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.