Best hikes in America are scattered across the country. There are trails of all different levels of difficulty, so there is something for everyone.
Hiking is not only a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors, but it’s also a great way to see some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
If you’re looking for some great places to go hiking in the United States, you should definitely check out some of the ones on this list.
They include Niagara Falls, Nantucket Island, Everglades, and Yellowstone.
Each of these destinations offers something unique in terms of scenery and trails, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you.
And who knows, you might even spot some wildlife along the way!
Let’s learn more about these.
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Niagara Falls is a natural wonder on the border of the United States and Canada. It is made up of three waterfalls, and this site attracts millions of visitors each year.
For those of you looking for a great place to hike, Niagara Falls State Park is one of the best. This is the oldest state park in the United States and is a great place to hike and enjoy incredible views of Niagara Falls.
The park has many hiking trails, some of which lead to famous vista points. There are also several places to picnic and relax, especially after a long hiking period around this area.
With over 400 acres (or more than 160 hectares), this park will definitely satisfy your needs.
The falls are about a 7-hour drive from New York City, although it’s only 30 minutes from Buffalo. So, you can fly into Buffalo and get a rental car or even jump into a taxi.
Entrance to the park is free, but there are parking fees if you’re driving. It generally costs about $15 per day. During December, the park runs a special called Jingle Falls, giving you access to parking for free.
Nantucket is an island off the coast of Massachusetts. This ancient island is a popular summer destination. It has beautiful beaches, quaint shops, and a relaxed atmosphere.
Meanwhile, this is a hiker’s paradise. From ‘Sconset Bluff Walk to Masquetuck Reservation and from Tupancy Links to Surfside Beach, there’s plenty of space to stretch your muscles.
Nantucket is about an hour ferry ride from the mainland. The best way is from the town of Hyannis, which is on the Cape Cod peninsula.
Hop on a nonstop high-speed ferry from Hyannis Terminal and get off at Straight Wharf in Nantucket.
A one-way ticket will cost around $50, although you will save on a roundtrip, which normally is about $85.
George Washington & Jefferson Forests
George Washington was the first president, and Thomas Jefferson was the visionary behind the Declaration of Independence. The national forest dedicated to them had to be massive.
And it is.
With nearly 2 million acres (or almost 1 million hectares), this green space crosses three state borders. Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky share the forest.
The forest has many roads that don’t allow vehicles, making it safe to hike on any of its hundreds of roads.
A great place to hike in the forest is Dragons Tooth Trail, which is a 2.3-mile (3.7 km) trail that leads up a rock formation.
Prepare to spend days here because this forest is really beautiful!
Entrance and parking to this park are free.
The Everglades National Park is a large area in southern Florida. The park is famous for its wetland and as the home of diverse animal species, including alligators.
Everglades is a popular tourist destination, and people can take boat tours or hikes through the wetlands. With over 99 miles of space, there’s so much to enjoy.
Some of the popular Everglades hiking trails include Flamingo, Pinelands, and Shark Valley. Each of these has its unique thing to offer.
Pinelands Trail is a great tropical space with beautiful pine trees. This is very different from many of the other areas in the park because it’s dry! Although short at just half a mile, you will really enjoy this trail.
To enter this park, you have several options, but I recommend its northwestern entrance at Everglades City. It’s on the Gulf Coast and is a majestic space.
An individual pass allows you to enter the park and is good for 7 days. It costs about $15. If you plan to bring a vehicle or a vessel, it will cost $30 instead.
Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world. The lake is in the center of North America, with the United States and Canada sharing it.
US States of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan share the lake with the Canadian province of Ontario.
The lake has a surface area of 31,700 square miles (or 82,103 square kilometers) and is the deepest of the Great Lakes.
Hikers will love the many trails around the lake, including the famous Oberg Mountain, Beaver Bay, and Superior.
One of my favorites is the Oberg Mountain Loop. This is a 3-mile hike that I would say is moderate. When you’re on the top, you will enjoy incredible views of Lake Superior, as well as Oberg Lake and Moose Mountain.
To get to these trails, you will probably have a 4-hour drive from the Twin Cities area. Otherwise, you could fly into Duluth, which is only a 2-hour drive from the Oberg Mountain trail.
Entrances are free, although parking may cost you, depending on where you go.
For smoother travel, you can purchase an annual interagency pass from Superior National Park, which will give you access to a lot of benefits! It costs $80 per year.
Mark Twain Forest
Mark Twain is a beloved American author whose most famous works include “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Twain was born in Missouri in 1835 and died in 1910.
This national forest celebrates his life and is definitely a must for any hiker interested in American culture.
Set on the southern half of Missouri, Mark Twain National Forest is a massive area that gives you access to a lot of nature.
With 1.5 million acres (603,726 hectares), the forest features rivers, caves, and more.
Berryman Trail is one of the many in the forest, running 24 scenes miles across the Ozark. This rocky loop is a great hike that will leave you satisfied.
Although the forest is free to enter, you will probably pay for parking. You can purchase an annual pass for $20.
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most unique and beautiful places on the planet. This American treasure is home to an abundance of wildlife and incredible landscape.
Wildlife you could encounter include bears, wolves, bison, and elk. The landscape is also incredibly diverse, with everything from hot springs and geysers to canyons and waterfalls.
The park crosses three US states. Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho share it.
Yellowstone hiking is a beautiful experience that you will never forget. There are so many amazing trails, but my favorite is definitely Avalanche Peak.
Avalanche Peak Trail is about 5 miles and is probably the most difficult of the hikes I have described so far.
But trust me, it’s worth the effort!
Yellowstone has five entrances, but the one closest to Avalanche Peak is the west entrance. This is in the town of West Yellowstone in Montana.
The park charges $35 for vehicle entrances, giving you a 7-day pass. If you’re hiking on foot, though, it will only cost $20. The annual pass is $70.
Other Hiking Destinations in the USA
There are many other hiking destinations in the United States. Some of the most popular ones include the Grand Canyon, Big Bend, and Mount Whitney.
The Grand Canyon is an ancient area in today’s US state of Arizona. It’s a national park that features many incredible landscapes.
Big Bend is one of several national parks in Texas. Its Chihuahuan Desert location gives it a unique vibe.
Another such destination is Oahu Island in Hawaii. Oahu is home to many different hiking trails, all of which offer stunning views of the island’s natural beauty.
Finally, who can have a hiking article without mentioning Alaska? Denali National Park will give you a chance to hike on the tallest mountain in the United States!
Best Hikes in America – Final Thoughts
In conclusion, there are many great hiking destinations in the United States. Each area of the country has its own unique scenery and trails to offer hikers.
Of course, the list that’s included in this guide is meant to give you a chance to think outside the box.
Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely walk, there’s sure to be a destination that’s perfect for you.
Consider the dates of your travel and the amount of time you have available, and decide on a hiking destination that best fits your needs.
So get out there and explore all that nature has to offer!
Tom Larson is a traveler who writes about the outdoors.