The US is a vast and beautiful place. We scoured the interwebs to find 50 unique and interesting trail races throughout the United States. It goes without saying that there are hundreds — thousands, perhaps — of fantastic trail runs throughout the US, and our list is totally not inclusive. Rather, we crafted a list of unique, interesting, and well-recommended races that have something fun, or different, to offer to trail runners.
Alabama: XTerra Oak Mountain 20K
Trail Runner designated Xterra Oak Mountain was a Top 25 “Crown Jewel” back in ‘11.
XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs – 5/10/20km OAK MOUNTAIN STATE PARK, PELHAM, ALABAMA | MAY 21, 2017 – 8AM The XTERRA Oak…www.xterraplanet.com
Alaska: Matanuska Peak Challenge
9,100 feet of vertical gain. You read that right. There is an awards banquet a couple of days after the race. No better way to celebrate, ammiright?
2017 Alaska Mountain Races and Events Calendarwww.alaskamountainrunners.org
Arizona: Mogollan Monster 100
In the past five years, only 99 runners have finished the course.
A rugged, challenging 100 mile endurance run on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona&#039;s Rim Country.www.mogollonmonster100.com
Arkansas: War Eagle Tail Twister 50K
Good for both beginner and experienced trail runners. Postrace celebration at a nearby brewery, woot-woot!
Come to Arkansas to run the War Eagle 50K, 25K, and 10K trail races put on every summer in Rogers, AR.www.wareagletrailraces.com
California: Loco Go Big or Go Home Challenge
All day breakfast to fuel your run through this beautiful part of California.
Intrepid Adventures Events, Home of The Loco 200 Relay, The Little Loco Relay & The Loco Go Big or Go Home Challenge in…www.intrepidadventuresevents.com
Colorado: Hardscrabble Mountain Trail Run
Your run helps support protected land, plus there’s a sweet postrace fiesta with beer and live music.
This is not your ordinary trail race! You’ll have the rare opportunity to run on private, protected land that offers…www.sanisabel.org
Connecticut: CT Trailmixers Spring Fling 600
You have ten hours to run as many miles as you possibly can. On your mark, get set…
Delaware: Triple Crown Trail Festival
Delaware’s first and longest trail run!
The Triple Crown is Delaware’s first Trail Marathon and the longest running Trail Race Series in the state. (These…www.tcfestival.org
Florida: Florida Challenge
You’ll run along through Alafia River State Park, which is gigantic, at over 6,000 acres.
Florida Challenge Trail Half-Marathon and 5K by TampaRaces.com offers Tampa Bay’s premier off-road running and…www.tamparaces.com
Georgia: Cruel Jewel 50/100
A Hardrock qualifier that actually runs a bit over 50 and 100 miles, respectively. You’ll cross over a historic steel bridge, see beautiful scenery, and more.
Cruel Jewel 100 is a HARDROCK Qualifier!! Earn Points for UTMB 2017 Registration: Cruel Jewel 50 = 4 Points Cruel Jewel…www.dumassevents.com
Hawaii: Peacock Challenge 55
As you run, you can enjoy the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. Just saying.
This plan outlines important information for runners entered into the Peacock Challenge 55 (PC 55) on 10/21/2017…www.hurthawaii.com
Idaho: Resort to Rock 50K, 32K, & 10M
You’ll run through the beautiful Bogus Basin Ski Resort.
Running & Walking Shoes in Boise, Idaho. Free Video Gait Analysis with every shoe fitting. Join our road and trail…www.pulserunning.com
Illiinois: Hennepin Hundred
Run past cornfields and farms as you run along the beautiful Hennepin Canal.
October 7-8, 2017 The Hennepin Hundred Ultramarathon, a Flat & Fast 50K/50 mile/100 mile/100 mile relay race from…www.hennepinhundred.com
Indiana: DWD Gnaw Bone 10K — 50 Mile
Run right outside Nashville, Indiana, an artisan community.
For those of you unfamiliar with Brown County, Indiana, the terrain will bring you shock and awe! Vicious 600′ ridges,…dwdgnawbone.com
Iowa: Hitchcock Experience 13.1 through 100 Mile
Thought Iowa was flat? Think again!
100, 50, 13.1 Mile Endurance Runs in Iowa’s Loess Hills December 9-10, 2017www.irunwithgoats.org
Kansas: Psych Night Trail Run
The oldest night trail race in the Midwest. It’s a great race, and great swag: Oval distance stickers, free photos, and complimentary trail trucker caps.
Kentucky: Rough Trail 25K to 50K
You’ll run through the beautiful Red River gorge and Appalachian country.
Next Opportunity Events manages some of the most beautifully brutal trail and adventure races in the East. Turn your…nextopportunityevents.com
Louisiana: Q50 Bleau Moon
Louisiana isn’t often thought of as trail running country, but, then, there ya go. This sweet race is run under a full moon. Beware of werewolves.
DATE: AUGUST 5, 2016 at 8:45 PM FULL MOON! Distance: 5 and 10 miles Categories: ONLY Individual Registrations begins May…www.q50races.com
Maine: Kennebec River Rail Trail
This race was named one of the Ten Best Races in Maine by besthingsmaine.com
Hey, we’ve been named one of the 10 BEST Races in Maine by BestThingsMaine.com. The 9th Annual KRRT Half Marathon, Half…kennebecriverrailtrail.org
Maryland: Patapsco Valley 50K
Patapsco State Park is legendary, and 50K of nature never hurt anyone. Plus, craft beer at the end!
Massachusetts: Free to Run Trail Race 50 Miler
This race supports Free to Run, a non-profit that assists women and girls in conflict-affected communities.
50 Miler Marathon Half Marathon September 16, 2017 Pittsfield State Forest Pittsfield, Ma The Berkshire Ultra Running…freetoruntrailraces.com
Michigan: North Country Trail Run
This race boasts the largest ultra medal of all races. Show off that swag!
18th Annual North Country Trail Run will take place August 26th and 27th 2017. Run a 50 mile ultra-marathon, 26.2 mile…northcountryrun.com
Minnesota: Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra
The Voyaguer is one of the oldest trail ultras in the country. You’ll get great views of Duluth, Lake Superior, and other awesome landmarks.
The Minnesota Voyageur 50 Mile Trail Ultramarathon is one of the oldest trail ultramarathons in the nation. The race…www.voyageur50.com
Mississippi: Mississippi Trail Run 50
This is a fun, low-pressure race. If you decide mid-way through the course that you’re in over your heard, simply switch down to a lower track.
An interesting feature of this race is that the organizers allow runners to switch races after one or two loops (anyone…www.ms50.com
Missouri: Frisco Railroad Run
This race runs the historic Frisco highline.
Montana: Beaverhead 100K
You’ll be running. Over a mountain. You’d better be tough. Recently named one of the toughest trail races in the Pacific Northwest.
These races are true mountain races. The route is rugged and challenging over varied terrain all at high altitude. Those…beaverheadenduranceruns.com
Nebraska: Oregon Trail Marathon
You’ll be running a combo of the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express. How sweet is that?
For the Oregon Trail Run of Nebraska, we have combined a run on the route of the Oregon Trail, California Trail and Pony…oregontrailrun.com
Nevada: Marlette Lake Tahoe 50K
You’ll have panoramic views of Lake Tahoe during this picturesque 50K.
The Marlette 50K is a truly adventurous romp through some of planet earths most scenic and challenging trails. Based at…tahoetrailrunning.com
New Hampshire: Ralph Waldo Emerson Trail Race
Emerson’s quote, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” seems pretty apropos here.
The race will take place on the City of Concords Winant Park Trails. Located close to downtown Concord the trails offer…www.acidoticracing.com
New Jersey: Rock the River Race Trail 6K
Run along the beautiful Hudson River, in the picturesque Palisades. At just 6K, this race is a good entree for new trail runners.
Rock the River is a half marathon, 5k, and 6k trail run. Just minutes from new York City, runners climb the majestic…www.rocktheriverrace.com
New Mexico: Angel Fire Endurance 100
This New Mexico race has been dubbed one of the best ultras in the Southwest.
New York: Shawgunk Ridge Trail Run
This race features a beautiful trail that traverses up to 70 miles of beautiful scenery and hiking/running paths. There are ceremonial tomahawk awards. That’s pretty darn cool.
North Carolina: Triple Lakes Race: Half-Marathon through 40 Mile
This is good race for beginners, and offers beautiful scenery.
North Dakota: Terrifying Run Amongst Innumerable Lost Souls
This fun and casual race features hidden Halloween candy — you heard that right — and spooky sections for those runnign after dark.
The Extreme North Dakota Terrifying Run Amongst Innumerable Lost Souls: it’s our annual epic Halloween themed trail run.…endracing.com
Ohio: Mohican 100 Trail Run
This race is considered legendary by many. Micah “Caballo Blanco” True, featured in Christopher McDougall’s bestseller “Born to Run,” had vanquished the Mohican 50 several years ago.
WVMBA Simonton Windows Challenge at Mountwoodombc.net
Oklahoma: Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd
With tracks ranging from 10 miles to 100, the Hunnerd takes place in the largest privately-protected preservation area in the Ozark.
2017 PUMPKIN HOLLER HUNNERD The seventh annual 2017 Pumpkin Holler 100-Mile, 100K, 50K, 25K, and 10-mile races will take…www.tztrailruns.com
Oregon: Hell of the Northwest Trail
We loved the subtle allusion to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic “North by Northwest” in the logo.
Oregon Trail Runs is the running wing of Mudslinger Events and is owned and operated by my family which includes Mike…oregontrailruns.com
Pennsylvania: Lt. JC Stone 50K
There is a quote from Winnie the Pooh on the race’s page. That’s pretty cool to us.
Below you will see information on the the two races that make up the Lt. JC Stone 50K Series. In March we host the ROAD…www.jcstone50k.com
Rhode Island: Big River Half-Marathon and 10K
This race mandates that participants donate shelf-stable food for distribution to the needy. That’s a run we can all get behind.
Winter trail races in South County Rhode Island.sites.google.com
South Carolina: Paris Mountain Ultra
You run around Lake Placid. That’s pretty awesome.
South Dakota: Black Hills 100
This race features a promo video done in the style of an Old West movie. Count us in! No cowboy hats included. Probably. Right?
Black Hills 100 is a 30k 50m and 100m Ultra Endurance Event that is held in Sturgis, SD and follows the Centennial Trail…blackhills100.com
Tennessee: Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race
You run in the mountains around Chattanooga, Tennessee. How awesome is that?
The Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race consists of three exciting days of trail running in the beautiful mountains…wildtrails.org
Texas: Cap’n Karl’s Pedernales Falls
Runners from Texas and around the US love this challenging trail race. Plus, there’s a quote from Jerry Garcia to illustrate the length of the race. What could be bad?
Tejas Trails. The place for life-altering trail runs in Texas. 15 trail running events, and one trail-like road race.…www.tejastrails.com
Utah: Bryce Canyon 100 Mile, 50 Mile, 50K and Half-Marathon
You are running. In canyons. It’s pretty glorious.
The next section offers some incredible views from on top, stringing together single and doubletrack for just under 8…www.grandcircletrails.comVermont:Peak Ultra 100 Mile Race
This Vermont run in the Green Mountains is incredibly beautiful.
2017 Peak Ultra please note that start dates depend on distance Nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains, the…peak.com
Virginia: UROC 100K
The UROC is incredibly serious, and features legendary runners like Anna Frost and Michael Wardian on its advisory board. It offers a $21,000 purse.
UROC is an unique and must-do event. UROC’s mission is to promote the sport by offering a $21,400 cash purse and by…ultraroc.com
Washington: Bigfoot 200 Mile Endurance Run
One of the best parts of this run is the following stipulation: “ In addition to the entry fee and meeting qualifying standards, all accepted entrants must mail the race director a pound of whole bean coffee and a Bigfoot (can be a live specimen, a picture, stuffed animal, sticker, statue, drawing, clothing…just needs to be a Bigfoot) within 1 month of being accepted. Please choose your pound of coffee wisely, no decaf or ground coffee will be accepted. The race director will need the caffeine it to make this event a success. “
The race will bring together people from all over the world to tackle this incredible challenge. With over 50,000 feet…www.bigfoot200.com
Washington DC: North Face Endurance Challenge
Ultra-running legend Dean Karnazes hosts the “Karno Kids’ Race.” Start ’em young!
The North Face Endurance Challenge returns to Algonkian Regional Park, Great Falls Park and the Potomac Heritage Trail.…www.thenorthface.com
West Virginia: Highlands Sky Trail Run
It’s rugged. It’s beautiful. Cue the John Denver music.
The West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners is pleased to offer the 15th annual Highlands Sky Trail Run, the ultimate…www.wvmtr.org
Wisconsin: Kettle 100 Endurance Runs
This Western States qualifier runs thorugh hills, wooded terrain, and marshy areas. It’s bound to be beautiful.
Run the entire Ice Age trail in Dane County! This is the 2nd annual Dane Drifters Ultras event. Total mileage for the…kettle100.com
Wyoming: Bighorn Trail Run 100
You thought you were hungry? Elk have been known to eat trail markers here.