FALL TRAIL RUNS:
Take yourself on a journey around the Midwest, trail by trail, as we discover some of our Red Team's favorite runs.
LET'S TALK ABOUT TRAILS.
Trail running is more than just running. It’s exploring. It’s exhilarating. It’s escaping. Trails take us places both physically and emotionally, and fall is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy them. The weather is shifting, the leaves and changing, and the trails are calling.
There are great places to explore all across the country. But don’t take it from us—take it from our Altra Red Team athletes who have provided some of their favorite trails by region.
Singletracks and doubletracks, pushing peaks and pitstops, climbing hills and bombing descents, here are some of our favorite trails throughout the Midwest.
Immerse yourself in the splendor of fall colors at this 7-mile (one way) segment located less than 30 minutes from Milwaukee. From the southern end, you’ll experience rolling hills as you climb through a mature forest on rocky single track. Keep your eyes up as you climb for a glimpse of the majestic Holy Hill basilica, which sits on a hill perched high above the surrounding area. As you progress north, you’ll experience a little bit of everything that Wisconsin trail running has to offer: quiet stretches surrounded by towering pine trees, wide-open double track through prairies, and even a couple of long boardwalks over marshy areas! The fall colors are a true highlight, but this segment has beauty year-round!
Check out Annie’s Instagram to follow her adventures.
The Superior Hiking Trail, also known as the SHT, is a 300+ mile footpath that follows the rocky ridgeline above Lake Superior from the Wisconsin-Minnesota border to the Canadian border.
The SHT can be accessed from over 50 trailheads. Dependent on the section you can expect rugged, challenging, single track trail filled with scenic overlooks, views of Lake Superior, massive roots, waterfalls, the sound of rushing rivers, wildlife, and the natural scent that only Northern Minnesota and the SHT has to offer.
See more of Heidi’s favorite trails on her Instagram.
The John Muir Trails (JMT) are nested in the Southern Unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest, a doable drive for Chicago trail runners. The Blue Loop is a great double-digit option that offers challenging climbs in the Midwest. The trail travels through dense beautiful forests and open meadows. It is easily shared by both runners and bikers since runners move counterclockwise and bikers ride clockwise. JMT is runnable in all seasons which makes it one of my go-tos. There are several other loops which make a great add-on to a longer run and let you easily crew/aid from the parking lot.
Learn more about Laura and her trail running on her Instagram.
The Mines of Spain 100 loop is a 20-mile course of trails located within the Mines of Spain Recreation Area in Dubuque, IA. It’s my favorite set of trails because it covers diverse terrain within a morning’s run. This route has everything from fast, flat, dirt single track, to steep, technical climbs, prairie, dense forest, creek crossings, and everything in between. The route offers stunning views of the Mississippi River, a tour through the iconic Horseshoe Bluff, an old farmstead, and the Julien Dubuque monument. The 20-mile route is challenging, but rewarding, and includes approximately 2,600 feet of gain, just in case you thought Iowa was flat. 😉
Check out Christine’s Instagram to keep up with her trail running.
The Central Iowa Trail system, with the city of Des Moines serving as a major hub, boasts over 600 miles of multi-use paved trails. I love the convenience and easy access to the paths – within a half mile of my house, I am off the city streets and into the woods. With the plentiful miles comes ever-changing scenery and beauty ranging from the meandering rivers and creeks to the man-made lakes to the urban skyline. If one is seeking a bit of dirt, the Center Trails offers nearly fifteen miles of single-track nestled in the heart of the city. This well-maintained network of trails has provided me a training ground for the past several years and I look forward to exploring many more miles.
To learn more about Stephanie, check out her Instagram.