Kelsey Perrett

Lining the banks of the Shepaug River, Washington’s Steep Rock Preserve is trail running heaven. It’s also home to the Steep Rock Trail Running series, which hosts races throughout the area. However, you don’t have to be a serious trail runner to enjoy the paths here — most of the trails (especially along the river) are supremely runnable. Our favorite is the eastern half of the preserve’s namesake Steep Rock Loop. From the parking area, follow the yellow blazes south down the gravel Tunnel Road for about 2 miles until you reach the scenic suspension bridge (which begs to be run on). From here, you can continue the loop (although some sections may be a bit technical for the casual trail runner) or turn around and backtrack. If you turn around, we recommend detouring a bit south onto the blue trail to run through the huge rock railroad tunnel.

The attached map has great information on trail options and distances.

Essentials
  • Steep Rock Loop Trail: ~5 miles, with loop or out & back options; Many other trails to enjoy
  • 400 feet
  • Steep Rock Preserve Parking Area
  • River Road