Running in Lynchburg, Virginia

Every now and again I visit a new place and have trouble finding information about trails and runs in the area. By no means do I pretend to be an expert compared to the many more experienced runners of the Lynchburg area, but I do know what it’s like to want to get a few runs in. Perhaps this is for the visitor who wants to get a few miles in during a visit, someone who may be looking for new running ideas, or the one that wishes to simply begin in this life changing sport, hobby, and lifestyle. Here is a list of some of my favorite runs around LynchVegas. Be sure to use the links to get more details about particular trailhead locations, parking, etc.

  • Blackwater Creek Trailcave
    • Distance: 3 miles officially, but up to 13+ miles when combined with other trails
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Description: The Blackwater Creek Trail is probably the most popular and well known of trails in Lynchburg. This trail includes several of the following runs on this post, including the Creekside Trail and Percival’s Island; all of which can be combined for additional miles and challenges (click here to learn more about the connecting trails). The main part of the trail consists of an asphalt bike path with runs throughout the city along Blackwater Creek. The beginning of the asphalt trail can be found at the Ed Page entrance on Langhorne Road, but don’t miss out on the rest! You can begin the trail at the Lynchburg Dog Park located off of Monticello Avenue. One of my favorite sections to run goes from Langhorne Road by the Farm Basket,  (you can park here as well) and continues on toward the Ed Page section across the street. Getting tired and bored of the busy asphalt? Head off towards the creek for some great trail runs (see next entry)!
  • Creekside Trailbridge
    • Distance: about 5 miles, but can be combined with other trails
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Description: The Creekside trail is synonymous with the Blackwater Creek Trail, but focuses directly on the dirt and gravel trails along the water. This is a great spot for trail running with a few less hills than the Candler’s Mountain Trails. Be sure to explore both sides of the creek, one side being a wider and flatter gravel road, with fun suspension bridges to connect!
  • Percival’s Island (part of RiverWalk Trail)bridge2
    • Distance: about 3 miles
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Description: Want the downtown run experience while experiencing nature as well? This is a great run for you! One of the more popular places to begin your journey, park at the Percival’s Island parking area located at the bottom of Washington Street near the river, or park anywhere on Jefferson Street which will give you easy access to the River Trail that connects either to the Blackwater Creek Trail, or Percival’s Island. The run itself is super flat and asphalt for the most part, with pretty heavy foot and bike traffic. Be sure to take advantage of the side trails that will take you closer to the water and allow for a bit more of an intimate running experience on some softer ground.
  • Candlers/Liberty Mountain Trailstrails2
    • Distance: up to 50 miles of trail
    • Difficulty: moderate to difficult
    • Description: So many trails! This is one of the best trail running areas in the city. Head up Candlers Mountain Road to the Liberty University Snowflex parking area (Saturday mornings before 10AM you may need to park in the lot just below the Snowflex). There are plenty of marked runs from previous Liberty University (LU) races, including the Valley View 5 Miler, and the Half Marathon. Be aware, the trails can get confusing at times, as some of them are not well marked. On many of these runs it is possible to see some great wildlife including deer, woodpeckers, snakes, frogs, and turtles.
  • Elkton Farm Road (Route 666)manor
    • Distance: about 3 miles
    • Difficulty: easy
    • Description: This is a fun road run that is located in Forest. Head to the Kroger shopping Center on US 221 (Forest Road). Head south over a one lane bridge, and turn right. This is a quiet residential road which eventually turns to gravel. There are additional parking spaces throughout the route on adjacent streets. Be sure to enjoy the cows and horses along the way.
  • Appalachian Trailknob
    • Distance: up to 2,200 miles
    • Difficulty: moderate to difficult
    • Description: Yes, the Appalachian Trail! You can get to a trailhead in about 45-60 minutes from Lynchburg, so while it may not be technically a Lynchburg run, it’s too fun and tempting to leave out. Find yourself running through the green tunnels for as many miles as you like up and down hillsides, enjoying magnificent outlooks, waterfalls, and wildlife.

A few others worth noting…

  • Rivermont Avenue
    • Description: I include this road run simply because it is so popular and easy to access. The road itself provides for sidewalks wide enough to not have to dodge passersby each time. The incline is pretty gradual, and provides for a great uphill workout. You can also stop by Riverside Runners for a break, or begin a group fun run as advertised.
  • Riverside Park
    • Description:This is a fun little park along Rivermont Avenue. Run the loop for a solid mile or head along some of the paths and trails that are pretty well marked.
  • Point of Honor
    • Description: While this is more of a tourist stop than a run within itself, I use the Point of Honor as a point of reference. The Daniel’s Hill neighborhood is a wonderful collection of historic homes and streets. Some areas immediately surrounding the Point of Honor may make some feel unsafe, but for the most part the neighborhood, along with the entire city for that matter, is pretty safe.
  • Virginia Ten Miler
    • Description: The Ten Miler is Lynchburg’s most popular organized race (one of many throughout the running season). However, if you’re not here in September, then try running it on your own time!
  • Peaks View Park
    • Description: Peaks View Park is a fun collection of playgrounds, picnic areas, sports fields, a walking path, and even some fun single track trails. While the miles are not the same possibility as others, you can still get a great workout running the many hills throughout the park.

Okay! This is just the beginning of many wonderful runs throughout the Lynchburg area, and I hope those reading this post with much more knowledge and experience than I will feel compelled to offer additional run ideas on the comments section below. Happy running!

 

 

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