There is a great trail review on singletracks.com for Fort Yargo State Park. Seriousrunning.com has ranked this trail as #2 in the state. This park is located in Winder, GA approximately 50 miles outside of Atlanta. There is plenty of parking and things to do for all ages. They have a beach and picnic areas as well as mountain bike and running trails.
There are several different trail options depending on the difficulty you are seeking. The yellow trail is approximately a 7 mile loop, while the blue trail is a bit more difficult and does about a 12 mile loop. The trail rotates every other day between going clockwise or counter-clockwise. I think that keeps it very interesting and changing it up for people to try different directions. The trails go around the lake making it a beautiful scenic run any time of the year.
My first half marathon was February 25, 2012 and was held here at Fort Yargo State Park. I do not particularly care for road races, so this half marathon trail race seemed to be just the challenge that I needed to tackle. We had a very mild winter this year making my trail run training a very enjoyable experience. My friend, Ginger and I started training in November 2011 at the Georgia International Horse Park for this race.
The trails at the GIHP are a bit harder than Fort Yargo, but we didn’t know that at the time. We trained right up to 13 miles before our race day arrived, so we were more than ready come February the 25th. Now, I mentioned that we had a very mild winter this past year. Well, come race day winter decided to show up just for us! The low temperature started out at 34 degrees that morning. It rose to around 45 degrees before our race was over, but the wind was biting!
We had sustained winds at around 22 miles per hour and gusts up to 32 miles per hour throughout the entire day. It was extremely windy and cold. Despite a few trips, falls and wind burned faces, we persevered and finished strong with a much better time that we had finished while training!
I challenge each of you to find something active that you have loads of fun doing and turn it into a challenge for yourself to make you stronger. Once you complete that one, go on to the next one that is a little bit harder. Always strive to make yourself better for you! You should constantly be in competition with yourself.