Some people say that trail running is more difficult, especially for novice runners, but this is not true. Trail running just presents a different set of challenges or things to watch out for than running on a track or street. Many places, like parks, offer very nice and well-kept trails for walking and running, which eliminates some of the issues that you may have on a lesser-maintained trail. Instead of watching for uneven concrete, pot holes or things that could be left on the sidewalk or street, novices need to watch out for things like roots, fallen branches or shrubs that may stick out a bit further on the trail.
Benefits of Trail Running
One of the main differences is that the scenery will be very different, particularly as you run through areas with more shade. Running in the winter will obviously have more light because the foliage will be considerably thinned. It will also be easier to see any ice on the trail than it would be to see black ice on concrete. During the spring and summer, the shade of a trail is one of the primary advantages to staying cooler when running. Jogging on a trail is also much easier on your joints, particularly your knees, than concrete and asphalt.
In the end, it is really more about preference than difficulty. Trails tend to be less crowded, more shaded and better for the joints. The best way to see if trail running is for you is to go out to a trail that is well maintained and compare it to jogging on concrete. Sometimes there are both trails and sidewalks available, to give you a better way of getting an accurate comparison.