7 Things To Do If You Approach A Closed Running Trail

On a recent run, Run Eat Repeat was abruptly stopped in her tracks due to a closed running trail.

This weekend I was traveling and wanted to get in a mid-distance run. I looked up where to run in the area and found a super easy-to-find and long distance path! Score!! I was very excited to explore the area AND get in a 10-miler.

But only one mile into the run I was stopped by a “Trail Closed” sign. Fail! I was barely warmed up. I didn’t really know the area. I wanted to know what was behind that sign.

trail closed

Not being from the area, I decided I should not just try to go around the fence and keep going—it could be dangerous. I decided to pull up my location on Google Maps on my phone and see if there were any other trails in the area. Luckily, I saw the path went in the other direction where it connected across the street. It was hard to see it from where I was, but the map helped me find it easily. I made a note of where I was starting on the path and set off on my run.

Here are options if you find yourself on a closed trail and aren’t sure where to turn (literally!):

  • Look up a park or high school—these places often have a lot of area to run. Bonus: there are often water fountains available.
    If the high school is a closed campus and you can’t access the track you might be able to run around the block or perimeter of the school. Some runners don’t like monotony like that, but I like it because I won’t get lost!
  • Stop another runner, walker or biker, tell them you are looking for a running path and ask for suggestions. If you’re shy you can try and shadow them for a bit and see what direction they go in, but if someone did that to me I’d be weirded out and maybe call 911 or my dad. On second thought, just be brave and ask.
  • Run to the nearest hotel and ask the concierge for a map or to be directed to a running path.
  • Go back home and do burpees until you barf.
  • Use a running app like Map My Run or Strava (or your favorite) to find a good route where other local runners have pounded out a few miles.
  • Find a safe overpass or hilly street and do some hill repeats.
  • Cancel your run and go get a donut.


You’re welcome. Happy Running!