Not everyone embraces hills when it comes to training (see Umstead State Park entries). For those folks, there is the American Tobacco Trail.

The ATT is the spine of a trail concept pioneered by the Triangle Greenway Council originally referred to as Circle the Triangle. The concept: using this 20-mile trail that runs through the center of the Triangle — from southern Wake County north through Chatham County and into downtown Durham — connect other trails to create one big, interconnected Triangle trail. The concept is fast becoming reality.

For now, though, the ATT to runners is a flat, foot-friendly place to get in some miles. From the southern trailhead off Olive Chapel Road north for about 12 miles into southern Durham County, the trail is all or partially natural surface. Marathoners in particularly love it as a place to log long training runs with minimal body impact.

Be advised that you’ll be sharing the trail with others: mostly hikers and walkers, a number of strollers, a goodly number of cyclists and the occasional equestrian. Re the latter: Watch your step.

More info


Getting there from downtown Raleigh

Difficulty: Easy (flat)
Distance: 30 minutes from downtown Raleigh
Length: 20 miles (consumable in shorter sections)
Time to complete: 30 minutes and up
Address: 1309 Olive Chapel Road
City: Apex
State: NC
Zip: 27502
Latitude: 35.4285
Longitude: 78.5659