Best American Trails for Hikers

This list is by no means exhaustive, but if you are thinking of going on a real hiking adventure – such as a few months on the trail type of adventure – here are five states with legendary trails that will knock your socks off!

1. Georgia – The Famous Appalachian Trail

The east coast is littered with mountains and hiking trails that date back to before the colonial period in America. The famous Appalachian Trail is one of them. It stretches for 2,200 miles from the northern tip of Georgia all the way up to Maine.

This trail will take an experienced hiker anywhere from 5 to 7 months to traverse. The best time to start out on the AT is early spring. That way you don’t run into the colder months once you hit the northeast, pretty much guaranteeing fair weather all along the path.

Before you leave Georgia, try the 16-mile hike along the Jacks River Trail. There you will find crystal clear watering holes and fantastic wilderness waterfalls. Experts will only need a day or two to clear Jack River Trail.

2: California – Hike over Ancient Volcanoes!

You can’t miss this daring hike along the Lassen Peak Trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA. One of the peaks in this chain is the famous Mt. Rainier. To get to the top of this active and largest volcano in the chain, you have to scale a 2K foot vertical path. It’s only 5 miles altogether but a challenging day-long hike of magnificent proportions.

While in California, visit Yosemite National Park to check out the Upper Yosemite Falls. There are ten total waterfalls along this nearly 1,200-mile hike. You’ll climb over 2,400 feet to the top of the falls to look down at the cascades from a 360° panoramic view.

3. Colorado – Ski in Aspen, Raft down the Gunnison River and Hike the Rocky Mountains

Pick your peak when it comes to hiking in Colorado, but we recommend the North Vista Trail that stretches along the Gunnison River. You can hike along the Black Canyon – the deepest canyon in the world – or try to climb its walls which are the steepest in the world. For skiers, Aspen’s Maroon Lake Scenic Trail lets you go from snowcapped hiking trails that wind through the Rockies to gurgling lakes and streams.

4. North Carolina – Waterfalls, the Atlantic Coastline and the Smoky Mountains

In North Carolina, you can traverse the Roanoke Trail, which stretches along sandy barriers on the coastline. The best part of this hike is the dense forest wildlife. It’s only a mile and a half long but brimming with things to see.

For a longer hike, North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest opens up to several different waterfalls that you can look down on from peaks that reach over 6K feet high. This hike will take you at least two days to reach the peak and spans 30 miles.

For an even bigger hike, check out the “Mountains-to-Sea” Trail that spans over 1,100 miles through the Smokies. This hike will take you up to three months.

5. Let’s Just Say the Northeast (NY, NH and VT) – The Green and White Mountains and the Adirondacks

New York, New Hampshire and Vermont have historic hiking trails. The Long Trail in Vermont is a month-long hike through the Green Mountains which meet up with the Appalachian Trail at its southern tip.

The Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks in Keene, New York is a family-friendly trail with spectacular 360° views. It only takes two hours to complete and spans less than five miles. While in New England, the White Mountains contain several mountain peaks along the Franconia Ridge Trail.

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