Lock Laces and head to your favorite walking trail! If you don’t live in Raleigh, N.C., leave a comment below and tell us about your favorite walking trail in your city!