The trail system, including those in Saguaro National Park, is one reason Runner’s World magazine named Tucson one of America’s top running destinations.

Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star

In my last column, I discussed some of the great paved paths that you can use for running and walking, but there’s a reason that Runner’s World magazine recently named Tucson one of America’s top running destinations: our wonderful trail system.

Basically, go to any edge of Tucson and you’ll find the ultimate trails, with cactus and mountain views that convey the ultimate in American scenery. North, east, south and west: you’ll find your choice of flat, hilly, or mountain climbs.

Gorgeous. Scenic. Historic, with more cactus than you can shake a stick at. Be sure to watch your footing and don’t play with the snakes.

Here’s a good area to try for beginning trail runners:

Saguaro National Park East: The cactus forest is the most famous of the trails in Tucson, with your choice of flat desert running or rolling hills or rugged mountain climbs to the top of the Rincon Mountains. Parking at the eastern end of Broadway or the eastern end of Speedway leads to miles and miles of trails. Parking at the Saguaro East Visitor Center does not have immediate access to trails, but you can access a beautiful trail at two locations on the 8-mile loop. Be sure to bring your National Park Pass.

Randy Accetta co-founded the popular Meet Me at Maynards and the race director for upcoming SAR Southern Arizona Roadrunners events, TMC Get Moving Tucson Half-Marathon and 5K and TMC Saguaro National Park Run. He is the national director of coaching education for the Road Runners Club of America and with his wife, Tia, coaches runners in Tucson at The Workout Group.