Where to Run

Top 20 Runs on the Coffs Coast 

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

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

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

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.

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

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. Great for beginners. 

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.

The Coffs Creek Walkway is a mixture of well worn gravel paths, boardwalks and concrete paths through mangroves and native vegetation.

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

Coffs Harbour Running Festival is held on this route. 

#2 Bangalore Falls 

Distance: 15km

Ascent: 750m

Difficulty: 7/10.

Highlight: Run through beautiful rainforest on well signposted trails to visit Bangalore Falls.

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 30 minutes

Description: This route in Bindarri National Park starts at the end of Dairyville Road 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.

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. A 1km rainforest singletrack from the picnic area will then take you down to the stunning Bangalore Falls. Return the same way down Pine Road or via Jersey Bull Road which crossing the crystal clear Urumbilum River at the bottom.

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 is 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.

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, where three 5km out and backs are possible in this section of the park.

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. The central picnic area with toilets, signposts and proximity to Sawtell makes this a popular spot.

#4 Sealy Lookout 

Distance: 10km

Ascent: 550m

Difficulty: 8/10

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, you will go over End Peak and over to Swans Road – 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 long climb up Midway Trail to loop back to Sealy Lookout.

Trails around Sealy Lookout can be overgrown with grass and is known for leeches.

#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. A 15 minute walk out to Scout Falls for a swim is worth it.

#6 Magic Pools

istance: 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. You will then cross a creek, and 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 taking care to cross the bridge, turn right to cross a 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.

You could 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 Creek.

Description: A popular summer location for swimming. We recommend parking at Arthur Keough Park just after the bridge at the Never Never Creek if you are running to avoid congestion at the main carpark.

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

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

#8 Peak Trail 

Distance: 11km

Ascent: 550m

Difficulty: 7/10. Unmarked singletrack

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. There are no signpost from the start at the bottom.

Once on Peak Trail, an undulating forest road, continues on and on following the ridgeline. Turn around as you see fit or continues to it’s end where you will have to tackle ‘That Steep Bit’ (difficulty 10/10) for amazing views at Legge Lookout.

The full out and back of Peak Trail is 25km, although it’s popular to turn around after 5km and enjoy a flowing singletrack descent back to Wedds Road.

#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 signposted track, predominately on beach, from Red Rock to Bonville Headland. This route takes in the formed paths and trails of this route close to Coffs Harbour. 

Starting from the iconic Coffs Harbour Jetty (or alternatively from Macauleys Headland carpark for a shorter route), this route follows the lighthouse markers of the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk north to Korora Beach and returns 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 providing great views at the top

Description: Mt Coramba is a distinctive peak that provides a challenging climb to an unofficial lookout at a phone tower with great views in multiple directions. Starting at the junction of Central Bucca Road, this route follows the main Mt Coramba Forest Road in a long continuous climb to the top. Whilst not a particularly technical route it is great way to add some elevation in your training without worrying about navigating. Return same way.

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

A local race called Mt Coramba King & Queen of the Mountain follows this route.

#11 Battery Falls

Distance: 16km

Ascent: 400m

Difficulty: 4/10

Highlight: Forest roads surrounded by rainforest. Battery Falls at halfway.

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 45 minutes

Description: Starting at the Old Hydro Mill site where Timmsvale Road goes to gravel west of Ulong, this route follows 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. Return same way.

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 at Ulong after for great food and hospitality. Note: It is not open on Sundays.

#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. There are toilets, water and information boards.

We suggest start this run before the Canopy Cafe opens at 9:00am.

On this route, you will pass Crystal Shower Falls and Tristania Falls as you run through some of the best rainforest anywhere. 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.

#14 Red Cedar Falls 

Distance: 20km

Ascent: 800m

Difficulty: 7/10

Highlight: Amazing rainforest singletrack, lots of 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.

Starting at the Never Never Picnic Area in Dorrigo National Park, where there is a toilet and information board, there a plenty of route options, and waterfalls, to choose from.

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, views from Woolgoolga Headland, finish with a swim.

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 20 minutes

Description: Woolgoolga is a lovely town with beautiful coastal running with a mix of headland and coastal vistas and bush. The route heads out around the singletracks of Woolgoolga Lake, before crossing the lake where it connects to sea – possible wet feet if open to sea.

You’ll then run along the pathway up to Woolgoolga Headland with great views north and south. 

You could extend this route by running north along the golf course path and connect it to Mullaway (see Route #19).

#16 Syndicate Track 

Distance: 13.5km

Ascent: 1000m

Difficulty: 9/10

Highlight: Rainforest singletrack, views from Lanes Lookout

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 40 minutes

Description: One of the longest continuous climbs in NSW through 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, Lane Lookout provides great views over the valley. You could extend this run by following the undulating trail along Killungoondie Plain once at the top.

#17 Legge Lookout

Distance: 16km

Ascent: 850m

Difficulty: 9/10

Highlight: Steep terrain, amazing views

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 30 minutes

Description: Prepare your hiking legs for this adventure!

Starting at a stunning waterhole, the run heads out on forest roads to Magic Pools and past Fig Tree Falls – incredible picturesque places that make this run special (#6 on this list)

One of the roughest and toughest climbs around will take you up, up, and up to an expansive and amazing lookout.

Truly a well-hidden spot yet boasting arguably the best lookouts in the area. The first half descent off the lookout is extremely tricky and challenging with lots of wet rocks and gnarly descents.

Once back on Peak Trail, the more gentle descent down Frontage Creek will be welcomed as is the refreshing swim at the waterhole where you started.

#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.

Time to drive from Coffs Harbour: 30 minutes

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

Western Boundary Trail in Garby Nature Reserve passes through low lying and then tall vegetation making for a pleasant run.

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

This lovely coastal route is great for beginners. You could extend this run when at Darkum Road by continuing straight along the bike path to connect to Woolgoolga (see Route #15)

#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 beginners. These are generally well signposted.

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