Adam Campbell's five favourite trail runs

Where to run from coast to coast according to one of Canada's fastest ultra racers

One of Canada's top ultra runners, with top finishes in everything from the inaugural 160-kilometre Ultra Trail Mount Fuji to third place in this year's Hardrock 100 , Adam Campbell gets around. The Vancouver-based lawyer is not afraid to share his favourite places to run across Canada.

Fast fun in the city

Campbell's fave run near Victoria begins at Thetis Lake Regional Park and climbs through flower meadows, past lakes and pleasant forest and then up to the summit of Stewart Mountain. The 16-kilometre loop is well signed and "because the trails are mostly smooth you can run hard the whole time," he says.

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Wicked mountain loop

It may have been built for knobby tires, but Whistler's Comfortably Numb is just as much fun on two feet. The 25 kilometre trail starts with a long (1300 metres) gradual climb up the flank of Blackcomb Mountain before diving towards the valley. Expect plenty of great views and steep sections before joining the Lost Lake trails at the bottom.

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Watch for bears

One of the more interesting ways of getting from Canmore to Banff is along the base of iconic Mount Rundle. Starting at the Canmore Nordic Centre race along the smooth Banff Trail for 10 km before joining the more technical and hilly 8.5 km Rundle Trail. It ends at the Banff Springs Golf Course. Expect lots of creek crossings, beauty views across the Bow Valley and a bear sighting or two. "I always see bears on this trail," Campbell says.

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Ocean views

Between the park entrance and the Big Salmon River Interpretive Centre the 11 kilometre Fundy Trail climbs and descends from Bay of Fundy beaches to cliff top lookouts. The multi-use trail's smooth surface makes it easy to take in the "classic east coast scenery" and strategically placed water stations means you can run unencumbered. At the visitor centre hop a shuttle back to the car or make like Campbell and reverse your route.

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Lofty park

The Rideau Trail traverses the escarpment edge of Mount Foley, an imposing cliff topped hill high above Upper Rideau Lake and the town of Westport. The views are huge, by Ontario standards, along the entire 8 km trail. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that roams the Mount Foley Conservation Area especially as you loop back to the start on one of the trails through the forest.

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Over the hills

With more than 80 kilometres of trails to choose from, conveniently laid out in pre-measured loops, running at Hardwood Hills is easy on the brain, if not on the lungs and quads. The ground is soft and the trails, through nice forest, are smooth enough to run fast. Campbell likes to cut in and out from one loop to the other on the many short connectors, but for newcomers he recommends the gnarly 5 Peaks race course.

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“Bluebird days give way to crystal clear nights. The world's an amazingly beautiful place, you just need to get out there and see it.”

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