Friday, October 1, 2010

Run Along the River in Asheville, NC

Asheville has some great running trails.  If you want a nice flat running route, head to the Hominy Creek Park.  Getting there is easy.  Just turn onto Shelburne Rd from Brevard Rd.  Take a left on Hominy Creek Rd and follow to the end where you'll have some parking.

The trail starts here and goes a mile to the entrance of an RV park.  For this stretch, someone has actually painted a line with the number of meters along the left side of the trail (heading out from the parking lot).  The parking lot starts at 1400m and counts down until the RV park for these 1400m.  As you exit the RV park, there is a 200m line painted on the road.  This gives you a metric mile.  It's great for checking your pace, doing speedwork or just having an idea of how far you've gone (or if your heading back, how much is left).

Once you're past this point, continue on the sidewalk along Amboy Rd until you hit Carrier park.  You can stay on the paved trail, or you can head off to the right along the river on a wood chip trail. Either way, you go past the old racetrack and continue on to what seems to be the end.  However, if you venture up the paved path, back up to Amboy Rd, (Citgo station on corner of State St & Amboy) and hang a right, you'll run down Amboy past the old junk yard, which is going to be new park sometime in the future (Can't wait!).  At the end of the old junk yard, you will be able to pick up another paved trail that follows along the river.

This Paved trail also looks like it ends, but you'll see a dirt trail head off into the woods.  This is just a short stretch that takes you under the Amboy Rd. bridge and into the French Broad River Dog Park.  You can follow a paved loop trail here to the right so that you stay along the river.  This paved trail will curve in front of the dog park, or you can head off on a short trail and go around the backside of the dog park.  You'll join up with a dirt road (on the other side of the dog park), which leads to a dirt parking lot.  At the end of the lot, you'll see the bathrooms and a circular drive to your left.  The paved trail can be picked back up here.  Now, just  run to where you entered the park, back under the bridge and back the way you came.  Note that in Carrier park I usually run the wood chip trail heading out, and stay on the paved trail for the return (just to see something different.

According to my bike tripometer, it's 5.83 miles, or about 9km.  It's a beautiful run and very flat, which is hard to find in Asheville. 

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