Go Take a Hike! 50 of the Best U.S. Hiking Trails

Hiking isn’t just a great way to get fit: For many, it’s a way to reconnect with nature, reap the health benefits of the great outdoors and even embark on a spiritual journey. Given the diversity of our country’s terrain--from the highest peaks to the lowest valleys, from dense forests to sunny sand dunes--there’s a trail for every walk of life. Whether you’re still at the beginning of your fitness journey or already in the best shape of your life, you’re sure to find a hike that suits your abilities and interests.
 
Below, we’ve rounded up the best hikes for every state. From easy one-milers to strenuous double-digit distances, from snowy mountaintops to rushing rivers, our wide-ranging list contains some--but not even close to all--of the best U.S. trails. Take a look and let us know which you’ve hiked, which are on your bucket list and which you’d add to the list.
 
ALABAMA
One of four trails in the Little River Canyon Nature Preserve, Lost Falls is a relatively easy trail conducive to a relaxing, leisurely hike. Features include a spectacular waterfall, year-round accessibility and varied scenery ranging from dense woods to rocky terrain. One hiker described his experience on Lost Falls: "The scenery is well worth the hike. The falls are the payoff! The trail is easy and leisurely. The spring day was filled with wonderful scents from all the wildflowers and plants." Located near Fort Payne, Lost Falls is a great choice for beginners and families with kids, and is open year-round.

ALASKA
  • Trail: Lost Lake
  • Distance: 14 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy 
Located near the city of Seward, this leisurely hike starts off in a wooded rainforest setting, then transitions onto a ridge with spectacular scenery. The crowning jewel of the 14-mile trail comes at the midway point, when you'll reach the breathtaking Lost Lake. Nestled among the snow-tipped Kenai Mountains and surrounded by chasms, glaciers and open meadows, the shimmering lake is a great place to stop for lunch and cool off in the water. "Great trail for hiking, biking or running," says one reviewer. "There are spectacular views all along the way. Views of the bay and the mountains were inspiring."

ARIZONA
Delve into what used to be the inside of a volcano, and is now filled with lush green meadows, ponderosa pines and aspens. Starting at scenic Lockett Meadow, the trail weaves through densely forested areas and passes old sheds and pump houses before opening up into a wider road for the last stretch. All the while, you'll be surrounded by the majestic San Francisco Peaks. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including elk, porcupines and black bears. Although Inner Basin is a treat at any season, the explosion of fall foliage makes it especially resplendent in autumn.

ARKANSAS
For hikers seeking a relaxing, yet challenging venture into nature, the Seven Hollows Trail doesn't disappoint. Rounding the Petit Jean Mountain, it offers a breathtaking view of Arkansas wildlife and a dense hardwood forest with a variety of naturally occurring features. Soak in Mother Nature's marvels, such as a natural stone arch, rock shelters, the “Turtle Rocks” and a grotto accented by a small waterfall and collecting pool. Hikers can extend their stay with a rustic cabin or campsite, while enjoying charming restaurants and local attractions like small lake boating. Located near the city of Morrilton, Seven Hollows is open year-round.

CALIFORNIA
Experience the lush landscape that captured the imagination of Steven Spielberg when he chose Fern Canyon as the location for "Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World." Visual delights include a slow-moving stream, lush plant growth and the gold rock face of the California canyon, which is covered in ferns. Wear waterproof boots on this trek, as you’ll likely get up close and personal to many streams and mini waterfalls. The rock face is covered with rich green foliage, offering hikers a striking view of the 50-foot canyon walls along this remarkable trail. Located near Orick, the Fern Canyon trailhead can be reached year-round by an eight-mile drive along a dirt road.


Image via California Through My Lens.



COLORADO
Embark on an adventure your mind's eye won't soon forget with this stunning mountainous hike through the Rocky Mountain National Park. With a variety of terrain ranging from a pleasant stroll through a breathtaking pine forest to a steep, rocky climb through a canyon, this trail will keep you guessing what lies around the next bend, and never disappoints. Popular attractions include Copeland Falls, Ouzel Falls, Ouzel Lake and Calypso Cascades. The falls will roar by during the rainy spring season, while Bluebird Lake offers a remarkable view of Ouzel Peak, Mahana Peak and Mt. Copeland. You can also view the remnants of the devastating Ouzel Fire around the three and a half mile marker. Located near Allenspark, the trail is open from March until November.


Image via Rocky Mountain Hiking Trails.

CONNECTICUT
Experience the wonder of the Connecticut landscape when you explore the Rugged Mountain Preserve Trail. The trail traverses peaceful mixed woods, scenic ridges and a cliff rim that offers extraordinary vistas of the 563-acre preserve. With well-marked trails and year-round access, Ragged Mountain provides abundant hiking opportunities for all seasons. It’s particularly beautiful in fall, with striking views of New England autumn foliage and remarkable wildlife sightings throughout the park. The trail may be moderately difficult with rocky hills and cliff faces, making this five and half-mile trek best suited for adults or families with older children. Located near Berlin, it's accessible year-round.

DELAWARE
Enjoy the best of Delaware farm country with a relaxing hike through the pine, hardwood and holly forests of central Delaware. This diverse trail strikes a balance between upland forests and coastal wetlands, providing hikers with a unique view of a variety of trees and plant life. Soak in many beautiful views of Killens Pond, including a wooden bridge that crosses over the water for a striking photo op. The trails are clear and well-marked, with terrain ranging from rolling meadows to gently sloping hills. Families, bird watchers and hiking enthusiasts won't be disappointed. Located near the city of Frederica, the trail is open year-round.

FLORIDA
Prepare for an exhilarating hike through the lush urban wilderness of the Apoxee Wilderness Trail. Feeding into West Palm Beach, this preserve offers striking water features, including lakes and wet prairies accessible by a wooden boardwalk. Hikers will be amazed by wading birds and other wildlife sightings, tunnels through palm hammocks and remarkable vistas of Florida greenery. From crushed limestone to easy boardwalks to dirt paths, this varied trail is an exciting journey through the state’s unique habitats. Bring waterproof footwear and insect repellent to enjoy everything this unforgettable nature preserve has to offer.

GEORGIA
Once explored by Woodland Native Americans, the Cherokee Trail at Stone Mountain provides hikers with dynamic terrain, awe-inspiring mountain views and a sampling of the state’s storied past. Wind around the mountain through lush oak and pine woods on this multi-terrain trail, while stopping to see the Confederate mural etched into the side of the mountain. You can continue along the Stone Mountain Walk-Up Trail to soak in panoramic views of Georgia, including Stone Mountain Lake and the Atlanta skyline, or stick to less-traveled trails along the base of the peak. Choose from gradual hikes, a steep climb or paved sidewalks to create your ideal hiking experience in any season.



HAWAII
Immerse yourself in the rainforests of Hawaii with a hike along the Kilauea Iki Trail. The lush forest gives way to the solidified lava lake of the Kilauea Iki Crater, offering a striking view of lava formations, steam vents and wide open sky. You’ll descend 400 feet to the surface of the crater and experience the eerie beauty of what remains from the 1959 eruption. While the hike into the crater is shaded and gently sloped, the crater itself offers little shade, so be sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water for this unique trek. Keep your eyes peeled for native bird sightings.

IDAHO
If your idea of an idyllic hike includes a rushing stream, cascading falls, deep forests and mountain wildlife, Palisades Creek won't disappoint. This picturesque trail meanders through a canyon lined with cliffs, crossing six bridges. The terrain is generally easy and trails are well-marked. Enjoy the cool shade provided by the deciduous and conifer trees blanketing the bottom of the canyon. The lower Palisades lake is nestled in trees, while the upper lake section is surrounded by mountain peaks and offers abundant fishing opportunities. Located near the city of Irwin, this trail is available from June until October.

ILLINOIS
Think the Midwest is all flat prairie land? Little Grand Canyon Trail busts that myth quite beautifully. Soak in spectacular views of the Illinois sandstone bluffs, wetlands and Mississippi River Valley while hiking this scenic loop trail, which takes hikers on a rugged journey down into the canyon itself. Available from August until November, this southern Illinois footpath meanders past rushing waterfalls, scenic overlooks and impressive rock formations. The sandstone rocks can be slippery when wet and elevation fluctuates up and down, so come prepared with appropriate shoes. Deer, falcon and even snakes may make an appearance.

INDIANA
Explore some of Indiana's most awe-inspiring wilderness—and uncharacteristic inclines—in this network of short, scenic trails. The forested pathways wind among ridges, ravines, waterfalls and rock formations. Some of the ascents feature wooden climbing ladders and carved sandstone steps. Cross the suspension bridge that spans Sugar Creek, soak in views of the soaring canyons and cool off in any of the creeks along the way. Depending on your time and endurance, you can try as many or as few of the trails as you'd like. Located near Marshall, the trails are accessible year-round.

IOWA
Iowa's very first state park is home to this picturesque loop trail near the city of Dundee. Accessible from April until October, the moderate terrain is ideal for hikers of all levels. Backbone Trail gets its name from the topography of the narrow ridge, which resembles a giant spine. Along the way, you'll experience breathtaking views of Blackbone Lake, limestone cliffs, lush vegetation and the occasional migratory bird. If you're feeling extra adventurous, you can detour down any of the off-trail paths, or stop to partake in some trout fishing or rock climbing.

KANSAS
Kansas isn't all flat, grassy prairies, as evidenced by the undulating Elk River Hiking Trail. Nestled on the northwest side of Elk City Lake, this scenic trail climbs up soaring rock bluffs, traversing ravines and streams. At the top, hikers can take in breathtaking panoramic views. Those who prefer to split up the long hike can set up at one of the many primitive campsites along the well-marked trail. Sightings of native wildlife are common. Since 1995, the Elk River Hiking Trail has been home to the FlatRock 50/25K race held each September. Located near Elk City, it's accessible year-round.



KENTUCKY
Red River Gorge boasts a variety of impressive trails, the most popular of which is the hike to the Natural Bridge and the Battleship Rock Trail. The hike begins with a steep climb through forest and wildflowers, but the trail levels out to a stunning view from the top of the Natural Bridge. This marvel is accessible by chairlift, though the hike through tulip trees, white pines, flowering rhododendron and hemlock groves will be enjoyed every step of the way. Visit from January through November to enjoy all the visual offerings of this magnificent park.

LOUISIANA
Lakeside hikes don't get much better than the Kincaid Lake Trail in Alexandria. Starting at the East Kincaid boat launch, the trail meanders along the hilly lakeshore, meets up with the Wild Azalea Trail and ends at the Lemotte Creek Trail. Although it's a longer hike, the easy terrain provides a relaxing trek for explorers of all ages and fitness levels. Hikers will be treated to stunning lake views, frequent wildlife sightings and wooded stretches of pine, oak, magnolia, birch and cypress trees. The trail is well-maintained and clearly marked.

MAINE
Those seeking a more challenging hike will find it in Caribou Mountain. Nestled in the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness near the city of Bethel, this loop combines two trails, ascending the mountain on Mud Brook Trail and then descending via the Caribou Trail. The rocky terrain calls for some technical skill, adding an element of adventure. A breathtaking cascade awaits at Kees Falls on Morrison Brook. At the summit, hikers are rewarded with stunning views of the Cold River Valley, the White Mountains, Pleasant Mountain and the Mahoosuc Mountains. The trail is accessible year-round.

MARYLAND
Turn your next hike into a geological adventure when you tackle any of the six trails at Calvert Cliffs State Park. Located near the city of Lusby, the park is known for its abundant fossils, many of which date back more than 10 million years. The landscape offers plenty of eye candy, including awe-inspiring views of the Calvert Cliffs and the Chesapeake shoreline. The Red Trail is a four-mile out-and-back distance, which can be combined with any of the shorter interconnected trails. Although hikers are permitted to fossil-hunt on the beach, the park does not allow swimming. The trail is accessible from March until November.

MASSACHUSETTS
You'd be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful way to experience the Berkshires than Race Brook Falls. At the trailhead, you can turn right for a shorter trip to the lower falls, or turn left to make a full day of it and visit all three of the major waterfalls. Race Brook Falls leads to two summits, Mount Race and Mount Everett, the latter of which is the highest in the southern Berkshires. Both summits boast amazing views that are well worth the climb. Overnight backpackers can set up camp at the Race Brook Falls campsite. The trail is open from April until October.

MICHIGAN
There's nothing sleepy about this challenging beach hike. Located near Glen Arbor, the Sleeping Bear Point Trail takes you through nearly three miles of rolling sand dunes, set against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Michigan and South Manitou Island. The soft, warm sand is punctuated with wildflowers and coastal grasses. The latter part of the trail travels through wooded terrain for some welcome shade. Venture another half-mile from the trailhead to get to the beach, where you can have lunch and cool off in the water. Sleeping Bear Point Trail is accessible from March until October.



MINNESOTA
One of the state's most scenic hikes, this trail takes you on a peaceful, picturesque excursion along its namesake North Shore river, which has carved a stunning gorge into the surrounding rock. Highlights of the widely varied landscape include rushing rapids, cascading waterfalls and peaceful forests. You'll also enjoy a spectacular view of Lake Superior from atop a cliff. The trail's rugged terrain offers a robust challenge for seasoned hikers. A visit to the nearby Split Rock Lighthouse adds historical significance to the trip.

MISSISSIPPI
You may be surprised by the unique geology of this highly scenic loop, which is uncharacteristic of the area. Located near Woodville, the Clark Creek Primitive Trail features multiple waterfalls, soaring cliffs and magnificent views. If you're feeling adventurous, slip on some water shoes and hike through the creek bed itself. Those who need assistance with the tougher climbs can take advantage of the built-in stairs. If you're not in a hurry, you can stop to sit on the swings or benches and soak in the scenery. One reviewer recommends the nearby Tunica campground for those who want to make it an overnight trip.


Image via Sunshine Seeker.

MISSOURI
Widely regarded as the most scenic hike in Castlewood State Park, the River Scene Trail climbs to the top of some breathtaking bluffs, where you can take in otherworldly views of the Meramec River below. Next, you'll descend a staircase to a lower river valley, passing over some railroad tracks and through peaceful wooded areas along the way. Located near Ballwin, this trail offers diverse terrain that keeps hikers intrigued and challenged.

MONTANA
The Grinnell Glacier Trail is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. The calm waters of Grinnell Lake, Lake Josephine and Sherburne Lake are studded with floating icebergs, while the surrounding alpine meadows feature wildflowers, bighorn sheep and mountain goats. Along this breathtaking hike through lakefront terrain, stunning sights include the 152-acre glacier, snowy mountain peaks, cascading waterfalls through thick pines and the remarkable wildlife native to Montana. With hiking, camping, fishing and fly fishing available to visitors from July through September, this beautiful nature park provides something special for visitors from around the world.

NEBRASKA
There's arguably no better way to experience Platte River State Park than this scenic trail. As you hike along the rugged bluffs, you'll enjoy an expansive view of the river valley below. Experienced hikers will enjoy the trail's technical challenges, including steep inclines and rocky terrain. The highlight is arguably the small but scenic waterfall on Stone Creek. To fully experience the beauty of the Platte River valley, consider exploring some of the additional, lesser-known trails located east of the ravine area. Located near Louisville, the trail is open from March until October, but is only open to hikers in early morning and later afternoon during summer months.



NEVADA
Seasoned hikers will enjoy the challenging terrain and awe-inspiring beauty of the Goldstrike Canyon Hot Springs Trail. Located in Boulder City, this four-mile hike runs right through its namesake canyon, with constantly changing scenery that includes hot springs, vibrant vegetation and interesting rock formations. After starting out easy, the trail becomes quite challenging, although ropes are available for those needing support. Some hikers recommend bringing gloves and water shoes to protect from sharp rocks, as well as plenty of water, snacks and sunscreen.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The challenging incline of this cliff-side trail comes with a remarkable reward: A breathtaking view of the Arethusa Falls from the top of Frankenstein Cliff. New Hampshire's highest falls rush over Bemis Rock, cascading for more than 200 glorious feet. At the bottom of the falls, you can cool off in any of the small pools, or grab some rest and lunch on the large rocks. On the way to Frankenstein, keep an eye out for a couple of smaller falls. Located near Bartlett, the trail is open from March until October.


Image via Trails Unblazed.

NEW JERSEY
Take your next hike to beautiful new heights when you tackle the steep incline of Mt. Tammany. The rugged climb is well worth the effort: At the top, the Delaware Water Gap awaits with a stunning view of Mt. Minsi, the Delaware River, waterfalls and soaring hawks. During summer, hikers can cool off in the creek and natural pools. Located near Columbia, the trail is well-maintained, well-marked and open year-round.

NEW MEXICO
  • Trail: La Luz Trail
  • Distance: 8.7 miles
  • Difficulty: Difficult
Scale the Sandia Mountains to reach the scenic Sandia Peak via this popular New Mexico trail. With its steep incline, dry air and an elevation gain of almost 4,000 feet, it's best suited to seasoned hikers. As you ascend, you'll notice frequent changes in climate, vegetation and wildlife sightings (many reviewers rave about the uniquely beautiful wildflowers). At the crest, soak in spectacular views of the city and the snow-capped mountains. Located at the edge of Albuquerque, La Luz is open from May until November.

NEW YORK
Located within the vast Bear Mountain State Park, this well-marked and -maintained loop trail winds up the mountain to a stone lookout tower, where hikers are treated to stunning views of the park, the Hudson River and surrounding counties, including the Manhattan skyline. Stop by Bear Mountain Lodge for refreshments before the descent, which is facilitated by a chiseled stone staircase. Located near the city of Bear Mountain, this memorable trail is available from March until November.



NORTH CAROLINA
Featured in the blockbuster movies "The Hunger Games" and "Last of the Mohicans," Bridal Veil Falls offers some of the most awe-inspiring views in America. Accessible year-round, these scenic woods provide a relaxing, easy walk that hikers of all fitness levels can enjoy. The 120-foot falls cascade down an exposed granite rock face, mirroring the delicacy of a bridal veil. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy the view as you eat, or combine your hike with a walk to the nearby Lake Julia or High Falls. The trail to Bridal Veil Falls is nearly two miles each way, allowing you to take your time and enjoy the other waterfalls that North Carolina has to offer.

NORTH DAKOTA
If shimmering lakes and peaceful meadows are your idea of a perfect hike, you need to add the Lostwood Refuge Prairie Trail to your bucket list. The trail is located in the Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), a 28,000-acre mixed-grass prairie that serves as a refuge for rare birds. As you weave along this loop through the Missouri Coteau, you'll be treated to unforgettable views of grasslands, ponds, wetlands and rolling hills that were carved by glaciers more than 10,000 years ago. Made up of gravel and grass, the trail is accessible from early May through September.

OHIO
Discover the rolling forests of Southeast Ohio with a hike down Grandma Gatewood Trail. Traversing the wooded area between Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave, this 10-mile hike poses a welcome challenge to avid hikers. With rich scenery, wildlife sightings and a variety of natural features including caves, bridges, cliffs and waterfalls, this trail deserves a spot on any Ohioan's hiking bucket list. The area features a variety of access points, allowing you to make shorter hikes or enjoy the paved Ash Cave Trail. Leashed dogs are permitted, making this Ohio hiking trail a must-see for families, avid hikers and pet owners alike. Located near Logan, the trail is accessible year-round.

OKLAHOMA
Nestled in the Sans Bois Mountains near the city of Wilburton, Robbers Cave State Park once housed Old West outlaws. Today, the park's 12 miles of trails attract thousands of hiking enthusiasts each year. Other than a challenging incline at the beginning, the Rough Canyon Trail is a relatively moderate sojourn through rocky, rugged terrain, passing by ponds, lakes (including Lost Lake), rock formation and pine trees. Hikers are treated to impressive views of the trail's namesake canyon, as well as Fourche Maline Creek. The trail is open from October until April.
 
OREGON
One of the gems in Crater Lake National Park, the Watchman Peak trail is a favorite among Oregon explorers for its stunning landscapes and botanical beauty. The steep incline is well worth the effort, leading to a historic fire tower where hikers are rewarded with a panoramic view of the sparkling blue lake and Wizard Island. For a starry adventure, ask about the available night hikes. Located near the city of Chiloquin, the trail is accessible from June until October.

PENNSYLVANIA
The River of Rocks Trail is located within a wildlife sanctuary committed to protecting native birds whose populations have dwindled due to poaching. The trail leads to several overlooks, where hikers can soak in beautiful views of lush vegetation and many species of birds (including hundreds of hawks during migration season). You'll also see the trail's namesake "river of rocks," which is an impressive field of boulders—formed during the Ice Age—with water flowing beneath. Admission to the River of Rocks Trail, which is accessible from April until October, benefits the sanctuary's conservation efforts.



RHODE ISLAND
On your next New England getaway, don't miss Rhode Island’s stunning Rodman's Hollow Trail. You can visit this 128-acre wildlife refuge year-round by ferry from Point Judith (about an hour trip). Block Island is about 12 miles from the coast of Rhode Island, making this idyllic locale a favorite among state natives and tourists alike. View the Atlantic Ocean from scenic overlooks, or enjoy the greenery and wildlife of the deep forest along this well-maintained trail system. Rated moderate, Rodman's Hollow Trail provides an exhilarating year-round challenge for hikers of all levels.

SOUTH CAROLINA
If you're up for a challenge, Raven Cliff Falls Trail delivers. Located near the city of Cleveland, it leads to one of South Carolina's most scenic waterfalls. The regular route takes you to an overlook that offers a mile-long vantage point of the falls about a mile away. For a closer look, make a full day of it and take the Gum Gap Trail to the suspension bridge, which crosses over the top of the falls 400 feet in the air. Overall, the year-round trails are well-marked with only moderate inclines, well-suited to even beginner hikers.
 
SOUTH DAKOTA
Don't be fooled by the name—the Devil's Bathtub hike in Spearfish Canyon is a divine sojourn into nature's most beautiful landscapes. You'll come across three cool, refreshing tubs as you meander along the creek, along with the legendary wedding tree. There are points where you may want to cross the creek to hike on the other side, either across makeshift bridges or through the water. Although the Devil's Bathtub hike isn't particularly strenuous, there are some rocky, rooty areas that call for agile footwork. The trail culminates in a spectacular waterfall.

TENNESSEE
Experience the Smoky Mountains in all its glory as you hike the Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte. Enjoy flowering rhododendrons in summer, calming river views, and deep crevasses and caves in the face of the mountain. Along the way, you’ll see famous landmarks like Arch Rock, Inspiration Point and the Eye of the Needle. Once the trail steepens and the thick forest gives way to rocky, mountainous terrain, you’ll soak in panoramic views—one reviewer claims the summit offers some of the best views in the Smokies—and an exhilarating hike to the summit of Mount LeConte. Visitors can also stay in cabins or campsites for a two-day hike along this challenging trail, which is accessible from March until November.

TEXAS
Walk along the gently flowing Rio Grande as you explore the impressive depths of the Santa Elena Canyon. After crossing Terlingua Creek, the trail passes between the narrow canyon walls, surrounding hikers with golden rock, tall bamboo and the calming sound of rushing water. The slice of sky above the trail and the shadows cast by the sun create a humbling beauty for those enjoying the trail, while magnifying the impressive scale of the river and canyon. Accessible from March until October, the trail is 1.7 miles round trip, allowing hikers to enjoy this easy hike in the span of an afternoon.

UTAH
If you think the Delicate Arch looks familiar, you’re right: It’s featured on the Utah license plate and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the state. A view of this striking natural structure is the perfect midpoint to a three-mile hike through the Utah desert, and attracts tourists from around the world to admire the arch. To limit sun exposure on this desert trail, it's best hiked during spring or fall, or when the sun is rising or setting. No matter the time of year, the sand will glow a reddish gold and provide hikers with a boundless view of the Utah landscape. Located near the city of Moab, the trail is available year-round.



VERMONT
Bring your stamina and your appetite for beautiful scenery when you climb the long ascent of Sunset Ridge Trail up Mansfield Mountain. Although not one of the state's higher mountains, the Mansfield summit is lofty enough to provide striking views of the entirety of Vermont, including the White Mountains and Lake Champlain. Those who can't make it all the way to the top will still have access to plenty of scenic overlooks. If fog delays your view, the wait is worth it. Located near the city of Underhill, Sunset Ridge is open from May until October.

VIRGINIA
Virginia is home to a number of beautiful waterfalls, but one of the most striking is Cascade Falls in Jefferson National Forest. Before hikers reach the falls, they have the opportunity to enjoy paved paths, well-built bridges, scenic streams and smaller waterfalls along this flat, easy hike through this thick forest. After two miles, hikers will reach the Cascade Falls, a 69-foot waterfall that fans out over the rocky cliff face for a truly impressive display. The trails to the falls are manmade, making this an ideal excursion for families with small children or seniors. Located near Pembroke, this hiking area is accessible year-round.
 

Image via Virgina Trail Guide

WASHINGTON
Soak in views of the famous Mt. Rainier along this amazing hike to Comet Falls. The trail begins with an uphill hike to the base of Comet Falls, then transitions to a gentle stroll through meadows near the trail’s end. On the open slopes of this mountainous region, hikers will have the opportunity to view wildlife native to Washington, including marmots, pikas and goats. Named for their unique comet-like shape, the falls cascade a total of 320 feet down the cliff face, establishing them among the highest in the park. Located near the city of Paradise Inn, the trail is open from July until October.

WEST VIRGINIA
The Dobbin Grade Trail is anything but ordinary. Around each bend are diverse terrain, scenic vistas and plenty of wildlife. Traverse meadows, forests, tundra-like outcrops and the legendary bog. Other highlights include creek crossings, natural water features and the gentle fog of these wetland trails. Wear waterproof shoes and bring plenty of insect repellent to enjoy this humid and muddy adventure through the vibrant West Virginia landscape. While the inclines aren’t steep, you do need to navigate constantly changing terrain, so this trail is rated moderate for a challenging but not overwhelming hike. Located near the city of Cabins, it's accessible year-round.

WISCONSIN
Take a tour of the Wisconsin lakes along the Hidden Lakes Trail in the peaceful Nicolet Forest near Eagle River. With gorgeous hemlock groves and tall pines, this heavily wooded area is remote but well-maintained, offering easily accessible trailside campsites for overnight backpacking trips. Hikers will pass 10 scenic lakes along this trail, providing striking views of bold greenery and native wildlife. Be sure to pack insect repellent, and consider spreading your trip over two days to fully experience the coniferous forests of Northern Wisconsin. Near the city of Three Lakes, the trail is accessible from April until October.

WYOMING
The Jenny Loop Trail is a must-hike for enthusiasts and amateurs alike. Trailing the edge of Jenny Lake near the foot of the Grand Tetons, it treats hikers to striking mountain views, stretches of dense forest, peaceful ponds and sightings of moose and other wildlife. The trail is mostly flat, but a few small hills earn it a moderate rating. Midday is busiest, so those seeking a quieter hike will prefer morning or late afternoon visits. For beautiful lakeshore views of mountains and canyons, look no further than this amazing Western Wyoming trail.

Have you hiked in any of these areas? What's your favorite hike in your state?
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Member Comments

thanks Report
So many beautiful hiking trails thank you for sharing. Report
Thank you for a comprehensive list of hiking trails. Report
Great idea for an article. Report

...many beautiful trails...i do not hike; will not hike--ever!...lol
...
06/25/18 Report
Thanks for sharing. Report
thanks Report
So many beautiful trails in Washington State. I've already hit many of them and have many more to go. Report
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. - Confucius ~ 2/22/18 Report
Great information..than
ks for passing it on Report
I didn’t know all of this! Thanks!! Report
I have done two (Iowa and Virginia) out of 50. Need to get moving! Report
Great hiking ideas. Report
Great Information......
............T
hank You. Report


 

About The Author

Melissa Rudy
Melissa Rudy
A lifelong Cincinnatian, Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from University of Cincinnati before breaking into online writing in 2000. As a Digital Journalist for SparkPeople, she enjoys helping others meet their wellness goals by writing about all aspects of healthy living. An avid runner and group fitness addict, Melissa lives in Loveland with her guitarist husband and three feisty daughters.