This is a running guide to the Research Triangle Park area, one of the largest research parks in the world. It’s named for the three hub cities of Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill, and for the three major research universities in those three cities: Duke, NC State University, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill respectively. Some 2 million people live in this spread out metro area.
We’ve researched some 20 great running spots in this area, including routes in and near the downtown of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, the major universities, and several parks. There are also several greenways and major trails that are great for running. Some of our favorites: Umstead Park, the Oakwood neighborhood in downtown Raleigh, the campus of Duke University, and some lovely spots around Chapel Hill.
A couple of notes about running in the area. It’s quite spread out, so a car is really necessary. You can get away without one if you’re in one of the three cities or near the universities. Also, many of the secondary roads don’t have sidewalks or shoulders. We’ve tried to map out routes incorporating the best and safest roads.