Running the Nosara Trail System
Being a runner in Nosara, Costa Rica is tough.
The Guanacaste region’s rainy season of May through November is spent dodging gigantic potholes overflowing with muddy water and slapping away mosquitos while continually looking over your shoulder at the looming storm clouds. By contrast, the dry season is synonymous with oppressive heat and thick dust hanging in the air. Year round, runners have to dodge traffic from semi trucks, jungle-outfitted SUVs, four wheelers and motorbikes while cautiously approaching dozens of Nosara’s blind curves.
Luckily, there’s a new option for local runners, or those visiting Nosara on vacation, that leaves the well-traveled roads behind and takes the curious deep into the jungle. The Senderos de Nosara (Nosara Civic Trail System) is an 18km trail system that connects keys neighborhoods of the sleepy beachside town enabling runners to move from Esperanza north to Santa Marta with only a few detours onto busier streets.
I often joke that all running in Nosara is trail running since the roads are all dirt. The exception is when the dirt roads layered with splotchy patches of “miel” in the dry season to keep down dust. Running the Nosara Civic Trail System is honest to goodness trail running. The level of complexity is moderate, moving from flat areas skirting behind Playa Guiones to rocky fifty-degree angles leading into Cruces Pelada. Throughout, there are roots, loose gravel, low hanging vines and other obstacles to keep each run fun and ever changing.
The opportunity for impressive vistas has been embraced, with viewing points of the mouth of the Nosara River and easy outlets to the main beaches. You never know where the trail will drop you off. You could reenter civilization behind hidden tennis club or the front yard of a massive jungle house.
The trails are very private. Perhaps because they are still so new, I’ve yet to encounter another runner while using the course. While I’ve never had a problem, it’s important to be safety minded and alert at all times. Horses use the trails too, so eagle eyes need to be used for not only the traditional footfall obstacles, but the leavings of large animals as well.
Even though you may have the Nosara Civic Trail System to yourself, it won’t necessarily be quiet. The jungle, even in the early morning, can be busy, with chirping cicadas, swarming hums of bugs, tweets of the exotic birds, and the barking of howler monkeys soundtracking your journey.
For those that live in Nosara, utilizing the Nosara Civic Association’s trail project is a must-do. It keeps you away from street dust and unpredictable traffic and places you right in the middle of some of the area’s prettiest forest. Likewise for visiting runners, patronizing the trail is a great way to get to know the natural beauty of Costa Rica.
The Senderos de Nosara is funded by donations. One of the easiest ways to do that is to purchase a Nosara bench. You can pick up a bench for your home or business, or choose to donate the bench to be placed along the trail. Gifting your bench to the trail is a double-donation, providing monetary support for maintenance and runner support for those hitting the trails.
Podcast credits: Stance Gives You Balance byHogan Grip is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.