Hiking Trails

Your Guide to The Best Hiking Trails

Whether you’re an avid hiker or just a beginner, half of the fun of this favorite pastime is choosing which trail to take. Hiking trails are as varied and unique as the hikers which travel them, and with so many amazing trails available in our own backyard we truly are spoilt for choice.

Choosing the right hiking trail for you will depend on a few factors. Are you just starting out and want to take it easy? Are you ready for your next challenge? Have you seen all of the trails that America has to offer and want to try something foreign and exciting? No matter your preference, there’s a perfect hiking trail out there just waiting to be explored.

Finding hiking trails these days has never been easier, thanks to the wonder of technology and social media. Avid hikers nowadays can share their favorite paths with others, and there’s a myriad of websites and apps designed to keep the hiker happy, all you have to do is know where to look.

Explore Hiking Apps

Whether you’re after nearby hiking trails or want to explore other regions’ hiking trail maps for inspiration, we are truly spoiled for choice in this country. There are trails to suit dogs, children, solo hikers, or group tours, so you really can mix it up every time you’re ready for a new adventure.

The Different Types of Hiking Trails

Within the world of hiking trails, there are tons of categories to explore. Hiking traditionally means a long and vigorous walk along a trail, usually in the wilderness, but within that broad spectrum are quite a few variations.

  • Day hiking: The most popular form of hiking, and an ideal place for beginners to start, day hiking is that which can be done in a single day. There are many hiking trails across the country that cater to this style of adventure, and even some of the longer trails have sections which can be achieved in just a day.
  • Overnight hiking: When you’re planning on traveling a little further than you can get in a day, overnight hiking is the next choice. Although it requires a little more planning to execute, there’s something truly amazing about spending a night under the stars after a long day of hiking the area.

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  • Backpacking: In the world of hiking, backpacking generally refers to an extended trip in the outdoors. This is a blend of both camping and hiking, allowing you to explore larger areas and with more time available than a standard hike.
  • Wilderness trail: Following a wilderness trail on your hike lets you discover and uncover plant and animal life in the area, with a specific focus on nature. With iconic landmarks scattered along the way, these are ideal for those looking to learn more about their environment while coupled with a vigorous hike.
  • Winter hiking: Commonly referred to as snow trekking, winter hiking takes place in the colder season and allows hikers to witness their surroundings covered in snow, ice, and glaciers. Extra precaution needs to be taken with winter hiking due to the dangerously low temperatures and slippery conditions, but it’s a challenge worth accepting for the skilled hiker.
Hiking in the Snow with Teton Sports Backpack

Dog Friendly Hiking Trails

Taking your pooch along on the hiking trail may not be for everyone, but there are many avid hikers who refuse to do it any other way. While it can be great to have constant companionship from your dog as you hike, you’ll need to ensure you’ve chosen a dog friendly hiking trail for your adventure.

Websites such as Bring Fido specialize in this type of trail specifically, so you’re able to enter your current location to find a range of walking trails that suit our four legged friends. Bring Fido even caters to worldwide hiking trails, so you can plan an overseas trip with your dog if you’ve seen everything this country has to offer.

Dog And His Owner Enjoying in Hammock

Extra caution needs to be taken when hiking with a dog, as they have their own requirements for equipment, first aid supplies, food, and hydration. It’s essential for the hiker to respect others on the trail and the environment when bringing their dog along, so you must keep them on a lead at all times.

Kid Friendly Hiking Trails

For many families, hiking is one of their most loved activities to do as a group. Hiking is not only beneficial for adults, but it can teach our children the importance of nature conservation and promote regular exercise as a fun activity.

However, not every trail is going to be suitable for kids and so you must ensure you’re following a kid friendly hike when planning an adventure. Children are not only weaker than adults, but they have a shorter attention span and may become bored when attempting longer trails.

Kids Learning In Woods

You can keep your kids entertained on the trail with some fun and educational games, as well as regular energy breaks for food and drinks. As they grow older, they’ll be able to tackle more challenging trails so that one day you can all enjoy the tougher hikes together.

The Best Hiking Trails App

Considering there’s an app for everything these days, it comes as no surprise that the world of hiking has some amazing apps on offer for your smartphone or mobile device. Hiking trail apps now cover everything from nearby tracks to nature scavenger hunts, adding, even more, excitement to the traditional hike.

Hiking Apps

All Trails: This app version of the popular website allows you to input your location so you can be shown the nearby hiking trails that might suit you.

Map My Hike​: With the Map My Hike app, you’re able to log your recent activity and share it with others, as well as competing in a range of challenges with other hikers for speed and distance.

Mobile App

Yonder: This popular app lets you upload photos and information about your hikes so you can share it on social media, as well as log a range of achievements in regards to your hiking adventures.

Geocaching​: This virtual treasure hunt is used around the globe and enjoyed by thousands. Other participants leave behind treasures for you to find which you do so by exploring the Geocaching maps.

How to Find Local Hiking Trails

If you don’t want to venture too far and are looking for nearby hiking trails, most towns have at least one worthwhile track nearby. The quickest way to find local hiking trails near you is to utilize the help of the World Wide Web, specifically with websites such as All Trails.

Finding the ideal trail has never been easier, as you simply put in the name of your local city or park, or the exact trail name if you know it, and these websites will show you all of the relevant information for great locations near you.

Hiking App By Alltrails.com

Most experienced hikers started out in their own hometown exploring the region and depending on where you live there is bound to be some amazing trails available. Once you’ve explored all you can in your own backyard, you might be looking to travel further and try one of the great American hiking trails our country has to offer.

Popular Hiking Trails in The US

As a country who collectively enjoys a good hike, there’s no shortage of trails available in America for hikers of all skill levels. Our amazing landscapes are so varied and diverse that each trail can offer something completely unique to the last.

Whether you live close by to one of these amazing trails or want to make the trip just to do some exploring, you’ll never be bored with the extensive range of hiking adventures available at your doorstep. All you need to do is find one that suits you, and make the plan to appreciate our very own local hiking trails.

Washington Trails

As one of the most popular states for trail hiking, Washington has no shortage of amazing trails on offer. Their best trails can be achieved in a day, with the very special option of extending your stay and exploring the area further if you wish.

The Washington Trails Association has their very own website with an extensive list of available hikes available, with some popular choices including:

  • Salmo-Priest Loop (19 miles): This high country loop will take around 2-3 days to complete so it’s ideal for those who prefer backpacking. With stunning views and an array of wildlife on offer, it’s great for hikers who want something a little quieter.
19 Miles Hike
  • Horseshoe Basin (12 miles): With the option to spend a day or a week, this area offers the very best that Washington has. At night, you can hear the coyotes and watch the stars, and during the day climb the local peaks.
  • Larch Lake (12 miles): To mix things up a little and spend some time exploring the lakes, this hike is the ideal choice. This hike is for more experienced travelers, but the views of surrounding lakes and alpine mountains make it all worthwhile.
  • Catskills hiking: Situated in New York, Catskill is one of the most popular areas for hiking in this country. This southeastern area is home to the Catskill Forest Preserve which shows some of the best wildlife and scenery the world has to offer.
Hiking Trail in New York
  • Kaaterskill Falls (1 mile): This is the ideal hike for beginners and pros, with the main point of attraction being the wonderful waterfalls. For the best weather to see the falls, you should hike after a rain storm to witness it at its most powerful.
  • Eastern Escarpment (33 miles): This hike will take at least a few days, beginning at Devil’s Kitchen. With a range of historic landscapes, rocks, caves, and amazing waterfalls, it has an extensive list of sights to be seen.
  • Twin Mountain (6 miles): This one is not for the faint-hearted, with a steep incline and high vertical climb it should take the professional hiker around five hours to complete. However, the views at the top are considered the very best of the Catskill region.
Catskills Twin Mountain

Boulder Hiking Trails (Colorado)

Renowned for its famous mountains, Colorado is home to the Boulder region which features some of the very best hiking trails in America. With a variety of landscapes available, Boulder is best known for its stretching meadows and beautiful mountainside.

Colorado Trails

  • Royal Arch (3.5 miles): One of the most populated hikes in the region, and with good reason, the Royal Arch is a serious workout. To witness the glorious pines and meadows of this area, this superior hiking trail is the best way to do it.
  • Mount Sanitas: With three different options including a relaxing day hike or a trek up the mountainside, this place has something for everyone. With amazing views of Boulder and beyond, it’s truly spectacular and worth the hard work.
Trail Trip on Mount Sanitas
  • Full Mesa Trail (7 miles): If you’re short on time and can only fit in a single hike, this is the one for you. The rock formations, arid desert, and old-growth forest make some of the most unique landscapes on offer by a single trail.

Arizona Hiking Trails

The trails in Arizona are extremely diverse, with everything from desert and mountain hiking to cool mountain ranges. Home to the world famous Grand Canyon, there’s much more to this unique state than just its most popular icon, and it’s a popular choice for hikers of all skill levels.

Grand Canyon

With so many to choose from, it’s hard to pinpoint the best hikes available at this national landmark. The Bright Angel Trail is just over 9 miles and one of the most popular ways to see the Canyon, this trail is also considered one of the safest thanks to rest stops and water supplies along the way.

Browns Peak (4.9 miles)

This moderately trafficked hike is the best way to see Arizona in all its glory. With a range of wildlife including mountain lions, deer, skunks, and coyotes, it’s a great way to witness the American landscape. At the top, you can see about a quarter of the entire state of Arizona and there is even the possibility to do a snow climb in the right weather.

Echo Canyon (2.5 miles)

Located on Camelback Mountain, the Echo Canyon trail is an extremely popular path to take. Taking you to the summit, this trail should only be attempted by experienced hikers due to its heat and incline. The animal life is truly amazing here, with everything from rattlesnakes to rabbits on display.

Pennsylvania Hiking Trails

Hiking trails in PA really do have it all, from spectacular wetlands to old forests, and even vistas and waterfalls. Although the Appalachian trail passes through Pennsylvania there are plenty of other amazing hikes available for beginners through to experts.

  • Susquehannock Trail System (85 mile loop): Located in one of the oldest forests in the state, the Susquehannock Trail System has some amazing hikes available within. With a fire tower and vistas as just some of the sights to see, it’s the largest area in the state without a road.
Trail System
  • Golden Eagle Hike (9 miles): Often referred to as the best day hike in Pennsylvania, this trail has it all. With mountain streams to explore and two breathtaking vistas, it’s not for the faint hearted. Best suited to moderate level hikers, this hike can be quite strenuous to complete.

California Hiking Trails

With everything from pristine beaches to spectacular mountains and even desert landscape, California hiking trails show a unique region with so much to offer. Some of the country’s most famous landmarks are found here and provide a great base for exploring.

  • Yosemite National Park: The Yosemite hiking trails are varied to suit a range of hikers, with one of the most popular being the Half Dome via the Mist Trail. This 14 mile hike can be difficult to achieve, but the views of waterfalls and stretching ravines make it worthwhile.
Hiking In Famous Yosemite National Park
  • Barker Dam Nature Trail (1.3 miles): Situated in Joshua Tree National Park, this trail is ideal for those hiking with children. The trail is flat and easy to walk and has amazing views of the boulder formations in the surrounding area.
  • Razor Point (1.3 miles): One of the best San Diego hiking trails if you want to see the beachside, Razor Point is great for beginners and professionals. When you travel in the right season, there’s even a chance to spot whales and dolphins along this hike, something not possible with most around the country.

Appalachian Mountains

A superior hiking trail in its own right, the Appalachian Mountains are one of the most popular routes for hikers in the world. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is the best way to see this area, with over 2,180 miles of glory to be explored and stunning flora and fauna along the way.

Appalachian Trail hiking can be done on a single day trip or something more extensive. Seasoned hikers have even completed the entire trail over a longer period to explore everything the region has to offer.

Famous Hiking Trails Overseas

When you’re looking for a change of pace and have witnessed everything America has to offer, there are some globally famous hiking trails that just have to be experienced at least once in your lifetime. Check out these beloved hiking trails for some inspiration on your next adventure.

Banff

Located in Canada, the Banff hiking trails are separated into day hikes with varying degrees of difficulty. They cover a range of landscapes that epitomize the beauty of Canada, including lakes, mountains, alpine ranges, and more.

Inca Trail

The world famous Inca Trail in Peru is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the world. With 26 miles of trail, it takes around four days to complete and ends with the spectacular Machu Picchu. It can get a little crowded, though, but there are some great hidden alternatives for a quieter route.

Peru Trail

Kilimanjaro

Africa’s highest peak comes in at a staggering 19,340 feet and the trail is roughly 35 miles. With just over a week to complete, this widely popular trail features Africa’s best sights and sounds with amazing views above the clouds.

Everest

Follow the Everest Base Camp trail for 70 miles in Nepal for a more thorough hike that should take just over two weeks to complete. The finale where you’re able to witness the highest point on earth is often regarded as many people’s best life experience.

Kungsleden

The entire Kungsleden Trail in Sweden expands for 275 miles, but there are shorter and more popular routes available too. Witness the amazing Arctic landscape here for a winter hike and see glaciers and open tundra in the highest peak of Sweden.

Sweden Trails

Finding The Best Hiking Trail to Match The Hiker

With literally thousands of trail hiking options across the globe, the hiker is really spoiled for choice when finding their next adventure. Finding the best hiking trail for you is a matter of considering your own skill level, how much time you have to commit, and what type of hiking you’re most interested in.

For the amateur hiker, it’s best to start small and find something in your local area to see if you truly enjoy the hiking experience. For most, the thrill of a vigorous hike is enough to leave them wanting more and as you build up your skill level you’ll be able to tackle even more challenging trails than before.

Professional hikers who enjoy a challenge will enjoy the opportunity to explore the rest of the country, and possibly even the world, with each hiking trail being as unique as the next. Finding the right hiking trail for you is half the fun of this activity, so get started today on mapping out your next adventure.

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