Photo Credit: Dad and son bonding and having fun with piggyback ride on mountain hiking adventure
50 In 50: Amazing Hiking Trails In Each State
As we navigate a new way of life post-pandemic, many of us have found solace in activities and hobbies that were never of interest to us before. From whipping up new recipes in the kitchen to gardening and hiking, the COVID-19 “new world order” has taught us to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life.
For those of us that specifically picked up the joy of hiking during the pandemic and need some more adventure these days, here are some popular hiking trails within the U.S.
We have since updated this list from the time of this article’s original publication with new trails that we have discovered (they are front and center here before the list state by state begins). Perhaps you have known of them all along, and even more trails. Share with us in the comments and on social. We would love to learn about new paths to go down and new wonders to behold.
Knife Edge Trail – Maine
Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park is the highest mountain in the state of Maine. It is home to Knife Edge Trail, which is known for its breathtaking views of the surrounding land. This challenging hike is for more experienced hikers, but the reward is certainly worth the effort.
Appalachian Trail – Multi-State (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia)
The Appalachian Trail is a famed multi-state and multi-country hike covering what is known as the Appalachian Mountains. This challenging hike can be done in sections or all at once. Along the way, trekkers will find many spots to re-supply and rest.
Walls of Jericho – Alabama
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There are over 21,000 acres of this trail with a six-mile hike that leads to a view of breathtaking waterfalls. The Walls of Jericho in Alabama is a 6-mile round-trip hike that ends with a sight to be seen.
The Narrows – Utah
The Narrows in Zion National Park, Utah, is famous for its tall sweeping rock sides and canyon area. The gorge area is a must-see and a great spot for family photos. However, be aware that the area is known for flash floods, so check weather patterns before taking the excursion.
Angel’s Landing – Utah
Angel’s Landing in Utah is another great experience located in Zion. This hike has some very challenging terrain with an equally stunning view at the end. With an elevation gain of about 1,500 feet, hikers should be ready for some strenuous work as they make way to the top.
Eternal Flame Trail – New York
The Eternal Flame Trail in New York has to be experienced to be enjoyed. Known for its namesake, a perpetually burning flame, the trail is also home to some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. With a round-trip distance of just 1.8 miles and moderate difficulty levels, this trail may be enjoyed by families with children of moderately older age. They will have fun on the way there and probably sleep on the way back. This hike makes for a great experience.
Harding Icefield Trail – Alaska
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This 8.2-mile trail is located in Kenai Fjords National Park and guarantees the most amazing views of Exit Glacier.
Bright Angel Trail – Arizona
Hiking this trail starts at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon right into the canyon. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can hike to the Colorado River, but it will take days to complete.
Yellow Rock Trail – Arkansas
Located inside Devil’s Den State Park is Yellow Rock Trail which will lead you to incredible views of the park. While hiking, be on the lookout for amazing rock formations!
John Muir Trail – California
This trail offers some of the greatest views in the U.S. while climbing 46,000 feet in elevation. If you want to complete this trail from beginning to end, you’ll have to carve out three weeks in your schedule!
The Blue Lakes Trail – Colorado
This 8.5-mile hike will whip you into shape quickly! It’s also a great way to take in the gorgeous views of the Alpine meadows and stunning blue lakes.
Mianus River Park – Connecticut
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This park has over 390 acres of land with a river flowing through it and a chance to view wildlife and birds! The hiking trails are easily accessible and aren’t strenuous.
Ashland Nature Center – Delaware
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Located in northern Delaware, this park has about 4 miles in hiking trails and takes you through 130 acres of meadows and woodlands. You may also spot hummingbirds, butterflies, and other creatures along the way.
Florida National Scenic Trail – Florida
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This trail is about 1,300 miles long and runs through the Northern, Central, Southern, and Panhandle Regions. You can begin your hike at any of the regions and there are hundreds of access points throughout Florida’s major cities.
Anna Ruby Falls Trail – Georgia
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This trail is an incredibly easy location for hiking and perfect for the entire family! After hiking for half a mile, you’ll be lead to Anna Ruby Falls, a double cascading waterfall.
The Kalalau Trail – Hawaii
When in Hawaii, head to Kauai to hike this famous trail. Not only is this trail a great way to take in views of Na Pall Coast, but it is the only way visitors can get access to Kalalau Beach by land.
Canyon Rim Trail At Shoshone Falls – Idaho
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Hiking Canyon Rim Trail is a great way to get incredible views of Snake River Canyon. Although the trail is paved, it does become steep and is about 12 miles long.
Garden Of The Gods – Illinois
When hiking at the Garden of the Gods, you should know that the boulders along your hike are over 300 million years old!
Cowles Bog Trail – Indiana
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Located in Indiana Dunes National Park, this 4.7 mile trail was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1965. While hiking, you’ll get to take in views of beaches, pods, black oaks and Lake Michigan.
Pea’s Creek Canyon (Ledges State Park) – Iowa
Head to Ledges State Park for four miles of hiking and scenic views of Pea’s Creek canyon!
Kings Creek Loop Trail – Kansas
Located at the Konza Prairie Natural Area, this 4.5 mile long trail is filled with bluestem prairie grasses.
Honker Lake Trail – Kentucky
Located in Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, this 4.5 mile trail is a great way to get your daily workout while enjoying views of wildlife and Honker Lake.
Caroline Dormon Trail – Louisiana
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Head to Kisatchie National Forest, the only national forest in Louisiana, to hike this 10.5-mile trail. Since there are small stream crossings along the way, you’ll want to pack waterproof hiking boots!
Acadia National Park Hiking Trails – Maine
This iconic park is often referred to as “The Crown Jewel of the North Atlantic Coast” and offers 158 miles of hiking trails. With so many options, there is a trail to suit every type of hiker at Acadia National Park.
Fort Foote Civil War Ruins Trail – Maryland
Located in Fort Foote Park, this trail is ideal for those who love history! Fort Foote was constructed in 1863 during the Civil war as reinforcement to protect Washington, D.C. Hikers will still be able to view the remains of the fort, bunkers and cannons on this 1.7-mile trail while enjoying views of the Potomac River and National Harbor.
Bash Bish Falls – Massachusetts
Surprisingly, you can access this trail from New York! When starting the trail in Massachusetts, you can find It in the Berkshires. The amazing thing about this trail are the views of 200-foot waterfalls.
North Country National Scenic Trail – Michigan
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This 4,600-mile trail runs through seven states and is the longest trail in the U.S.
Silver Creek Trail – Minnesota
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Located in Jay Cooke State Park, this hiking trail provides wonderful views of the St. Louis River.
Depot Creek Greenway Trail – Mississippi
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The Depot Creek Greenway Trail offers 29 acres of land to hike and explore the wildlife and natural beauty of Mississippi.
Clifty Creek Natural Area Trail – Missouri
This trail offers a natural bridge located about 40 feet above a creek. The trail is 2.5-miles and offers stunning views of foliage and rock formations.
Highline Trail – Montana
Make your way to Glacier National Park for this amazing trail which departs from Logan Pass, the highest point in the park that can be reached by car.
Saddle Rock Trail – Nebraska
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This 1.6-mile trail is an easy hike and gives you a closer look at Scotts Bluff National Monument.
Fire Wave – Nevada
Fire Wave provides views that will take your breath away. Located in the oldest and largest state park in the state, the Valley of Fire, The Fire Wave is a 1.5-mile trail filled with red-rock formations.
Arethusa Falls – New Hampshire
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Head to Crawford Notch State Park for this 3-mile round trip hike, perfect for the entire family! After hiking, head to the swimming hole for a refreshing break.
Stairway To Heaven – New Jersey
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This 7.3-mile long trail takes you from Pochuck Valley to Pinwheel Vista in northern New Jersey’s Wawayanda State Park. Climb about 2.6-miles to get to the top of the Stairway to Heaven!
Puebo Alto Trail – New Mexico
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This trail follows an ancient Chacoan route, overlooking Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl along the way. You’ll also get a chance to learn a bit about Chacoan culture while in Chaco Culture National Historic Park.
Bull Hill – New York
Head to the Hudson Valley for this 5.8 mile hike. After taking in amazing views of the Hudson Valley, head to Hudson Hil’s for a delicious breakfast menu served all day!
Art Loeb Trail – North Carolina
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Located in the Pisgah National Forest, this 32-mile path provides epic view of Tennent Mountain, Pilot Mountain and Balsam Knob.
Little Missouri State Park – North Dakota
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You will have over 25 miles of trails to choose from at Little Missouri State Park. Most trails are only accessible by foot or horseback and you’ll even get a chance to see wildlife!
Buckeye Trail – Ohio
This 1,444-mile hiking trail is separated into 26 sections, each named for a community or feature such as Old Man’s Cave. For a seamless experience, download the Buckeye Trail Guthook App.
Lakeview Lodge Trail – Oklahoma
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This four-mile hiking loop is ideal for any level of hiker. The terrain is mostly flat and has gorgeous views of wildflowers in the spring and summer seasons.
Trail Of Ten Falls – Oregon
You’ll pass 10 waterfalls when embarking on this 7.2-mile trail. The exercise and views of waterfalls is the perfect way to practice self-care.
Schuykill River Trail – Pennsylvania
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Located in Southeastern Pennsylvania, this trail encompasses over 60 miles of land. It’s the perfect way to get out and get moving!
Long Pond Woods Trail – Rhode Island
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This 4.4-mile-long trail is a bit challenging considering the steep stairs and rugged terrain, so be sure to wear proper shoes and attire. The hike is completely worth it as the views are unmatched.
Table Rock – South Carolina
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You’re in for a treat because this hiking trail offers incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Table Rock Reservoir, and Pinnacle and Sassafras mountains!
Cathedral Spires – South Dakota
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This five-mile trail is located in Custer State Park and is perfect for rock climbers and those who love admiring rock formations.
Lookout Mountain Bluff Trail – Tennessee
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Hike three miles on this trail to cross over from Tennessee to Georgia or simply hike the trail to take in all of the natural beauty Tennessee has to offer.
Santa Elena Canyon – Texas
Made up of 1,500-foot canyon walls, Santa Elena Canyon is a necessary experience when in Texas. Once you’re at the canyon, you can take a canoe or raft to fully experience the intense beauty of Santa Elena Canyon.
Golden Cathedral – Utah
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Located in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, this sandstone alcove is a 4.5-mile hike and best for experienced hikers.
Bingham Falls – Vermont
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Bingham Falls is a very easy trail to hike and is conveniently located near Smugglers Notch State Park. You’ll also have access to the crisp water at the bottom of the falls!
Old Rag Mountain – Virginia
Located in Shenandoah National Park, this hiking trail is challenging because there are lots of bare rocks along the way. The trail does, however, offer stunning views of the Shenandoah wilderness which spans 200,000 acres.
The Enchantments Trail – Washington
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Head to Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest for this 18-mile trail which will take days to complete. The views are incomparable and you’ll truly feel the enchantment of the trails.
Endless Wall – West Virginia
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This 2.7-mile trail offers scenic views and overlooks Diamond Point from 1,000 feet above the ground. Best enjoyed by experienced climbers, this trail is a popular destination in West Virginia.
Ice Age Trail – Wisconsin
This 1,200-mile trail has over 500 miles of footpaths for hikers to experience. The trail was constructed to represent the effect that glacial ice had on Wisconsin’s landscape dating back to 12,000 years!
Heart Lake Trail – Wyoming
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While hiking you may spot moose, elk, grizzly bears, and grey wolves who all live in this area. You’ll be exposed to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the perfect opportunity to go fishing.