Vasa Pathway, Traverse City, Michigan
Why Run It: Just outside of Traverse City, Michigan, the Vasa Pathway trail system in the Pere Marquette State Forest serves up well-marked, wide, dirt loops of 3K, 5K, 10K or 25K, all from one trailhead on Bartlett Road. Fall running on the Vasa means cooler temperatures among dense hardwoods, and bright colors beaming from oak, maple and poplar trees — autumn colors typically peak in the first two weeks in October. All loops except the 3K start with a hearty climb before transitioning to rolling terrain, and cross over the scenic and babbling Acme Creek. Come mid-November, the Run Vasa trail run lets you test your mettle in either a 5K, 10K and 25K race. “The Vasa is one of my all-time favorites, especially in the fall,” says Traverse City native Rachel Sturtz.
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