Science has shown that running outdoors increases both productivity and happiness.
And if the landscape around you is breathtaking, well, you may never need to stop running. With that in mind, we’ve scoured the globe to bring you the five most colorful runs on the planet. From the Swiss Alps to the forests of Vermont, feel inspired for your next running adventure - and for extra inspiration, we matched each run with the shoe that could see you best to the line.
Shibazakura Hill, Japan
Shibazakura Hill explodes with color once spring weather sets in. Here though, you’ll find yourself buried in varying shades of effervescent pink. The Shibazakura moss blooms dot the landscape at the base of Mt. Fuji providing one exceedingly bright backdrop for your daily run. Combined with the brilliant blue hues of the mountain and the miles of green hills and trees as far as the eye can see, you’ll definitely be in for a treat.
The mossy field is in bloom from early April to mid May and there are plenty of footpaths to choose from here for your run.
Luoping Basin, Qujing Prefecture, China
Yellow canola fields cover nearly every inch of the countryside in Luoping, but you might want to be careful when running here; it also brings in thousands of bees seeking out the delicious honey. Interlaced among the yellow blossoms you’ll find green hills covered in trees and valleys lined with red stone below. The region itself is breathtaking to behold and a spectacular place for runners to escape and get in touch with nature. The contrasts here are striking if you manage to visit during the right time of the year. Flowers are in full bloom during February and March, but the landscape makes for an incredible run any time of year.
The Alpstein, Appenzell, Switzerland
The Swiss Alpstein are a true site to behold. Able to be seen from six countries (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and Italy) their peaks radiate a color pallet that mimics the world around them - from catching the setting sun in bright, orange glows to ghostly white peaks illuminated by a full moon. But it is the colors seen from trail running across the Swiss Alpstein that make them worthy of this list. Being in the place where snow-whites meet green-grasses along the mountain ridges, to the brilliant blue shades of the rivers and valley lakes thousands of feet below, a run here will find color coming at you in every direction in one of the most peaceful places on the planet. After all, this is the place where the Swiss engineering of the Cloudventure was born, so we could run this route time and time again.
Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand, India
Much like Shibazakura Hill, the Valley of Flowers is set right up against the Himalayan Mountain Range, already one of the most vibrant and varying landscapes on Earth. Every spring, the fields burst with color as the flowers come into bloom. A run along here will surround you with lively hues of red, yellow, purple, orange and white flowers against a mountain backdrop. If you time it early in the morning or late in the evening the sky erupts in color too. The Valley is only open to visitors for five months out of the year, with July and August providing the best opportunity for an outdoor run among the flowers.
Vermont, New England, USA
It’s difficult to decide which part of New England makes it most worthy of being counted as one of the most colorful runs on the planet. When fall weather sets in and the trees everywhere begin to explode in pulsating hues of red, orange, yellow and green, Vermont might just take the cake. Everywhere you look color surrounds you. Forests cover this state and the hilly landscape provide for some great opportunities to challenge yourself and up your running game. People from all over the country, and even the world, converge on the area to take in all the beautiful scenery here. Even during the spring and summer this New England state remains a great place to run amongst a sea of colors - you’re surrounded by green leaves and blue skies no matter where your run takes you.