Hiking in the US has been around for about a century now. The activity has been popular recently, and what once was a task for the strong and fit ones is now a trendy activity for all ages. If you’re planning to go on a long-distance hike in the country, here are some of the best trails you need to consider!
Continental Divide Trail
This trail, also known as the CDT, is probably the most popular long-distance trail in the USA. The route mostly follows the crest of the Rocky Mountains. This challenging trail only has a few resupply points, and not all paths are completed and signposted. Only about two dozens of people a year try to hike the whole trail, and not everyone completes it. On average, the trek takes about six months, with significant risk from deep snow and summer lightning.
The Long Trail
The Long Trail in Vermont is the oldest long-distance trail in the US which was completed in 1930 by the Green Mountain Club. The Long Trail welcomes hikers with different accommodations, usually about a day’s walk from each other. It takes about a month to complete this trek, and the best time to go is during late September or early October.
This surprisingly accessible trail from Georgia to Maine is one of the oldest long-distance trails in the US. thousands of hikers meet at the Springer Mountain in March every year and begin the long slog up to Maine. If they’re lucky, they end the long hike by mid-October. Certain parks along the Appalachian Trail require backcountry permits and fees for overnight visitors. There are thousands of huts, cabins, campsites, and other rustic accommodations along the trail which provide running water, gas, heat, cooking facilities, composting toilets, and real beds.
Pacific Northwest Trail
This 1200-mile trail is considered as one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. It cuts across different landscapes, including the Rocky Mountains, the Pasayten Wilderness, Selkirk Mountains, North Cascades, the Wilderness Coast, and the Olympic Mountains. The trail is new, so some sections are not yet complete. The diversity of landscapes include old forest service roads, paved highways, dense vegetation, cow paths, and rocky ledges without paths!
East Coast Greenway
This 3000-mile trail is not a well-known sight among new hikers, but it is an awesome project also being used as a biking path! It passes through a wide range of amazing diversity, with lots of cultural and natural history along the route. Landscapes like the storied rocky coast in Maine and the beaches in Southern Florida are also connected by the East Coast Greenway. In the Canadian border, you have the choice to take an 85-mile Down East Sunrise Trail, passing through the blueberry barrens, or take an alternate road route!
The Colorado Trail traverses about 500 miles of Rocky Mountain wilderness between Denver and Durango. This trail, with 10,000-feet of elevation, is not for the weak of heart! It has several remote stretches, and going down means you need time to acclimate first. For instance, you need to spend a few days in Denver first then another day at a moderate elevation before going higher. The Colorado Trail offers stunning views, lakes, streams, and beautiful meadows full of flowers. One great thing about this is there are no fees or formal permit requirements for hiking the trail!
Ice Age Trail
This scenic national trail in Wisconsin has a great story to tell. Most of Northern US used to be buried under a sheet of ice thousands of years ago, and the ice melted at the end of the last Ice Age, leaving behind glacial landforms like boulders, potholes, and lakes. The active building of the Ice Age Trail began in the 1960s and continues, enthusiastically, to this day.