13.1 Scenic Trail Half Marathons on Old Railroads

Courtesy Gorges Ithaca Half Marathon

“The train is a small world moving through a larger world.” — Elisha Cooper

1) Yough River Trail Council Half Marathon

Run along the former Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, now a 43-mile-long recreational trail for biking, running, walking, fishing and canoeing  in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Saturday, March 31, 2018 • Connellsville, PA

2) Fort Hill Brewery Half Marathon

Set for its inaugural running in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, this race unfolds along the Manhan Rail Trail, a 6-mile-long trail that stretches from Easthampton to Southampton along the onetime Pioneer Valley Railroad.

Sunday, April 15, 2018 • Easthampton, MA

3) Western Maryland Rail Trail Half Marathon

Unfolding along parts of the 21 miles that were once the Western Maryland Railroad, this takes runners along this beautifully picturesque former railroad trail near Hancock, with high rock cliff faces and plentiful tree shade hanging over the course.

Sunday, April 15, 2018 • Hancock, MD

4) Jim Thorpe Half Marathon

Set for its inaugural running along the Lehigh Gorge Trail here in this charming small town in eastern Pennsylvania — sometimes called the “Switzerland of America” — this race features a fast, forgiving course that’s perfect for beginners.

Sunday, April 29, 2018 • Jim Thorpe, PA

5) Mountains to Main Street Half Marathon

Here you’ll run the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the nearly 20-mile-long greenway trail built on an old railroad corridor that connects Greenville with the nearby town of Travelers Rest, S.C.

Saturday, May 19, 2018 • Greenville, SC

6) Steel Rail Half Marathon

Set for its sixth annual running this year along the gorgeous, tree-covered hills and woodlands of Berkshire County in western Massachusetts, this race runs along the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail and its flat, 10-ft.-wide paved trail.

Sunday, May 20, 2018 • Lanesborough, MA

7) Gorges Ithaca Half Marathon

You’ll run this race along the recently completed Black Diamond Trail, an 8.5-mile-long rail trail that was once the home of the Black Diamond Express, a luxury passenger service on the Lehigh Valley Railroad that ran from New York to Buffalo until 1959.

Saturday, June 16, 2018 • Ithaca, NY

8) New Paltz Challenge Half Marathon

Bright and early on the Sunday morning of Father’s Day weekend, the New Paltz Challenge makes its 8th annual running along the city streets and rail trails that lie just outside this small town in southern New York.

Sunday, June 17, 2018 • New Paltz, NY

9) Rails to Trails Half Marathon

Known for its steady and challenging uphill stretches that await runners along the first few miles of the course, this race takes runners and walkers on a tour of the Elroy Sparta State Trail in southwestern Wisconsin.

Sunday, October 7, 2018 • Norwalk, WI

10) Three Eagle Half Marathon

Run along the fast (and very flat) crushed limestone and dirt trails that make up the Three Eagle Trail, an old railway line that once stretched between the cities of Eagle River and Three Lakes, this race offers up a gentle course and the gorgeous scenery of Wisconsin’s fall foliage.

Saturday, October 13, 2018 • Eagle River, WI

11) Silver Comet Half Marathon

Long stretches of paved trails that snake through the lush, green, wooded forest areas of the northwest Atlanta suburbs are the hallmark of this race, named for the Silver Comet train that ferried passengers back and forth from Atlanta to Anniston, Ala., in the 1940s and 50s.

Saturday, October 27, 2018 • Mableton, GA

12) Amherst Half Marathon

Get ready for a run through the heart of one of New England’s most picturesque towns when you run this 2nd annual race, which features a stretch along the Norwottuck Rail Trail, an 11-mile-long paved path that links the towns of Amherst, Hadley and Northampton along what was once the Boston & Maine Railroad.

Sunday, November 4, 2018 • Amherst, MA

13) Delaware & Lehigh Heritage Half Marathon

Runners looking for the chance to set a PR will love this race, which makes its annual running along the fast and flat D&L Trail that winds along the Lehigh River, just over an hour’s drive from Philadelphia.

Sunday, November 4, 2018 • Northampton, PA

13.1) Harborside Half Marathon

Run along a route filled with salt marshes, wide-open fields and the lands of the Martin Burns Wildlife Management Area at this race, which finishes with a stretch along the Clipper City Rail Trail.

Sunday, November 11, 2018 • Newburyport, MA

Bonus!) Iron Horse Half Marathon

Run through the forest outside Seattle on this almost all-downhill route along the Iron Horse Trail, built on the old railroad corridor that was part of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad from 1908 all the way up to 1980.

Sunday, August 26, 2018 • North Bend, WA

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