Top 10 Places in the U.S. to Hike

After being mandated to stay mostly indoors for the past few months due to quarantine, many of us are itching to be outside as much as possible.

Below are some of the best places nationwide to hike at. No matter where you live, you’ll want to keep these in mind when planning your next outdoor adventure.

1. Great Falls Park

Great Falls Park is located at McLean, Virginia and sits on 800 acres with 10 trails that make up it’s 15 miles. But the park has much more to offer than just hiking trails.

At Great Falls, visitors can participate in kayaking, horseback riding, or biking. One of the most appealing parts of this park is that it rests alongside the Potomac River and visitors can see the state of Maryland across the river.

2. Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park is located at Watkins Glen in upstate New York, and it features 19 waterfalls.  This park placed third in USA TODAY’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Poll for Best State Park in the United States. The gorge path allows guests to walk over and under running waterfalls that leaves them feeling “spellbound”. Watkins Glen provides a long list of amenities including camping, fishing, and hunting among many others.

3. Grandfather Mountain

Grandfather Mountain is located at the Blue Ridge Mountains in Linville, North Carolina. The mountain offers trails for beginners as well as for more skilled hikers. If you’re an experienced hiker, Grandfather Trail is the place for you. The two-mile trail requires visitors to travel through patches of dense trees and bedrock, making it a spectacular challenge.

4. Zion National Park

Likely one of the most well-known parks in the country, Zion National Park is world-renowned and for good reason. With plunging chasms and vibrant sandstone cliffs, this park is sure to leave you astounded.

Located in southwest Utah, it provides something for everyone. From museum exhibits and archaeological sites, to simple drives along the canyons, all guests are sure to find something to enjoy.

5. Mount Shasta

When you think of California you probably think of sunny, warm weather rather than snow-capped mountains. But that is precisely what Mount Shasta has to offer.

Many experienced hikers travel to Mount Shasta to take on the challenge of reaching the mountain’s summit of over 14,000 feet. Located in Siskiyou County, California, the mountain is intriguing to many as it is a potentially active volcano.

6. Mount Rainier

Also known as Tahoma or Tacoma, Mount Rainier is located just under 60 miles from Seattle. Visitors can explore the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S. along with vast wildflower meadows. This park offers camping, rock climbing, and inns for your next winter vacation.

7. Mount Bierstadt

Colorado has been nicknamed “Colorful Colorado” for its breathtaking scenery of mountains, plains, and rivers. While there are many mountains to hike in Colorado, Mount Bierstadt is a great choice for guests looking for a hike of moderate difficulty. Ascending over 14,000 feet, Mount Bierstadt offers a well maintained trail for hikers looking for a subtle challenge.

8. Big Bend National Park

While other hiking trails may have lush green pastures, the dry canyons of Big Bend have just as much to offer. Big Bend National Park is located at southwest Texas and is home to hundreds of bird species. The park offers scenic drives and wildlife viewing for day trips and three main campgrounds for extended visits.

9. Mount Hood

Located just 20 miles east of Portland, Oregon, Mount Hood is a potentially active stratovolcano with its last eruption taking place in 1907. It offers an activity unlike any other: mushroom harvesting. You’ll just need to keep in mind that such an activity requires a permit with limitations.

10. Baxter State Park

Baxter State Park is located at north central Maine with over 200,000 acres of wilderness. Named after Percival P. Baxter, the park was created to be a wilderness haven to the people of Maine. While there are many recreational activities including camping and hiking, the park’s number one priority is preservation.

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You don’t have to go to a resort or beach to experience a memorable vacation, because the U.S. has hundreds of parks and recreation to offer. From wildlife viewing, camping, and even mushroom harvesting, there is something for everyone when looking for a park to enjoy.

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