Are you looking for some great running trails in Jacksonville, Florida? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll show you the top 10 best running trails in Jacksonville, FL.
Running is a great way to get fit and stay healthy. It also helps burn calories and improve cardiovascular health. There are several benefits to running, such as improving muscle tone, burning fat, increasing endurance, and even helping prevent diabetes.
Whether you want to run or walk, there are plenty of places to choose from. Whether you prefer paved roads or dirt paths, there’s something out there for everyone. We’ve put together a list of our favorite running trails in Jacksonville, including paved roads, dirt paths, and even a trail that takes you through a local park.
We hope you enjoy our list of the best running trails in Jacksonville!
The 10 Best Running Trails in Jacksonville, FL
Riverside Park Trail
This one is right off I-95 at Exit 54 on the west side of town. This is an easy 5-mile loop that can be done either clockwise or counterclockwise. The path is mostly flat with a few hills along the way. You will pass by many beautiful homes and parks. Riverside Park has been around since 1894, and it was named after the river that runs alongside it.
St. Johns River Greenway
If you’re looking for a more challenging path, then head over to the St. Johns River Greenway. These trails go all throughout Northeast Florida, and they offer everything from paved bike paths to multi-use pathways to hiking trails. They have a total distance of about 50 miles, and they connect to other cities like Daytona Beach and Tampa Bay.
If you’re into nature, then check out the Northbank Riverwalk. This path goes along the north bank of the St. Johns River, and it offers amazing views of the river. The path is only 2.5 miles long, but it passes by the historic downtown area of Jacksonville.
San Marco Island Greenway
Want to see some wildlife? Then take the San Marco Island Greenway. This path winds its way through the woods and past small lakes. The Greenway connects to San Marco Island, and it’s part of a larger system of trails called the “San Marco Loop”.
Peace River Greenway
Want to see some wildlife while you run? Check out the Peace River Greenway. This path is located near the northernmost point of the city of Jacksonville. It’s a short path but if you keep going straight, you’ll find another trail that leads you back to your starting point.
If seeing wildlife isn’t enough for you, then maybe you’ll feel better knowing that you’re surrounded by water. The Southbank Riverwalk follows the banks of the St. Johns river, and it’s one of the most popular running trails in Jacksonville.
Atlantic Coast Greenway
Heading south means you’re getting closer to the beach. The Atlantic Coast Greenway is a multi-use pathway that travels from Fernandina Beach down to Jupiter. Along the way, you’ll experience gorgeous beaches, and you’ll see lots of wildlife.
Mayport Rail Trail
Located just outside of Jacksonville, the Mayport Rail Trail is open year-round, and it runs along the former railroad tracks of the old Seaboard Air Line Railroad. If you decide to do a run/bike ride, you’ll have access to both sides of the rail line where you can use them to travel between the two different parts of town.
Aucilla River Greenway
A great place to view wildlife, this trail is close to downtown, and it’s also pretty popular. The Aucilla River Greenway begins at the footbridge that crosses the Aucilla River, and it heads east towards the center of town. There are several bridges along the way, so you can cross over the river as often as you’d like.
One of the newest additions to the Jacksonville running scene, the Eastside Connector is still in the early stages of construction. The Eastside Connector starts at the corner of Adams Avenue and Oakland Boulevard, heading east towards the coast.
How Can I Recover After A Long Run?
If you have been running regularly for countless months, you may be ready to start training for a half marathon or full marathon. However, if you haven’t been exercising consistently, you might not know how to recover after a long run. Here are some tips:
- Stretch – Stretching is an important part of any workout routine. It will help your body stay flexible and reduce soreness. Try stretching every day, even if you only have time for 10 minutes.
- Drink plenty of water – Dehydration can lead to fatigue, which makes it harder to train properly. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water each day.
- Eat well – Don’t skip meals while you are working out. Instead, eat small snacks throughout the day, so you won’t feel hungry.
- Get enough sleep – Sleep deprivation can affect your mood and energy levels. Aim for seven hours of sleep per night.
- Take breaks – Even though you might think you can keep going, your body needs recovery time. Go easy on yourself by taking short breaks between workouts.
- Listen to music – Music has many benefits, including helping you relax and improve your performance. Choose songs with lyrics that match your pace.
- Use foam rollers – Foam rollers work great for relieving tight muscles and improving flexibility. They also help relieve tension and stress.
- Ice – Cold packs can provide relief for sore joints and muscles. Wrap them around your neck or wrists to ease discomfort.
- Do massage therapy – Massage therapists use their fingers, thumbs, elbows, and knees to rub away knots and loosen stiff areas.
- Avoid lifting weights until you are fully recovered – Lifting weights when you aren’t completely healed could put you at risk of injuring your back, hips, or other parts of your body.
Jacksonville has many wonderful running trails to choose from, so make sure you get out there and explore them! If you don’t know where to start, use our 10 options above to help you find the right trail for you. What are your favorite places to run or walk in Jacksonville?