Last weekend I was filming a race in Newport News, VA and took the opportunity to run in a couple of cool spots. I filmed Race 13.1 Newport News (video not available yet) and the course passed by the Noland Trail. This looked like a great place to check out so I decided to run the trail.
The Noland Trail is a 5 mile loop that completely circles Lake Maury. The course is well marked with mileage posts every half mile. The trail starts/finishes at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News. The surface of the trail is hard pack dirt with railroad ties spread out along the way. The course is rolling and due to the large amount of railroad ties you frequently have to take short hops to get over them. You definitely don’t want to zone out on this run and trip on one of these jumps.
The trail has numerous bridges that cross parts of Lake Maury. This allows for some nice views of the lake. At one point the trail runs along the James River and this offers even better views along the shore. Race 13.1 Newport News runs along the river at this point as well. This is a great part of that course and I highly recommend checking out that event if you want a fast time in the half.
Another area I ran in was Newport News Park. This is a great park with a 5.3 mile well marked trail through the woods. Unlike the Noland Trail you are very secluded for almost the entire loop. I only saw a few people for the entire run. This park has 30 miles of trails over its 8000 acres and is one of the largest city run parks in the United States. I ran the trail and also explored several other areas of the park and ended up with 7.1 miles.
Being a runner is all about being able to explore new areas. Next time you are on vacation or on a business trip check out the local area and treat yourself to an interesting run in a new place. You will be glad you did!