A summer’s hike is a fantastic way to get some fresh air, exercise and to not spend a fortune on holiday. You just need somewhere to walk, after all!. In an age of gadgets, technology and machinery, sometimes we just need to appreciate the outdoors more.
And what’s more, a lot of people share that sentiment, with hiking currently being one of the most popular activities in the US. Perhaps it’s the unique mixture of challenge, simplicity and adrenaline that makes it such an appealing hobby.
So for you aspiring hikers and seasoned hikers – where are the best places to go? Whether you’re looking for something new or maybe to conquer an old friend, hopefully something here excites you. Below, you’ll find a mix of both beginner and advanced trails and parks, spread across the US.
The Chihuahuan Desert, located in the scorching heat of Texas, is a wonderful place for a hike. For beginners, the Sam Nail Ranch Trail in the Big Bend National Park is perfect. It should take you around 30 minutes, which really feels like the sweet spot for a warm, summer hiking trip.
If it goes on for too long, you can lose interest, but if it’s too short it doesn’t feel challenging enough. Make sure you pack plenty of water bottles for this one, as the Texan heat can be truly unforgiving.
Maine is home to the Acadia National Park, east of the Mississippi River. Within the park itself is the Precipice Trail, clocking in at approximately 1.5 miles for a round-trip.
This trail is right next to the ocean, making it particularly beautiful in summer when the sun shines off the water. Don’t forget that camera! This hike will take you up quite high, and it’s very steep, so that 1.5 miles can start to feel quite long after a while.
California is home to one of the longest trails in the country – the John Muir trail, at roughly 211 miles. That being said, I obviously wouldn’t recommend you attempt it fully. Rather, I’d suggest you choose an appealing area and go for a short afternoon trip.
You can choose to start at the Devil’s Postpile Monument, Kings Canyon or the Yosemite Valley. There’s also the Sequoia National Parks and the Ansel Adams Wilderness, so you’re spoilt for choice. Again, this is quite a heightened trail, so prepare appropriately.
We all know how stunning and picturesque Hawaii can be, and the Kalalau trail perfectly represents this. Located on the island of Kauai, this ten mile trail is extremely varied – think valleys, forests, beaches and cliffs galore.
If you’re lucky, you can even pick up some tasty tropical fruits, including mango and guava. You can go nuts here, as the fruit is allowed to be picked by anyone.
And have fun!
And that just about does it! As is the case with any hike, be sure to prepare your body, mind and spirit. Some of these trails will be simple, while others will be incredibly tough. I’d recommend starting off small, then working your way up – wet your feet a little first.