Hiking is a great way to spend time with friends or go on a solo adventure. It allows you to appreciate the peacefulness of nature while getting exercise and exploring new areas.
Hiking isn’t just woodland trails. You can hike in desserts, swampland, and even beachy dunes. If you want to get the most out of your hiking experience, try these exciting trails located all over the United States.
Amicalola Falls State Park – Georgia
This stunning state park located in Northern Georgia is home to the very first leg of the famed Appalachian Trail. This trail runs up the entire east coast of the United States, ending in Maine. It starts right here at this beautiful state park and campground.
This area has several trails up on Springer Mountain, as well as gorgeous views of the huge waterfalls cascading down the mountain’s facade. The climate is ideal, being southern enough to avoid freezing temperatures even in winter, but northern enough to enjoy that crisp cool autumn or spring air. For hikes any further north, many hikers need protection from the cold. The right gear can make even the coldest hikes feel warm and cozy.
This hike is popular among nature photographers who want a slightly difficult hike with great views of the falls. Besides the view of the falls, you can also catch views of the beautiful mountain range from several easy peaks on springer mountain, and even visit a reflective pool a few miles into a few of the major trails. There is a ton of biodiversity to experience in this exciting state park.
Blue Ridge Parkway – North Carolina
Thousands of hikers visit this Asheville favorite each year. Even the drive up this winding mountain range feels like a big adventure. Trails have stunning views, massive waterfalls, and well-groomed trails that make for wonderful day-hikes. Local runners love jogging the trails early in the morning and seeing the sunrise.
Famous trials on the Blue Ridge Parkway include the nearly two-mile Craggy Gardens Trail, the longer Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain loop which runs just over five miles, and the Art Loeb Trail which is ideal for more experienced hikers. It runs just shy of ten miles in total.
Hikers of all experience levels enjoy the variety of trails available. There are different lengths, difficulties, views, and climates.
Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado
The Rockies are famous for the beautiful skyline. Hikers love it for the beautiful snowy peaks visible from every vantage point. The national park includes over 300 miles of beautiful trails over the rolling mountaintops and river valleys. Bear Lake, Sky Pond, and Lake Helene are a few favorites among sightseers.
The Mummy Kill hike, on the other hand, is not for the faint of heart. Seasoned hikers can conquer this treacherous trail in a day, but it’ll take every ounce of strength they can muster. The entirety of the hike keeps you in high-elevation areas, traversing six major peaks and sections of Class IV terrain.
For a slightly easier hike, try the .89 mile Bear Lake Loop. It is a relatively flat hike, making it ideal for a quick sightseeing hike. The trail leads hikers around the beautiful lake with views of Glacier Gorge and Longs Peak. It is the perfect easy autumn stroll that provides stunning views without exhausting you for the day.
Canyonlands National Park – Utah
The challenging Chesler Park Loop Trail is a round trip six-hour desert hike for seasoned hikers. You don’t have to get to the mountains or forests to experience a fantastic hike. This day hike has views of Elephant Hill, the Colorado River, and the Needles formations all within a six-hour time frame.
Also available to hikers in this famous national park is the Horseshoe Canyon Trail. This difficult hike is about six and a half miles round trip. It boasts some of the most interesting views though along the way. Hikers love that while they walk, they get to view ancient rock art panels. This gallery is one of the most popular for that reason.
Utah‘s natural landscape is ideal for new and exciting hiking expeditions. The Aztec Butte Trail and Horseshoe Canyon are two other famous hikes in this national park. Visitors love that each trail presents its own unique experience.
The Bottom Line
Each year, new trails are blazed by adventurous hikers. Across the United States, there are different types of terrain, difficulty levels, and environmental surroundings. Hiking can help you learn about the flora and fauna of new areas, get exercise, and spend time in the peaceful embrace of nature. If you really want to challenge yourself with some of the best hikes in the country, try some spots on our list.