Spring is so close you can almost feel your allergies kicking in. And for some of us, this means dusting off our running shoes and ditching the gym for some fresh air!

The treadmill has its perks, but it just can’t compare to the satisfaction that comes with running outside. After all, we’re fortunate enough to be living so close to some of the best trails in the nation. No, I don’t mean the paths in D.C., but rather the gorgeous paths that are waiting to be explored in your own backyard!

Here are just a few popular courses in Maryland runners enjoy:

C&O Canal

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Courtesy of greatruns.com

Approximately 184-miles in length, the Chesapeake and Ohio National Historical Park Trail runs between Cumberland, Maryland and Georgetown, Washington, D.C. So even if you’ve logged the majority of your miles along this course, it’s likely there are a few hidden gems still waiting to be traversed. A path paved along the Potomac River, this panoramic trail is as easy as it is entertaining. And because it’s so popular, it’s adorned with picnic tables, lookouts, portable toilets, and other amenities.

Capital Crescent Trail

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Courtesy of bethesda365.com

This 11-mile path begins in Silver Spring and runs all the way to the center of Georgetown. As we begin to transition into the spring season, this route may become all the more charming as new leaves begin to bud on the trees and flowers enter the early stages of blooming.

Rock Creek Park

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Courtesy of washington.org

Joggers can experience a more organic pathway to test their stamina by logging in a few miles at Rock Creek Park. Trails are naturally shaded by gorgeous trees and, on weekends, Beach Drive is closed to traffic, which means the entire width of the road is at your disposal. And if you do a little research beforehand, you might even be able to map out where to go in order to spot the ruins of the original Capitol, concealed somewhere in the woods!

Ocean City Boardwalk

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Courtesy of familyvacationcritic.com

The boardwalk is an easy, scenic jog that’s great for your daily cardio. In the summertime, you can build your endurance dodging through crowds of lackadaisical beach-goers, but during the offseason, you practically have the entire path to yourself. I recommend utilizing this privacy while you still can because it allows you to soak in the quiet of a deserted beach, which can be quite calming for those of us who run as a means of detoxing at the end of a busy day.

BONUS: Best Place to Grab a Post-Run Beer

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Courtesy of fireflydaily.com

It’s common practice for joggers to celebrate a decent day of cardio with a refreshing beer. And if it isn’t tradition, then I say we get it together and clock in some extra miles making a beeline for the nearest pub! The next time you and your friends overcome a personal best, make sure to honor your achievement with the best beer in all of Maryland!

What’s your favorite trail to run in Maryland? Let us know in the comments!

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