Our very own PR Project’s favorite speed training spot! Perfect for everything from short sprints to long interval training sessions, you can do it all here. The track is open most mornings (5am-8:30am) and most evenings (6-11pm). Check this website for the Hours of Open Recreation. Pay close attention to parking fees posted at each parking lot!
Located at 81-99 Science Dr. Durham, NC 27708
Update: Due to COVID’s restrictions, Duke has temporarily closed the track.
UNC Warm Up Loop
This is the perfect spot for long intervals or even a tempo run. Run the 1K (0.62 mile) loop of crushed gravel for your workout and access UNC's old cross country course on the backside of the loop for your warm up or cool down. You can easily connect this to running and walking paths around Meadowmont, or head over to Laurel Hill if you're looking for something less repetitive than a 1K loop! Park at the UNC Track.
Occoneechee Speedway (Hillsborough)
This is an old NASCAR race track, repurposed into a running and walking trail. It is exactly one mile long and made of packed dirt, making it an excellent spot for speedwork or an easy run or walk. There are trails surrounding the Speedway as well, and you can get all the way to downtown Hillsborough on the riverwalk! Park here!
Laurel Hill (Chapel Hill)
For the ultimate challenge, run the infamous Mile 8.5 of the Tar Heel 10 Miler. With almost 200 feet of elevation gain in just under one mile, many runner’s goals are simply to make it to the top without taking a walking break. Park at the UNC Track (the track is closed but the parking lot is open to the public) and run toward Laurel Hill on Old Mason Farm Road. Be careful crossing the highway, and turn left and the hill will be on your right. Don't forget to enjoy the scenery on the way up!
Al Buehler Trail (Durham)
Umstead (Durham / Raleigh)
With over 5000 acres, every runner and walker can find a trail that fits into your training schedule. There are a variety of trails that range from your single-track technical option to wider multi-use trails. Also known for being one of the hillier options in the area, make sure you bring plenty of water! Find trail maps and information about parking here.
Carolina North Forest (Chapel Hill)
Enjoy 750 acres of woodlands conveniently located between Carrboro and Chapel Hill. This is a very popular trail running spot in the area, with many different parking areas! There are a variety of maps here. One of the most popular trails is the Pumpkin Loop, which is a wide trail, great for an easy trail run or introduction to trail running. Off the beaten path, there are tons of single track opportunities for those looking for a challenge!! There are many different access points to Carolina North, one being the Locust Lot off of Municipal Drive (keep going down a dirt road with a lot of speed bumps and it will be on your right) or Seawell School Parking Lot.
Duke Forest (Durham)
Duke Forest is made up of 7,000 acres of woodlands, and is a wonderful place to visit for walking, running, hiking, or even mountain biking. Walking and running trails are marked by blue blazes, and parking is found mostly on the roadside near trail entries. More information on parking and maps can be found on this website!
American Tobacco Trail
A great spot for 22+ miles of relatively flat paved and crushed gravel surfaces. There are multiple bathrooms and water fountains along the route, making this a great route for long runs! Click this link for more detailed maps and info! Bean Traders is a popular spot to park to access the trail, plus you can grab a coffee once you're done.
Neuse River Trail
Enjoy 27.5 scenic miles complete with a vast array of wildlife and instagrammable scenery. With its wide 10” paved pathway, the Neuse River Trail is another popular spot for long runs and cross-training cycling days! For more information about parking access, click this link!