When given the option of going outside and being in the fresh air or being in a large commercial space with soft floor mats and sweaty chunks of human flesh as far as the eye can see plugging away to a fitter life on hamster wheels, I choose the former. I love to run amongst nature where I can have the sunshine on my face, feel the unfiltered air, and hear the nature sounds, which I usually only hear from my iPhone when I am trying to go to sleep…ironic that we try to recreate nature sounds using the most unnatural means- an iPhone.
Anyways, my usual spot to experience the natural world is the Al Buehler trail located off of Cameron Boulevard in Durham that is maintained and owned by Duke. It is a 3-mile wooded hiking trail with the option of an additional 1-mile fitness loop that you can add on if you really hate yourself. Also this trail is great for off road strollers and dogs.
The great thing about the Al Buehler trail is that there are always a lot of people running, walking or biking it so I feel safe running it by myself at anytime of day. Also, this trail is great for off road strollers and dogs. There are many steep hills so be prepared to regret your life choices every time you decide to come here. The extra mile loop is actually a fitness loop designed by medieval tortures of old. There are over 20 different fitness stations to choose from including pull up bars, sit up planks, and wood stairs. If you like to sweat and be out in nature this is a good place to start.