Trail running

Looking for a new fitness challenge to conquer? Trail running is a great way to improve your fitness and try something different to running on city streets. The main difference with trail running is the surface you're running on. Instead of concrete, it could be dirt, gravel, steps or compacted trails. The surface isn't always even so you need to think about where you place your feet. 

Melbourne’s extensive network of Urban parks offer a variety of trail running opportunities for all ages, fitness levels and abilities. Get into nature with a picturesque jog or power walk along the Yarra River and into Yarra Bend Park where in some areas you can also run your dog on a lead. 

A great place to start is the lake circuit at Albert Park. Beat your personal best with laps around the lake – a convenient way to keep fit in nature. The 4.7km loop is a good stable running surface with a flat gradient. For those you like running with other people, Albert Park is the most popular parkrun, taking place at 8am each Saturday morning. Parkruns are held at a number of parks managed by Parks Victoria and other locations across the world.

Forest runs and the lake circuit trail at Lysterfield Park are popular trails for runners of all abilities.  For a more challenging rocky ascent, the Granite Peak Trail summit at Trig Point affords a spectacular view of Melbourne.The Granite Peak Trail is a rigorous 6km (each way) trail that starts at Beach Carpark at Lysterfield Lake and follows the old granite quarry tramline route climbing 200m uphill through native forest to Trig Point Lookout. At the top you’re rewarded with 360-degree views of the city, Port Phillip Bay and Dandenong Ranges making all that hard work worthwhile. Run, jog or walk it at your own pace.

Climb the historic rock stairway to stunning views across Maroondah Reservoir from the impressive dam wall in Yarra Ranges National Park. Challenge yourself with the many steps of the Summit Walk in Arthurs Seat State Park with the best views of the Mornington Peninsula. A long and steep climb up Flinders Peak with 450 steps, takes you to the highest point of You Yangs Regional Park. Enjoy breathtaking views from the summit over granite rock platforms of Melbourne and across the bay.

Top parks for trail running

A couple look out over the water from the beach at Lysterfield Lake.

Lysterfield Park

Rising from the southern foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, Lysterfield Park is the perfect place to explore nature with friends with a huge variety of recreational activities.
Four friends walk alongside the Yarra River through Yarra Bend Park.

Yarra Bend Park

Yarra Bend Park is Melbourne’s largest natural bushland park. Enjoy the leafy grounds and abundant wildlife while strolling or biking its many trails. Stop for a picnic, walk your dog or play a round of golf.
Two women in active wear walk up the granite steps on the way to Flinders Peak.

You Yangs Regional Park

Magnificent views, birdlife and a mecca for walkers, horse riders and mountain bikers - welcome to the You Yangs! The distinctive granite peaks of this park rise abruptly from the flat plains below. Flinders Peak and Big Rock have panoramic views out to Melbourne, which is just an hour away.
Maroondah Reservoir Park in the Yarra Ranges National Park.

Maroondah Reservoir Park

Maroondah features gardens with stands of native and exotic trees, native animals and birds and walking tracks. Its playground, lawns and cool summer shade make it a popular picnic destination in warmer months.
Two women in activewear walk their dogs while two runners approach them.

Albert Park

Jog, cycle or walk with your dog around Albert Park Lake - just 3km from the centre of Melbourne. And when you stop to catch your breath, take a moment to enjoy the magnificent views of the city skyline.

Get fit into nature

A couple in their thirties take in the view along Dead Timber Track.

Hiking and bushwalking

Witness breathtaking natural scenery at some of Victoria’s most iconic places when you lace up your boots and take to a hiking trail.
A young mountain biker attempts a drop while cheered on by his father and older sister at the You Yangs Regional Park.

Mountain biking

Explore parks on two wheels with mountain bike trails to suit most experience and fitness levels.
A young girl abseiling at Big Rock in You Yangs Regional Park

Rock climbing

There are rock climbing areas in many parks for all levels of ability. The best way to enjoy safe and sustainable rock climbing in a national park is with a guide.
Two women follow the path through scrub up Mt Bogong with mountain views in the distance.


Whether you’re after a gentle stroll or something long-distance, there are walking trails to suit all levels of fitness and ability.

Canoeing and Kayaking

Canoeing and kayaking are great ways to explore beautiful waterways. Enjoy the tranquility and spot wildlife that hikers don’t normally see.
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