El Yunque National Forest, located 25 miles east of San Juan, is a good spot for those interested in experiencing some of Puerto Rico’s lush foliage. It’s the only tropical rainforest in the National Forest system. There are options for running on some of the roads designated for ‘scenic driving’, or trail running in the forest’s 24 miles of hiking trails. Most of the trailheads come off Road 191, with the El Portal Visitor Center as a good anchor. Notes: The forest is very hilly; the roads have no shoulder; most of the trail running is quite rugged. A few recommendations:
Running on ‘Scenic Drive’ Routes. Information
- South Side Road 191. Less traveled section of the forest. Nice scenery!
- Road 988. Luquillo’s entrance. Scenic road in lower elevations.
- Road 186. It’s more traveled. Information on nicer sections.
Hiking Trails. Most of the trails are rugged and hilly, offering more challenging trail running. And most are quite short. Some options:One of the best trails is the 2.4 mile El Yunque Trail to El Yunque Peak, which travels over a combination of asphalt, gravel, and crushed stone, but gains lots of elevation. The astonishing views from the top of this green rainforest peak are absolutely worth the effort.
- El Yunque Trail. Challenging 2.6 mile trail run to El Yunque Peak. Travels over a combination of asphalt, gravel, and crushed stone, but gains lots of elevation. The astonishing views from the top of this green rainforest peak are absolutely worth the effort.
- Tradewinds Trail. Very challenging 4.6 mile trail.