Trail Running Growing in Popularity

Trail Talk at the Finish Line

Trail enthusiasts met last last evening at a trail clinic which took place at The Finish Line Running Store. Warren Greene, brand editor at Runner’s World, brought a variety of trail running shoes and discussed different types of shoes, uses, how lugs differed on shoes and their purpose and the difference between east coast-west coast trail shoes.

Mike Martinez, Health Director for St. Luke’s Half Marathon, will be race directing a new trail race this coming October and spoke about his race, the Inaugural Lehigh Gap Nature Center More or Less a 10k Trail Run. Each year Mike will put on the same approximate distance race but the course will differ from year to year but will utilize different trails per race. No race will ever be the same.

Another race which was discussed last evening was the upcoming Quadzilla 15k trail race which will take place at Trexler Nature Preserve this July. This race will follow the perimeter of the preserve, offering a variety of terrains and scenic vistas, includes several hills and a creek crossing near the race’s finish.

We finished the clinic with questions from the group. A great discussion ensued about pace on the trails and how trail miles correlate to road miles. It was agreed that paces will slow down on the trails considerably and that it’s best to think of trail runs in terms of time versus pace. A heart rate monitor is a great tool to judge your effort when running trails.

Trail running requires a bit more concentration, especially on more technical trails, so that you don’t trip over roots or rocks. It also offers more opportunity to observe wildlife in natural habitats. It can be relaxing to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings, the sounds and the smells. There are several places to run trails locally, and more and more group trail runs are popping up. See below for places to run, groups to run with and upcoming local trail events.

Local Trails

Bear Creek Resort, Macungie – 5 miles – More infotrail map
D&L Trail, Easton – 13 miles- More info – trail map
Ironton Rail Trail, Whitehall – 14 miles of trails, 5 mile paved loop – More infotrail map
Jacobsburg State Park, Belfast – 18 miles – More infotrail map
Lehigh Parkway, Allentown – 6 mile cinder loop –  trail map
Lehigh Canal Towpath, Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton – 11+ miles along Lehigh River – More info
Nor-Bath Trail, Northampton – 4.5 miles – More info
Palmer Township Trail, Easton – < 8 miles – More info
Plainfield Township Trail, Stockertown/Wind Gap – 6.5 miles – More info
South Mountain Preserve, Emmaus – 6+ miles – More infotrail map
Trexler Nature Preserve, Schnecksville – More infotrail map
Saucon Rail Trail, Center Valley – 10 miles out and back – More info
Walking Purchase Park, Bethlehem – 10+ miles of trails- More infotrail map

Group Trail Runs

T-rex Trail Runs – Trexler Nature Preserve. Every 2nd Saturday of month, 7:30 am. Facebook page.
Bears & Brews – Bear Creek Resort. Every 2nd Wednesday of month, 6:30 pm. Facebook page.
Breakfast Club Runners – various trail runs every Saturday, 7:30 am. Facebook page.
Saucon Trail Run – Wednesday nights, 7:00 pm. Meet at Upper Saucon Park off Preston Lane, Center Valley. Contact Laurie Reinhart ( or Anthony Caruso ( for more information.

Upcoming Local Events

Ironton Rail Trail 10k – 5/15 – Website
South Mountain Fat Ass – 5/22 – Website
Charlie Horse 13.1 – 5/29 (Plowville) – Website
Trexler Nature Preserve Open House – 6/4 – Website
Hickory Trail Run 10k – 6/4 – Website
Double Trouble 15k/30k – 7/10 (Morgantown) – Website
Quadzilla 15k – 7/17 –
Half Wit Half – 8/14 (Reading) – Website
Lehigh Gap Nature Center More or Less a 10k Trail Run – 10/8 (Slatington) –

2 thoughts on “Trail Running Growing in Popularity

  1. I am so bummed I missed this clinic. Could someone tell me more information about pace and trail running. I am new to running trails and totally in love with it, but would like to know what is the nomra difference in pace between road and trails? My husband is a mountain biker and we just had a trip to Raystown lake and the Allegrippis trails, they were amazing trails and I couldn’t stop running them!! Any information on trail running would be greatly appreciated!

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