Forging A Trail


How We Built Our New Trail Race Course

Serenbe has 15 miles of nature trails that traverse throughout its 1,000+ acres, so at first glance it seems that creating a 5k and 15k running course would be simple. However, paths crossing each other, making confusing loops and other instances such as fallen trees mean finding a route for runners to make their distance can be tricky.

Luckily, Serenbe has Garnie Nygren. She grew up in the Serenbe woods before anything was here, and spends time daily on the trails even now as the COO of Serenbe. Also she’s a lifelong runner and was on her varsity cross country team in school, which certainly makes it easier to map out a trail race course.

So how does she do it? Well, the process is all “feet” on deck.

Bridge in the Selborne hamlet.

Bridge in the Selborne hamlet.

Garnie Nygren running the trails.

Garnie Nygren running the trails.


Using her Strava app (shouts!), Garnie takes to the trails and just starts walking. This way she can take stock of the shape of the trails. Is their debris? Has weather washed out any portions? Will the correct path be easily identifiable?


Next, adjustments are made based on Serenbe’s notable landmarks. From old ruins to waterfalls to flower-filled meadows (in season), we want to make sure runners get to see the most beautiful parts of Serenbe. We also want to make sure runners can navigate the course without too many loops (we don’t want to throw you off!) while seeing everything Serenbe’s preserved forest has to offer.


The most important part of any race course is to make sure it’s the correct distance, in Serenbe’s case that there’s a full 5k (3.1 miles) and 15k (9.3 miles) for runners to cover. Garnie is an early riser, so before most of the neighborhood is even awake she’s out on the trails (no running playlist for this one, she likes to “zen out and listen to nature) and clocking her run to make sure it’s as accurate as possible.


So what are you waiting for? Sign up today to run the Serenbe Fall Trail Race 5k/15k on Saturday, October 19! We’ll have a brand new course for both the 5k and 15k (thanks, Garnie!), AND we’re moving our Start/Finish line to a brand new location. As always, we’ll have a Post-Race Party complete with Creature Comforts Beer (yay!) and breakfast burritos by Halsa.

Early bird registration for the Fall 2019 Trail Race ends September 14. Register at