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Are you ready to hit the trails and experience the beauty of the Metro East? Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, the Metro East has a plethora of running trails to explore, catering to various preferences and fitness levels. From picturesque routes to family-friendly paths and rugged terrains, here’s a comprehensive guide to the top running trails in the region, categorized for every type of runner:

Most Beautiful: The Great River Road Trail

Stretching along the majestic Mississippi River, the Great River Road Trail offers runners stunning vistas of the water and lush greenery. As you jog along this picturesque route, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the river, towering bluffs, and tranquil forests. With its peaceful ambiance and natural beauty, this trail is perfect for runners who crave a scenic escape.

Most Family-Friendly: Rock Springs Park Trail

Ideal for family outings, Rock Springs Park Trail features a paved path with amenities such as playgrounds, picnic areas, and clean bathrooms. Parents can enjoy a leisurely run while kids explore the playgrounds or join in for a family jog. With its family-friendly facilities and safe environment, Rock Springs Park Trail is a favorite among active families in the area.

Best for Long Distance Running: MCT Goshen Trail

For runners seeking long-distance routes, the MCT Goshen Trail offers a scenic and uninterrupted path that stretches for miles. With its crushed limestone surface and minimal road crossings, runners can log plenty of miles while enjoying the tranquil surroundings of Metro East.

Most Manicured: Glen Carbon Heritage Trail

This paved trail in Glen Carbon, Illinois, offers a smooth surface and well-groomed surroundings for runners. With its manicured landscaping and scenic views of wooded areas and residential neighborhoods, the Glen Carbon Heritage Trail provides a pleasant running experience.

For Off-Road Lovers: Willoughby Heritage Farm Trail

Discover a hidden gem at the Willoughby Heritage Farm extended loop trail. With a network of trails to explore, this rugged terrain is a paradise for adventure seekers. Trek through wooded hills and across scenic bridges over streams, immersing yourself in nature’s beauty. Whether you’re hiking or trail running, this hidden gem promises an unforgettable off-road experience!

Best Scenic Overlook: Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower Trail

Enjoy panoramic views of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers at the Lewis and Clark Confluence Tower Trail. This scenic route offers stunning vistas from the top of the Confluence Tower, providing a picturesque backdrop for your run.

Best Historical Experience: Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site Trail

Step back in time as you run through the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site Trail, where ancient mounds and interpretive trails offer glimpses into the rich history of the Mississippian civilization. With its historic significance and scenic beauty, this trail provides a unique and educational running experience.

Best Waterfront Trail: Watershed Nature Center Trails

This scenic route winds through woodlands and wetlands, offering breathtaking views along the water’s edge. With smooth paths and serene surroundings, it’s ideal for a refreshing run amidst nature’s beauty. Take on the trail’s gentle terrain, soak in the sights, and embrace the tranquility of this picturesque waterfront route.

Whether you’re seeking natural beauty, family-friendly amenities, or rugged terrain, the Metro East has a running trail to suit your preferences. So lace up your shoes, hit the trails, and explore the diverse landscapes and scenic routes that await you in this vibrant region. Happy running!