Known as Music City, Nashville is home to country music and the Grand Ole Opry. When taking a break from music, residents enjoy 10,000 acres of city, state and federal parks in or surrounding the city.
Must-do runs: The Warner Park Trails are the top pick for trail running in the area. The Red, White and Blue Trails offer tree-covered hills, Tennessee wildflowers, spring crossings and open fields. Explore the old trails of the Natchez Trace for a peaceful recovery or easy run.
Post-workout fun: Stop by the Grand Ole Opry (opry.com) and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (countrymusichalloffame.org). The honky tonk bars throughout the city promise a good time with line dancing and live music. East Nashville is an up-and-coming historical area full of artsy shops and restaurants.
Sweet dreams: The historical Hermitage Hotel (thehermitagehotel.com) features Capital Grille, a restaurant embracing the "farm-to-table" concept. An extensive health and fitness center, in-room yoga and Pilates DVDs, and luxurious spa treatments make the Hermitage a pampering and relaxation paradise. For a less expensive option, consider the Linden Manor Bed and Breakfast (nashville-bed-breakfast.com) located in the heart of Nashville.
Good eats: Stop by the Loveless Café (lovelesscafe.com), a Nashville landmark, for good ole' Southern comfort food. Off the Natchez Trace, this soul food cafe is a favorite stop for cyclists, runners and celebrities. If you need a coffee fix, stop by one of the numerous Bongo Java coffee shops (bongojava.com).
Info: To learn more about Nashville, go to visitmusiccity.com. You can also visit the blog for the Highland Rim Trail Running Club, a non-profit group dedicated to promoting trail running in the area, at hrtrc.blogspot.com.
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ADIRONDACK MOUNTAINS HIGH PEAKS REGION
Adirondack Park in upstate New York is the nation's largest trail system with more than 2,000 miles of hiking and running trails spread out on 6.1 million acres. The combination of waterfalls, mountains, lakes and streams makes the Keene Valley and Lake Placid region a true trail runner's paradise.
Must-do runs: The Jackrabbit Trail is an 11-mile intermediate-grade route that winds through the Adirondack Mountains, starting at the Rock and River Guide Service Lodge in Keene, New York, and ending at beautiful Lake Placid. You can also continue on to Saranac Lake for a longer route. The Soda Range Loop is approximately seven-miles long and offers a scenic adventure with rocky ridges, mountain passes and gradual climbs. The Loj Loop in Lake Placid, N.Y., is a perfect 6.5-mile recovery run or speed workout route. Post-workout fun: Take a trip on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad (adirondackrr.com), which departs from Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, for a unique view of the park's magnificent beauty. If you need a break from running, take advantage of endless outdoor activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing and fishing.
Good eats: Try the Baxter Mountain Tavern in Keene for old-fashioned American fare or the Great Range in Keene Valley for an extensive wine selection and fine dining.
Sweet dreams: If you are looking to meet locals and fellow outdoors enthusiasts, try the Keene Valley Hostel for reasonably priced lodging. Rock and River's Guide Service (rockandriver.com) offers mountain-style lodging in the Climber's Lodge or Guide House with access to the Jackrabbit Trail and many other outdoor activities nearby.
Info: Visit the Adirondack Trail Running Club Web site at adktrailrun.com.
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