New Forest National Park is a 71,000-acre tract of land in southwest Hampshire, known for its heathland, forest trails, and native ponies. There are hundreds of miles of fantastic walking trails, divided into 27 ‘walking routes‘. Runners can also enjoy the cycles routes along quiet country lanes and 100 miles of waymarked cycle paths through the forests. The park website has great information on the walking & cycling options, including this interactive map with links to printable/downloadable maps (GPX files). Each of the walks/cycle routes has detailed directions. A few particular recommendations:
Taste of Woodlands. Some gorgeous wooded runs include
- Bolderwood: Radnor Trail. 2-mile run through ancient and ornamental woodland on a good surface. Other nice forest trails and an arboretum nearby in the Blackwater area. Combine with Jubilee Grove trail for a longer run.
- Landford and Hamptworth. 4.7 mile run at the northern tip of the New Forest in Wiltshire, among woodlands that were once Royal Forests.
- Rhinefield Ornamental Woodland. 10.8 miles. Some of the tallest trees in the new forest. Starts from Brockenhurt. Can be combined with walking trails in the Blackwater area.
- Sway and Setthorns Loop. 9-mile cycle route almost entirely off-road on easy paths and one of the best forest trails.
Heathland/Pastureland. Beautiful runs in open heathland.’
- Whitfield Moors. Two loops in Whitfield give a good taste of heathland running.
- Ashurst to Lyndhurst loop. Some of the nicest open views in the Park. Mainly on quiet country roads. Choose a section.
Quiet Country Lanes & Historic Villages
- Brook to Minstead. 7.2 mile route following quiet country lanes to the unspoilt village of Minstead.
- Exbury Walk.6 miles. Lovely variety: river path, quiet country lanes, woodlands, pastures.
- Hawkhill Trail. Nearly all off-road 9.1 mile run on marked cycle trail. Heaths, forest tracks.