According to Robert Frost, taking the road less traveled means blazing new paths. It can also lead to major motivation mojo. Taking inspiration from him (poetry gets us going, what can we say?), we found seven running trails off the beaten track. Mix things up and veer away from the popular paths at Augarten, Türkenschanzpark, Donaukanal, Prater, Ring, Donauinsel and Schönbrunn. This month, take the road less traveled and discover new routes and new views. It might make all the difference.

Lainzer Tiergarten

Photo by Weisserstier via Flickr


Sometimes the monotony of running on stretches of the Donauinsel or the main avenue of the Prater can make even the most motivated runners lose momentum. When you need a change of scenery, head out to wildlife preserve Lainzer Tiergarten. Here you can choose between asphalt-paved paths and untouched forest routes. (If you try the latter, do not touch or feed the boar who call this preserve home.) With possible routes of 30 minutes, two hours or even three hours, there’s enough flexibility for runners of all levels. The landscape is elevated in parts, so get ready to dash uphill. 

 

Steinhofgründe

Photo by Flightlog via Flickr


Every city needs a spot that lets you re-create the iconic running montage in Rocky. On the outskirts of Vienna, almost in the Wienerwald, you’ll find the hidden recreational area of Steinhofgründe. The space includes gentle hills, fruit trees, meadows, trails and a staircase on the east side of the wall (cue your best Balboa impression). With many paths that constantly branch out, you’ll easily find a favorite route to return to and beat your last best time. 

 

Hackenberg

If you really want to get a good sweat session going, then Hackenberg is for you. Located in Sievering in the 19th district, Hackenberg hill offers a relatively quiet running trail that’s a little over 300 meters high. The route goes past vineyards, and once you get to the top there’s a children’s playground and the eye-catching Hackenberg water tank. Now covered in ivy, it's a lovely place to rest, stretch and hydrate. We recommend starting your run at the Sieveringer cemetery and ending at Sieveringer Straße.

 

Bisamberg

For a more challenging route, check out Bisamberg in the 21st district. This final foothill of the Wienerwald is gentler than the mountains southwest of the Danube, but it will still require perseverance. Depending on the direction you take the length will vary, but there’s a 10-kilometer stretch that intermediate runners will love. We recommend beginners start with a quick 2k run through the picturesque Stammersdorf. Remember to inhale, because the scenery is breathtaking. 

 

Schwarzenbergpark

Photo by Bob Martens via Flickr


As the first landscaped garden in Austria, Schwarzenbergpark, next to the Woods, is one of the most inspiring running routes in the city. Take the 43er Bim to Neuwaldegg and warm up by jogging through the lush Schwarzenbergallee. Once you get into the Wienerwald proper, there are enough trails to choose from depending on how many kilometers you want to chart. Make sure your quads, calves and hamstrings are up to the task, though — these routes are hilly. To cover a full 7-kilometer distance, you’ll have to run up to the Jagdhütte at the Grünbergwiese. Your reward? A stunning view of the forest.  

 

Wilhelminenberg

You won’t find many places in Vienna that are as green and rural as the Wilhelminenberg. Here, the chances of meeting not one but an entire family of deer are high. The area offers several trails on uneven terrain (we know you love them!); beginners can turn around in the Steinhofgründe and then visit the Otto Wagner church. Take your workout up a notch and feel the burn on the steep hill. No matter where you’re coming from, you can reach the Wilhelminenberg relatively easy, and it's worthy of a weekend trip.

 

Wienerberg

Photo by Weisserstier via Flickr


Even though the Wienerberg is not as easily accessible as other sites here, it deserves a spot on our list because it offers a great mix of hiking and running trails through woods and around small lakes, and it provides a wonderful view of southern Vienna. There are lots of walking paths with predefined running checkpoints as well, so it’s a comfortable, safe spot for a heart-pumping excursion.

Stergios Prapas

Stergios is an art collector, an investor, an entrepreneur and a father of a beautiful daughter. He's also a freeletics freak and a lover of good food and great wines.