What State In The US Is Best For Runners?


Deciding which state is best for runners is a complicated quest. Every runner has their own preference when it comes to running routes, mountain uphill runs, long expanses of flat roads, and the overall community of runners in a location. That being said, however, there are very few runners who would argue that Oregon is consistently ranked among the best states for runners in the United States.

Shows like Portlandia have lampooned the communities that spring up in Oregon, but the truth is that there are a wide variety of groups that rely on the communal environment that is absolutely vital to runners.

Eugene, Oregon is the best example of this. This is the place that Animal House made famous, but trail runners made home. This city is just 50 miles from the coast and it has become known as more than just the “Emerald City.”

Well maintained roads, world class trails, and rugged mountain runs are a short drive away. The climate here is always perfect and the environment is among the most beautiful in the world.

In Oregon, often the countryside here you’ll see dots of runners heading out for their daily run, preparing for a marathon, or taking their first excursion on a trail. Just outside of Eugene is the 14-mile Ridgeline Trail is one such place to find fellow runners.

More experienced runners might take on the 30-mile McKenzie River Trail that takes a trip past old-growth forests, rocky lava flows, and one of a kind waterfalls that are only found in the Northwest. The number of tracks and short trails, such as Pre’s Trail, can cater to runners of any experience level.

Dozens of running clubs can also be found in Oregon. Where many states have a single club that exists in just a couple of large cities, runners anywhere in Oregon can find a club that fits them and gives them a unique group to call their own. UO Running club offers students here a chance to run and train together for a variety of races of varying distances. Portland Running Club, Climate City Runners, Salem Track Club, the list goes on and on.

Honorable Mention

North Carolina deserves a close second in the humble opinion of many runners. Places like Asheville have built a community around being an actual community, in comparison to many other southern cities. North Carolina features a large stretch of the Appalachian Trail and offers a large array of running trails, mountain hikes, and one of a kind communities.

California is also arguably one of the best states for running. The variety of terrain and climates in a single state makes it a must-see for runners of any preference and experience level. Northern California offers unique mountain hikes, while southern counties can provide runners with a number of track clubs, desert runs, and more.

No matter what running preference you might have, Oregon is the best choice. North Carolina, California, North Dakota, and more are all excellent choices, but Oregon cannot be beat.

This article was written for RunnersGoal.com by James S., a guest author.