While there are numerous ways to explore the Adirondacks, trail running is one of my favorites. Last week, as I set out on a long run with my training partner, covering many miles in the Whiteface region, I had an epiphany of sorts. Even though we both live in different towns, we often drive to Wilmington to tackle our longest runs.
The more I thought about it (I had a lot of time to think) the more I realized the Whiteface region really is a runner's paradise. As we made our way through tough trails, down scenic roads, past beautiful mountain views and fields of wild flowers, the miles seemed to fly by, leaving me in awe of the surrounding land and inspired to get close to everything this area has to offer. We came across few people on the trails and even fewer cars on the road, making it feel like we truly had the area for only us to enjoy.
If you're wondering where to plan your next getaway while getting some miles in, read on to see why the Whiteface Region is the perfect place for trail runners.
Steep Technical Terrain
Trail runners like a challenge and Adirondack trail systems don’t disappoint. Surrounded by Forever Wild and protected state land, most of the trails in the Whiteface Region are formed and maintained by crews of volunteers and never by machinery. This means rocks, roots, and technical single track trails keep you challenged. Whether you choose to run up Whiteface Mountain or along its neighboring Flume Trail, steep climbs and obstacles will abound.
Running a lot of miles takes a toll on your legs so I always try to minimize my time spent on paved roads. Smilary, our technical trails can become tedious over many miles, so it’s nice to find a happy medium. Many of the roads in Wilmington, Jay, and Ausable are dirt or gravel, perfect for packing in the miles. One of my favorite loops to run is the Bartlett Road Loop. While there is some paved road, much of the way is dirt, and the views are among the best in the region.
Anywhere you look, mountains surround you as you take to the trails and roads of the Whiteface region. Standing at 4,865′, Whiteface Mountain seems to follow you, providing views from various points throughout the region. Accompanying her, smaller mountains fill the gaps, creating a sea of unforgettable mountain views for you to enjoy. Many trails, such as the Hardy Road trails or the Flume Knob, are perfect for a challenging trail run and provide outstanding views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Let’s face it, running as a sport and hobby can be expensive. Races are expensive, Hoka’s have a life expectancy similar to that of a mayfly, and we NEVER stop eating. Lucky for you, the Whiteface Region is home to cozy campgrounds and lodging options that won't break the bank. Whether you prefer a night spent outside or a big bed to rest your legs, the Whiteface Region won't let you down.
All good runs lead to Little Super. Sometimes even twice. Centrally located in the center of Wilmington and full of small town charm, Little Super is there for all your running needs. I always try to pass by at least once on a run, just in case I need a little extra refueling. Anyone else crave pickles and potato chips? Little Super is also the perfect place to stop for a post run sandwich and slushy. You've earned it.
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