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.

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?

Arizona: Mogollan Monster 100

In the past five years, only 99 runners have finished the course.

Arkansas: War Eagle Tail Twister 50K

Good for both beginner and experienced trail runners. Postrace celebration at a nearby brewery, woot-woot!

California: Loco Go Big or Go Home Challenge

All day breakfast to fuel your run through this beautiful part of California.

Colorado: Hardscrabble Mountain Trail Run

Your run helps support protected land, plus there’s a sweet postrace fiesta with beer and live music.

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!

Florida: Florida Challenge

You’ll run along through Alafia River State Park, which is gigantic, at over 6,000 acres.

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.

Hawaii: Peacock Challenge 55

As you run, you can enjoy the coastline of the Pacific Ocean. Just saying.

Idaho: Resort to Rock 50K, 32K, & 10M

You’ll run through the beautiful Bogus Basin Ski Resort.

Illiinois: Hennepin Hundred

Run past cornfields and farms as you run along the beautiful Hennepin Canal.

Indiana: DWD Gnaw Bone 10K — 50 Mile

Run right outside Nashville, Indiana, an artisan community.

Iowa: Hitchcock Experience 13.1 through 100 Mile

Thought Iowa was flat? Think again!

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.

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.

Maine: Kennebec River Rail Trail

This race was named one of the Ten Best Races in Maine by besthingsmaine.com

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.

Michigan: North Country Trail Run

This race boasts the largest ultra medal of all races. Show off that swag!

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.

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.

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.

Nebraska: Oregon Trail Marathon

You’ll be running a combo of the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express. How sweet is that?

Nevada: Marlette Lake Tahoe 50K

You’ll have panoramic views of Lake Tahoe during this picturesque 50K.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Oregon: Hell of the Northwest Trail

We loved the subtle allusion to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic “North by Northwest” in the logo.

Pennsylvania: Lt. JC Stone 50K

There is a quote from Winnie the Pooh on the race’s page. That’s pretty cool to us.

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.

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?

Tennessee: Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race

You run in the mountains around Chattanooga, Tennessee. How awesome is that?

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?

Utah: Bryce Canyon 100 Mile, 50 Mile, 50K and Half-Marathon

You are running. In canyons. It’s pretty glorious.

This Vermont run in the Green Mountains is incredibly beautiful.

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.

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. “

Washington DC: North Face Endurance Challenge

Ultra-running legend Dean Karnazes hosts the “Karno Kids’ Race.” Start ’em young!

West Virginia: Highlands Sky Trail Run

It’s rugged. It’s beautiful. Cue the John Denver music.

Wisconsin: Kettle 100 Endurance Runs

This Western States qualifier runs thorugh hills, wooded terrain, and marshy areas. It’s bound to be beautiful.

Wyoming: Bighorn Trail Run 100

You thought you were hungry? Elk have been known to eat trail markers here.

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