I made myself a promise when I found out I was moving to Florida for two years for work that I I would make the most of the warm winters and train for some type of running race. During those two years in Florida, I trained my first ever half marathon and then trained for another one a year later. The first half was in in the summer of 2019 in Montana right outside of Glacier National Park. The second one was to be in 2020, at Mount Rushmore. That one didn’t end up happening, but I continued running regardless of the race.
#1 – Bayshore Boulevard
. One of my favorite places for my long runs, was along Bayshore Boulevard. It’s a sidewalk path that runs along the edge of Hillsborough Bay. It’s one of the most beautiful walks you can do in the Tampa area.
#2 – Eagle Lake Park
This was one of my favorite spots to run not too far from my apartment. There are raised boardwalks, paved trails, and rock trails throughout the park. It’s dense in trees, so there’s always something to look at around the lake.
#3 – Fort DeSoto State Park
There’s a 9 or so mile trail through the park that’s gives a variety of views and is an enjoyable way to view the park. And when you’re done with your run, you can go enjoy the beach!
#4 – Courtney Campbell Causeway Trail
There’s parking on either end of the trail, but more on the Tampa side. The path is along the side of the road and gives you beautiful bay views while you run. It can get busy on the weekends as well as during the Spring Break season, but great in the evenings or early mornings.
#5 – Upper Tampa Bay Trail
This is a paved trail that goes about 15 miles. I ran on different parts of it throughout my time in Florida and there’s always different things to see along the way. It’s sometimes along the water and sometimes along the road so less “off the beaten path” than some others.
#6 – North Bay Trail in St. Pete
I ran this trail a few times when training. I would start out by the pier (or wherever I could find parking) and then run along the water and meander on the sidewalks while admiring beautiful homes. It felt like there was always something going on downtown, which meant you always had something to look at while running.
#7 – Flatwoods Loop Trail
I only ran on this one once while living in Florida, but it was a good change of scenery. This park is part of the Wilderness parks in the area so much more “nature” like than some of the others. When I ran the trail, I did this as an out and back trail instead of the 11 mile loop.