Where to Run

Top 20 Runs on the Coffs Coast 

These 20 routes have been compiled to highlight the best trail runs on the Coffs Coast within a 1 hour drive.

A mixture of easier (difficulty 1-5) and challenging (difficulty 5-10) routes have been chosen.

It is recommended that you have the Capra route loaded when visiting an area for the first time.

While we have done our best to ensure the routes remain current, Coffs Trail Runners are not responsible for your safety or navigation. 

Please be respectful of Gumbaynggirr land on which these routes are located on.

Coffs Trails is another fantastic website that lists a bunch of trails on the Coffs Coast full with visual maps, GPX files and detailed descriptions.

Contact admin@coffstrailrunners.com if you would like further detail on each route.

#1 Coffs Creek 

Distance: 10km

Ascent: 50m

Difficulty: 1/10

Highlight: An easy run in nature from the centre of Coffs Harbour 

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 0 Minutes

Description: Starting from the iconic Coffs Harbour Jetty, this route follows the popular Coffs Creek Walkway in an anti-clockwise loop, which is a mixture of well worn gravel paths, boardwalks and concrete paths through mangroves and native vegetation.

You can extend this run by adding a 2km loop through the lovely Coffs Harbour Botanic Gardens where you might spot the resident koalas.

Finish with a swim at Coffs Harbour Jetty or grab a coffee at The Hub.

Coffs Harbour Running Festival is held on this route where Steve Moneghetti has raced 10 times as he loves this track! 

#2 Bangalore Falls 

Distance: 15km

Ascent: 750m

Difficulty: 7/10

Highlight: Run through beautiful rainforest on well signposted trails to visit the stunning Bangalore Falls. Significant birdlife and koala populations.

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 30 minutes

Description: This route starts at the end of Dairyville Road just after a shin high creek crossing (2WD friendly) where there is parking, an information board and signage. It immediately climbs 4.5km up Pine Road – a wide well maintained but steep forest road. Keep your eye out for koalas as you hike up this road. All trails in Bindarri National Park hold up well even after rain.

As you reach the top, you will be surrounded by stunning rainforest on an undulating and pleasant to run on forest roads. Follow the signposts to Bangalore Falls Picnic Area, where a toilet is located.

1km of rainforest singletrack from the picnic area will then take you down to the picturesque Bangalore Falls. Return the same way down Pine Road or via Jersey Bull Road which crosses the crystal clear Urumbilum River twice.

An alternative to this route is to drive up Eastern Dorrigo Way and start at the Ulong Cafe in the Valley. From the cafe you can follow Corfes Road that leads out to Bangalore Falls and follows more runnable terrain.

The Rumble in the Jungle is held on this route.

#3 Bongil Bongil NP 

Distance: 15km

Ascent: 160m

Difficulty: 4/10 

Highlight: Lovely forest trails and singletrack close to town. Koala sightings.

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 15 minutes

Description: The section of Bongil Bongil National Park north of Bonville Creek is easily accessible from Sawtell and is popular for an easy trail run. We like to start off Lyons Road, instead of at the main picnic area as it doesn’t open until 7:00am, although it does has toilets, signposts and picnic tables.

The route consists of three out and backs with two of them are on leafy management trails and the other adjacent to Bonville Creek is singletrack, and can sometimes be muddy, but is the highlight of this route. 

#4 Sealy Lookout 

Distance: 10km

Ascent: 550m

Difficulty: 8/10. Leeches are common after rain.

Highlight: Sealy Lookout, beautiful rainforest trails, close to town

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 15 minutes

Description: This route starts at the award-winning Sealy Lookout (Niigi Niigi) with views over Coffs Harbour where a cafe and toilets are located. The trails from the lookout are steep and punchy. Hiking will be required, although the climbs aren’t particularly long. 

Following the trail off Sealy Lookout, you will go over End Peak to Swans Road which is a lovely long descent through the rainforest down to Swans Crossing Picnic Area. Technical rainforest singletracks will take you pass a huge ‘grandfather’ tree and then finishing with a climb up Midway Trail to loop back up to Sealy Lookout.

#5 Infinity Pool

Distance: 17km

Ascent: 450m

Difficulty: 6/10

Highlight: Infinity Pool at halfway, swim at Scout Falls after

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 40 minutes

Description: A secret spot locally known as the Infinity Pool in Sherwood Nature Reserve – a small pool perched on the cliffside – provides vistas over the hinterland and sandstone cliffs.

Starting from Scout Falls carpark, the route follows the rocky steep trail up Sherwood Road which then is pleasantly undulating for running. Approx 7km along Sherwood Road, a right hand turn (Falls Road), which is not signposted, leads you out to the edge of the escarpment. Once views are in sight, a simple walk down the rocks to the infinity pool will provide the best views and a chance to cool off. Return the same way.

#6 Magic Pools

 Distance: 10km

Ascent: 250m

Difficulty: 7/10

Highlight: Many plunge pools, mossy old bridge, Fig Tree Falls.

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 20 minutes

Description: Starting at Dingo Creek Waterhole, this route follows the main forest road for 2km before turning right onto Carmadys Road.

You will then cross a creek, and to your left see a small waterfall with a plunge pool – one of many known collectively as ‘Magic Pools’. At 4km, take the left hand trail and you will reach an old wooden bridge. After crossing the creek under the old wooden bridge, turn right to cross another creek and when you can hear Fig Tree Falls look for a small track off to the right to go to the base. Return the same way.

Do not drive beyond Dingo Creek Waterhole to either Magic Pools or Fig Tree Falls as the tracks are damaged. Load the route on watch or phone as there are no signs. This area is very muddy after lots of rain and attracts leeches.

You can extend this run by continuing the climb past Fig Tree Falls to the fantastic viewpoint at Legge Lookout – one of the best on the North Coast (#17 on this list)

#7 Promised Land

Distance: 11km

Ascent: 200m

Difficulty: 3/10

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 45 minutes

Highlight: Simple route with beautiful surroundings. Swim in Never Never River.

Description: A popular summer location for swimming. We recommend parking at Arthur Keough Park just after the bridge at the Never Never River as the main carpark can be congested.

This route follows the Promised Land Road in a loop and is well signposted.

Road or trail shoes are fine.

This route is mostly gravel road surrounded by lovely vegetation with some undulations.

#8 Peak Trail 

Distance: 11km

Ascent: 550m

Difficulty: 7/10. Unmarked singletracks and lots of leeches after rain.

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 15 minutes

Highlight: Singletrack to Wedds Road, lots of options to extend route

Description: Close to Coffs Harbour, the unofficial handcrafted singletrack is a local favourite for technical running. Starting from a side trail at Wedds Road, this route initially climbs up following the singletrack to the tower and then follows an undulating Peak Trail – a wider management trail that follows the ridgeline you can see from Bellingen. There are no signposts from the start at the bottom so have the route pre-loaded.

It’s popular to turn around after 5km or at Bonville Peak trig station and enjoy a flowing singletrack descent back to Wedds Road. Or alternatively, once up on Peak Trail continues to it’s end for a full 25km out and back where you will have to tackle ‘That Steep Bit’ (difficulty 10/10) for amazing views at Legge Lookout (#17 on the list)

#9 Coffs Headlands

Distance: 12km

Ascent: 200m

Difficulty: 5/10

Highlight: Great coastal running with minimal beach

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 0 minutes

Description: Solitary Islands Coastal Walk is a 60km route with lighthouse markers, predominately on beach, from Red Rock to Bonville Headland. This run takes in the formed paths and trails of this route closer to Coffs Harbour. 

Starting from the iconic Coffs Harbour Jetty (or alternatively from Macauleys Headland carpark), follows the lighthouse markers of the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk north to Korora Beach and return the same way.

Once at Korora Beach, you could continue going further, although the route then mostly follows the beaches and involves a creek crossing at Moonee Beach.

#10 Mt Coramba 

Distance: 10km

Ascent: 480m

Difficulty: 7/10

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 15 minutes

Highlight: Simple route up an iconic mountain providing great views

Description: Mt Coramba is one of the most distinctive peaks in Coffs Harbour that provides a challenging climb to an unofficial lookout at a phone tower with great views in multiple directions. This route follows the main Mt Coramba Forest Road out and back in a long continuous climb to the top of the mountain. Whilst not a particularly technical route, it is great way to add some elevation in your training without worrying about navigating. 

For those seeking more adventure or elevation, there are other ways up Mt Coramba besides the main forest road such as Cyclone Trail, Morbid Trail, Commando Trail, Rocky Trail and other steep 4WD tracks (10/10 difficulty)

#11 Battery Falls

Distance: 16km

Ascent: 400m

Difficulty: 4/10

Highlight: Quiet rainforest forest roads with Battery Falls at halfway

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 45 minutes

Description: Starting at the historic Old Hydro Mill site where Timmsvale Road goes to gravel west of Ulong, this route follows out and back undulating forest roads through rainforest making it great for running.

At 6km, a right hand turn leads onto Battery Road where you follow for another 2km before taking a small hidden track to the waterfall. You could extend this run by continuing on Battery Road after Battery Falls then looping back on Timmsvale Road.

Make sure you stop at the Cafe in the Valley or Ulong Ex-Services Club at Ulong after for great mountain food and hospitality.

#12 Dorrigo Rainforest 

Distance: 6km

Ascent: 150m

Difficulty: 3/10

Highlights: Crystal Shower Falls, Tristania Falls, Dorrigo Skywalk, rainforest

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 1 hour

Description: The Wonga Walk starting at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre is a very popular walking loop but also a great short run with toilets, water and information boards. Start before 9:00am to beat the crowds.

On this route, you will pass Crystal Shower Falls and Tristania Falls as you run through World Heritage listed rainforest. Finish at the Dorrigo Skywalk.

#13 Korora Escarpment

Distance: 9km

Ascent: 450m

Difficulty: 7/10

Highlight: Steep forest roads

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 15 minutes

Description: Scenic but steep, this run follows the Korora Escarpment along Rover Trail – a well renowned 4WD track that will be sure to get your heart pumping.

Enjoy a lovely pocket of rainforest at the bottom of Polyosma Road.

Hiking poles are helpful on the steep descents.

#14 Red Cedar Falls 

Distance: 20km

Ascent: 800m

Difficulty: 7/10. Lots of leeches after rain.

Highlight: Amazing rainforest singletrack, route options, many waterfalls

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 1 hour 15 minutes

Description: Arguably some of the best rainforest singletracks on the North Coast which passes by many waterfalls.

Start at the Never Never Picnic Area in Dorrigo National Park, where there is a toilet and information board.

This route takes in all the tracks on offer, starting with the short Rosewood Creek Track passing Coachwood Falls and extending it with a steep out and back to Red Cedar Falls. You could then loop back to the car or follow the route down to Casuarina Falls, along the Blackbutt Track passing Callicoma Falls and loop back to the car along Dome Road.

#15 Woolgoolga

Distance: 6.5km

Ascent: 100m

Difficulty: 3/10

Highlight: Coastal singletrack, Woolgoolga Headland views, finish with a swim.

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 20 minutes

Description: Woolgoolga is a lovely town featuring beautiful coastal running with a mix of headlands, coastal vistas and bush. The route starts at Woolgoolga Beach Reserve and follows the singletracks of Woolgoolga Lake to Safety Beach.

You could extend this route by running down to the Lakeside Caravan Park and along the trail to the pedestrian footbridge or continue running north along the golf course path and connect it to Mullaway (#19 on this list).

If low tide, you can cross the lake where it connects to sea and run back on the beach, otherwise return the same way. You’ll then run along the pathway up to Woolgoolga Headland with great views north and south. 

#16 Syndicate Track 

Distance: 13.5km

Ascent: 1,000m

Difficulty: 9/10. Snakes common when hot and leeches common when wet

Highlight: Steep rainforest singletrack, views from Lanes Lookout

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 40 minutes

Description: One of the longest continuous climbs in NSW through World Heritage listed rainforest singletrack. Starting at the end of Adams Lane, the Syndicate Track crosses farmland before plunging into Dorrigo National Park. 

Syndicate Track is very steep with some k’s over 20% average gradient. At the top, Lanes Lookout provides great views over the valley. You could extend this run at the top by following the undulating trail along Killungoondie Plain.

#17 Legge Lookout

Distance: 16km

Ascent: 850m

Difficulty: 10/10

Highlight: Steep terrain, amazing views

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 30 minutes

Description: Prepare your climbing legs for this mountainous adventure up one of the roughest tracks in the region that goes up, up, and up to an expansive and amazing lookout over the Bellinger Valley.

Starting at a stunning waterhole for a post-run swim, the run heads out on forest roads to Magic Pools and Fig Tree Falls (#6 on this list) before climbing.

At the top, Legge Lookout is truly a local hidden secret spot yet boasting arguably the best lookouts in the region. The first half descent off the lookout is extremely challenging with lots of wet rocks and gnarly terrain. Bring poles.

Once back on Peak Trail, enjoy a more gentle descent down Frontage Creek Rd.

#18 Mt Yarrahapinni 

Distance: 24km

Ascent: 850m

Difficulty: 7/10

Highlight: A classic ‘Sea to Summit’ route with great varied terrain. 

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 50 minutes

Description: Starting on the beach at Grassy Head, this long run route takes you on forest roads to The Pines Picnic Area where there is a toilet. A shortened version of the run could turn around at The Pines Picnic Area for 10km total. 

After The Pines Picnic Area, it is a long sustained climb up the forest road to Mt Yarrahapinni. There are great views over to South West Rocks at the lookout.

Climbing slightly higher will take you to the trig point and phone towers at the summit.

This route descends via the eastern ridge to make it a loop and enjoy a well earnt swim at the beautiful Grassy Head Beach.

#19 Mullaway 

Distance: 7km

Ascent: 50m

Difficulty: 3/10

Highlight: Mix of coastal trails, beach and headlands. Great for an easy run.

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 30 minutes

Description: Starting at Mullaway Beach, head out up the firetrail before crossing Arrawarra Headland Rd to enter Garby Nature Reserve.

Western Boundary Trail in Garby Nature Reserve passes through low lying then tall vegetation with lots of yellow-tail black cockatoos.

This route loops back via Darkum Road, Cabins Beach and around Mullaway Headland. Enjoy a lovely swim at the quiet Mullaway Beach.

Extend this run when at Darkum Road by continuing straight along the bike path to connect to Woolgoolga (#15 on this list)

#20 Settles Road

Distance: 13km

Ascent: 250m

Difficulty: 4/10

Highlight: Simple undulating forest road

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 15 minutes

Description: Settles Road off Bucca Road in Orara East State Forest is an easily accessible and easy to follow route along an undulating forest road. 

The out and back nature of the route makes it ideal for beginners and the hills are runnable.

Off Bucca Road, there are also a number of easy to follow undulating forest roads that are great for an easy run. These are generally well signposted.

These include Sherwood Road, Boyds Road, Eastern Boundary Road, Store Road, Cottage Road and McRaes Road.