After my botched run the first day I was in Noosa Head in Queensland, Australia, I decided to ask for directions. Little did I know that I was less than a mile jog away from the interlinking, secluded trails of the Noosa Head National Park. What a sucker.
To get to the national park, I followed the Coastal Track Trail, which leads from the main drag in Noosa to the national park. The trail offers exactly what you would expect: A trail that rides the coastline. The trail itself is made of wood, and though it boasts a beautiful view, it is completely satiated with people at all hours of the day. Getting going at a good clip is hard, as the trail resembles more a late wave in a big road race than a secluded trail.
As I got to the national park, I was pleasantly surprised with numerous trails to choose from. While the Coastal Track Trail continued throughout the park, I decided to head down a trail known as Tanglewood.
Tanglewood Trail was advertised as the most secluded trail, and is a 3.4K out and back that ends at a massive cliff known as Hells Gate. As I started up the trail from the main parking lot, it immediately switched from open area to dense tropical forest, surrounding a single-track trail. The path itself was very soft, comprised of whatever natural material you would find in the woods.
For the first 2K, the trail was completely covered by overgrowth and every few meters, a small waterfall would break up the green monotony. Having been running on footpaths the last month, running on an actual trail with large inclines and changing footing definitely did a number on my legs. The Tanglewood Trail is great for a heavy workout.
With about 1.4K left, the trail opens up with views of the coast and actually starts to become comprised of loose, white sand. The sand isn’t loose enough to feel like you are beach running, but it is less dense than the jungle trail at the start. The trail stays this way until you start to dead end with the marker for Hells Gate. Though the path ends here, it is worth it to take a small break and walk to the edge of the cliff, known as Hells Gate, to take in the beautiful view of Noosa and the Sunshine Coast.
If you find yourself in Noosa Head anytime soon, make sure to spend some time hiking or running in the national park. The trails are pristine and secluded, the jungle is immaculate and the ability to follow up a hard workout with a nice dip in the ocean is a dream.