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Easing on to running off-road north of Boston

Two runners follow a trail through the Appleton Farms Grass Rides property in Hamilton.
Two runners follow a trail through the Appleton Farms Grass Rides property in Hamilton.Lisa Poole for The Boston Globe/File 2012

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Runners and joggers are heading off-road for the same reason cyclists are — traffic.

Or lack thereof.

For fitness buffs, trails offer an escape from narrow roads better suited to Smart Cars than your basic SUV. Add the concern of drivers possibly compromised by texting or cell phone chatter, and it’s no surprise that runners are reconsidering their options.

Trail running might provide a sense of solitude, freeing your mind of any potential internal-combustion menace, but it certainly has it’s own challenges and rewards.

Six hot spots utilized by mountain bikers: Lynn Woods Reservation, Middlesex Fells Reservation in Stoneham, Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, Bradley Palmer State Park/Willowdale State Forest in Hamilton and Ipswich, Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, and Ravenswood Park in Gloucester — are terrific trail-running destinations as well.

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