Running is a great activity for your health and wellness. It can lower blood pressure , cholesterol, triglycerides, and body fat percentage to help you look and feel your best. If you're looking for an easy way to improve your health, then getting up and getting moving is an excellent place to start. Fortunately, South Florida offers ample opportunities to be active and enjoy the outdoors. The area has numerous trails to explore if you're interested in running. Best of all, many of these routes connect you with other recreational opportunities, such as parks, exercise courses, recreation centers, and more.

We've rounded up a few of the best places to go for a run in the Tampa area. Lace up your running shoes, fill your water bottle, and discover a new favorite route for yourself.

Bayshore Linear Park Trail

The Bayshore Linear Park Trail runs from Columbus Statue Park at Platt Street to Gandy Boulevard, covering 4.5 miles of picturesque waterfront. The paved sidewalk is 10 feet wide, making it an excellent choice for an easy, comfortable run. With views of the bay, Tampa skyline, and Old Hyde Park area, it's hard to beat this trail's picturesque urban scenery. You might even spot manatees in the shallow bay waters. You'll encounter ample amenities along the trail, including a water fountain and fitness stations.

The trail features six-inch cast bronze markers for every mile, half-mile, and kilometer moving southwards. Each of these 15 markers features an image representing part of Tampa's distinctive environment. These artistic pieces designed by Michele Oka Donor are titled "Winged Figure: From the Firmament."

Address: 312 Bayshore Blvd, Tampa

Upper Tampa Bay Trail

The Upper Tampa Bay Trail runs from the Memorial Trailhead at 7499 Montague Street to Peterson Park. Restrooms are available at the Channel Park Trailhead, Wilsky Boulevard Trailhead, and in Peterson Park. You can get cold water at the Memorial Trailhead, Channel Park, Wilsky Boulevard, and Ehrlich Road.

The trail surface is smoothly paved asphalt with an average width of 10 feet, providing plenty of room for a comfortable run and easy passing. The entire path is 14.4 miles, but you can use the various trail heads to shorten your route if you have someone to pick you up along the trail. Otherwise, this is an out-and-back trail run, so you'll want to plan accordingly.

Address: 9201 West Waters Ave, Tampa

Flatwoods Loop Trail

The Flatwoods Loop Trail covers seven miles if you run the entire length. The two access points are within the Flatwoods Conservation Park at 14302 Morris Bridge Road and 18205 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. A two-mile paved extender from Bruce B. Downs Boulevard to the trail extends the total length to 11 miles if you choose to park here. Those interested in a shorter route may use an abbreviated out-and-back trail. The trail is 10 feet wide in most places.

There's a $2 fee to access the park. Water and restrooms are available along the trail. This is a great choice for wildlife viewing as you run. The area is home to many species, including armadillos, deer, wild turkeys, alligators, turtles, snakes, and hawks.

Address: 14302 Morris Bridge Road, Thonotosassa

Courtney Campbell Trail

The Courtney Campbell Trail spans the entire length of the Courtney Campbell Causeway between Veterans Expressway and Bayshore Boulevard. The trail links Tamps and Clearwater with 5.5 miles in Hillsborough County and 4 miles in Pinellas County. The paved trail ranges from 8 to 12 feet wide, crossing a stunningly scenic 45-mile high bridge. You'll find access points for the Pinellas Trail and Duke Energy Trail via the Ream Wilson Trail on the Pinellas County end of the trail.

This trail offers a convenient way to get between cities while also providing an abundance of scenic highlights. Along the causeway, you may spot dolphins and manatees in the water or plovers and herons soaring above.

Address: 7740 W. Courtney Campbell Causeway, Tampa

Suncoast Trail

The massive Suncoast Trail covers 42 miles from Hillsborough County through Pasco and on to Hernando County. This trail belongs to Florida's Statewide Greenways and Trails System. Benches, tables, and watering stations along the trail offer plenty of spaces for runners to stop and take a break. Additional amenities include a restroom, port-o-let, and information kiosks. The Pasco section of the trail also offers two wildlife viewing areas.

Address: 16175 SR 54, Odessa

Al Lopez Park Loop

Al Lopez Park is a popular destination for 5K events. The park features a 1.2-mile paved asphalt loop that you can extend another half-mile on the north end. The trail is 15 feet wide, offering plenty of space for all types of recreation. The park features abundant amenities with access to the Cordelia B. Hunt Community Center, fishing piers, picnic shelters, fitness centers, restrooms, water fountains, and even a dog park. This is the perfect destination if you're looking for a great way to include some fitness in a day of family fun.

Address: 4810 N. Himes Avenue, Tampa

Tampa Riverwalk

The Tampa Riverwalk is a 4.9-mile trail popular for biking, birding, and running. This is a great destination if you're looking for an urban adventure. The Riverwalk features numerous attractions, including the Glazer Children's Museum, Tampa Bay History Center, Tampa Museum of Art, Florida Aquarium, Henry B. Plant Museum, Tampa Convention Center, and more. You'll find four parks along the trail as well, so you can hop off and enjoy other forms of recreation. The Riverwalk runs along Cotanchobee Park, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, and Water Works Park.

Address: 333 S. Franklin Street, Tampa

What do you think of these running trails in Tampa? Do you know of other great running spots that we missed? Contact our team at the biostation and let us know. We're committed to providing our clients with all the best information and recommendations for their health and wellness. If you're running for weight loss , we can boost your efforts with targeted supplements and treatments to help you reach your goals.

Image by Jozsef Hocza is licensed with Unsplash License