As a runner the world is our playground. With a pair of shoes and a bit of spare time, we are able to turn any location into our own gym. However sometimes the impact of road running, or simply the tendency to do the same loops can get monotonous.

It is well known that the impact load of running on the same surface, gradient or course can also result in many over-use injuries. Trail running is a great alternative as it challenges different sets of muscles and the softer surface can be kinder to our joints.

We are lucky enough to have some great hidden trails around the North Shore so here is a selection of some that are worth checking out!

1. Okura Bush Reserve, Albany.

A great option for a long run, but be prepared for a lot of steps. This provides a great challenge and is good strength training.

2. Tuff Crater Reserve, Northcote.

A nice mixture of gravel, grass and board walk with the option of an out-and-back run this is a nice central off-road option.

3. Long Bay Reserve, Long Bay.

A great location for a mixture of grass, beach or walkway.

4. Eskdale Bush Reserve & Beach Haven coastal walk.

A nice set of trails that can be looped around in a variety of ways. Beach Haven coastal walkway can be reac
hed off Beach Haven road and loops all the way to the bottom of coastal Beach Haven.

5. Shakespeare Regional Park, Whangaparoa.

A short drive North takes you to the stunning regional park with a huge variety of different trails and off-road run options.

If you live on the North Shore then we really are spoilt for choice as these reserves and trails amongst a multitude of others provide a great stomping ground for your next run. If you want to get off-road another great option is golf-course running. Just make sure you keep to the perimeter and watch out for stray golf balls!!

Get out there and enjoy your next run!