The Virginia Happy Trails Running Club

Promoting trail running in the D.C. area for three decades.

Welcome to the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club

We are a fun group of trail runners of all abilities centered in northern Virginia. Many but not all of us run ultramarathons. Come play with us at our races and training runs!

Latest news

- group_edinburg.jpg

2024 Massanutten Trail Work Party

  • May 9, 2024
  • Trail work, MMT

Last Saturday, 18 volunteers coordinated by the VHTRC help clear trails in the Massanutten Mountains. Together, we cleared 29.6 miles of trail, removed 56(!) trees, and contributed 140.5 hours of labor to our public lands.

Read more
- john-9.jpg

2024 C&O Canal 100 mile race report

  • May 3, 2024
  • Race report

The annual C&O Canal 100 miler was held in Maryland over the weekend of April 27-28. Lo and behold we have not one but TWO reports from competitors in the race. First up: frequent contributor John Calabrese on his finish in the 2024 race.

Read more
- sam-5.jpeg

C&O 100: From DNF to Destiny

  • May 3, 2024
  • Race report

Sam has shared with us the second of two race reports from the 2024 C&O Canal 100 Miler. She provides the perspective of a runner who fell short of her goal, but still found the race to be a satisfying experience.

Read more

Upcoming stuff

Here’s what we have coming up. See our calendar for a full list of our (and others’) events

The VHTRC was founded to put on races. We are mighty proud of our courses and hospitality.

Sat Sep 7

13.6 miles

Fairfax Station, VA

Entry opens: Apr 10, 2023

A challenging yet chill race for women only … built for new trail runners and veterans alike.

Sat Feb 22

50 km

Westminster, MD

Entry opens: Jan 1, 2024

31 miles of trails, old woods roads, open fields, and plenty of hills with a couple of stream crossings thrown in just for fun.

Entry opens Oct 1

Sat Apr 5

50.2 miles

Clifton, VA

Entry opens: Oct 1, 2024

A 50 mile trail run that parallels the Bull Run and the Occoquan River in northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. The course traverses forested, rolling terrain during the height of Virginia’s spring beauty. The run’s unique character includes a Civil War theme that honors the battles that occurred here over 150 years ago. The 13 hour time limit makes Bull Run Run an excellent first 50 miler.

Events are open to the public and free to enter, but do require prior registration and many have entry limits.
Didn’t get in? Consider volunteering.

Entry opens Jun 20

Sat Jul 20

29.1 miles

Luray, VA

Entry opens: Jun 20, 2024
Entry closes: Jul 18, 2024

Popular event on the little-used trails in the southern section of the Massanutten Mountains, under the direction of Chelsea Smith.

Sat Jul 27

24 hours

Mason Neck, VA

Entry opens: May 28, 2024
Entry closes: Jul 25, 2024

Entry opens Jul 10

Sat Aug 10

38.7 miles

Stokesville, VA

Entry opens: Jul 10, 2024
Entry closes: Aug 3, 2024

A low-key run, created by Dennis Herr and now hosted by Q, exploring some of the other trails around the famous Wild Oak Trail in the Jefferson National Forest.

Low-key runs with no formal sign-up. Just show up and run.

Sun Jun 16

7-10 miles

Washington, DC

Explore the trails of Rock Creek Park on these low-key runs. We leave at 8:00 am from either Peirce Mill or Theodore Roosevelt Island and the runs are roughly 7–10 miles long.

Thu Jul 4

20.9 miles

Flint Hill, VA

Smooth, runnable loop up and over the Blue Ridge and back. Wear red, white, and blue.

Fri Jul 5

15.5 miles

Washington, VA

A figure-eight loop on the trails in Shenandoah National Park, featuring an opening climb up Little Devil Stairs, a mid-run stop at Elkwallow, some excellent views from Hogback, and a long, bombing downhill finish. Also the shortest of the three Trifecta runs, but one that will still present a fair challenge for your running legs!

Sat Jul 6

24.2 miles

Syria, VA

Also known as “Shenandoah’s National Park’s greatest hits,” this 24-mile loop’s highlights include White Oak Canyon, Hawksbill, Stony Man, all connected by beautiful ridge running on the Appalachian Trail.

Sat Jul 13

9.9 miles

Quantico, VA

An introduction to trail running, with emphasis on trail navigation, in Prince William Forest Park.

Sat Aug 17

10.1 miles

Fort Valley, VA

An introduction to trail running with emphasis on nutrition, in the Massanutten Mountains.

Sat Sep 14

1 miles

An celebratory party in Shenandoah River State Park.

Fri Nov 29

25.3 miles

Nethers, VA

Often referred to as “Shenandoah’s National Park’s greatest hits,” this 25-mile loop’s highlights include White Oak Canyon, Hawksbill, Stony Man, all connected by beautiful ridge running on the Appalachian Trail.

View our available SWAG More information

Want in? Join or login