12 of the Best Places to Hike in the USA

12 of the Best Places to Hike in the USA

Studies indicate that hiking offers benefits beyond typical exercise. It can enhance mental clarity, reduce stress, boost creativity, and improve relationships. Additionally, hiking allows for a change of scenery, physical activity, and an opportunity to appreciate nature. If you’re considering a hiking trip, the United States boasts fantastic national parks in every state, showcasing the country’s stunning natural beauty.

The United States is abundant in natural beauty, with stunning landscapes ranging from the red cliffs of the Southwest to the southern Blue Ridge Mountains and iconic New England autumn foliage views. Regardless of your hiking experience level, these 12 magnificent hiking trails across the country will inspire you to put on your hiking boots and venture outdoors.

Thunder Lake Trail, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park’s Lion Lakes are a breathtaking collection of alpine ponds that can only be accessed on foot. You can hike either the 11-mile Wild Basin Trail or the 6-mile Thunder Lake Trail to reach these stunning waters in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Ozark Highland Trail, Arkansas

Discover the beauty of Arkansas’s Ozark National Forest by hiking the Ozark Highlands Trail. This 230-mile trail is a branch of the longer Ozark Trail. To stay refreshed while hiking, choose a segment of the course near one of the numerous swimming holes in the area. It’s worth noting that the Ozark Highlands Trail will soon expand to over 320 miles, covering the entire northern region of Arkansas.

Benton MacKaye Trail, Georgia

Georgia offers the perfect terrain for hiking the Appalachian Trail. The Benton MacKaye Trail covers 300 miles through the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains. Starting at Springer Mountain, where you can see beautiful streams, stunning mountain views, and a suspension bridge that crosses the Toccoa River, the Benton MacKaye Trail is an excellent option for hikers.

Great Island Trail, Massachusetts

As a hiking enthusiast, you cannot miss Cape Cod in Massachusetts! The state boasts some of the finest trails, providing breathtaking views of the Atlantic Coastline. A must-try trail is the Great Island Trail in Wellfleet. This trail will take you through Cape Cod National Seashore and Herring River, leading you to the pitch pine forest and cliffs with a stunning view of Cape Cod Bay.

Long Trail, Vermont

Vermonters and Washingtonians crave adventure; hiking Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak, is the ultimate option. The scenic ridge-top and alpine trails, spanning two miles, offer numerous routes to the summit. There are various paths that hikers can take to reach the peak of Mount Mansfield, but the most preferred is the Long Trail. Though the Long Trail spans 272 miles, hikers only need to hike 2.5 miles to reach the summit of the 4,393-foot Manfield Peak.

Yosemite Falls, California

Yosemite National Park is a popular destination for many people. The path to Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, is open to hikers of all experience levels and is our top recommendation for the most fantastic trail in Yosemite, although Half Dome is more famous.

Black Rock Trail, North Carolina

Located in Linville, North Carolina, Grandfather Mountain is a stunning nature preserve filled with spruce and fir trees. Hikers can take on the challenging Grandfather Trail, but the Black Rock Trail is the ultimate choice, providing breathtaking views of MacRae, Attic Window Peaks, and Grandmother Mountain.

South Kaibab Trail, Arizona

If you’re looking for the best trek in Arizona, the answer is obvious – it’s at the Grand Canyon. The South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park is a moderate climb with stunning views and takes about four to six hours to complete. Hikers can see Cedar Ridge, Skeleton Point, Ooh Aah Point, and the Grand Canyon rim.

Castle Rock, Kansas

Embarking on a journey to Castle Rock in Kansas presents an exciting adventure filled with activities such as scrambling over boulders, dodging arches, and trekking the slopes of Hackberry Creek Valley. The 1.5-mile trek through the massive boulders is relatively easy, and visitors might discover ancient relics like tiny fish fossils.

Bridal Veil Falls, Pennsylvania

The Pocono Mountains’ Bushkill Falls is often referred to as the “Niagara Falls of Pennsylvania.” The area boasts eight waterfalls that can be reached via trails. To begin your Poconos journey, hike to Bridal Veil Falls, where three waterfalls cascade down the mountains from various directions.

Highline Trail, Montana

Montana’s rugged wilderness attracts adventurers from all over the world. However, the crown jewel of Montana’s natural beauty is Glacier National Park, where the Highline Trail, also called the Highline Loop, offers hikers breathtaking views of Mt. Cannon, Mt. Oberlin, and Heavens Peak as they traverse the Garden Wall. This trail spans over 14 miles and concludes at the Granite Park Chalet. So, if you’re planning this hiking trip, consider staying in one of the charming towns neighboring Glacier National Park, such as Essex, West Glacier, Martin City, Columbia Falls, or Whitefish. These towns are excellent bases for any hiking excursion.

Sliding Sands Trail, Hawaii

Visit Haleakalā National Park and take on the 13-mile Sliding Sands Trail starting at the Keonehe’ehe’e Trailhead for a unique experience of Maui. Although it’s a moderately challenging hike with a downhill start, keep in mind the uphill climb on the way back. While the trail lacks shelter, the Mars-like landscape offers stunning views of the volcano.

Discover the Beauty of Nature through These Hiking Trails

Numerous hiking trails in the United States offer breathtaking views of natural environments. These trails vary in difficulty level, from easy to moderate, and showcase diverse landforms, including alpine and volcanic formations. Before choosing a trail, it’s advisable to visit the park’s official website to obtain information on current conditions, permits, and closures.