There are close to 50 million regular hikers in the United States, according to the latest data provided by Statista. There are many miles that go by every year, not to mention a lot of wear and tear on hiking boots. The forest service reports more than 165 million visitors to national forests, and that more than 40% of visitors walk or walk on forest trails. Of course, not all hiking trails are created equal, perhaps the most famous is the Appalachian Trail. That Appalachian Trail Conservancy describes the Appalachian Trail as the longest hiking trail in the world. More than two million people are said to take a hike on part of the trail at least once a year.
Wildwood Trail, Forest Park, Portland, Oregon
With 70 miles of trails, the aptly named Forest Park is a popular getaway for runners, riders and hikers alike, and twisted dogs are even allowed to enjoy its splendor. Located in the northwest corner of the city, this sanctuary covers 5,156 acres with 62 mammal species and acts as a natural air purifier. The Wildwood Trail is a favorite 30-mile hiking trail that spans the entire Forest Park and connects to some of the city’s major attractions.
The Croton Dam, Westchester County, New York
Situated on Croton Gorge Park’s 97 acre property, the magnificent Croton Dam is the first thing visitors notice as they enter from the main road. Croton Gorge Park is a popular place for fishing, picnicking and hiking with direct access to the New York State Old Croton Aqueduct. The road on top of the dam wall as well as the bridge over the gorge is open to pedestrians and cyclists and offers spectacular views of the Lower Hudson Valley. It remains the third largest hand-carved wall structure in the world behind the pyramids of Giza and the Great Wall of China.
Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale, Arizona
Are you looking for a hike that will test your climbing skills? Just 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix, Camelback Mountain is one of Phoenix’s best hiking and most popular attractions for thousands of visiting hikers each year. Two difficult trails rise 1,420 feet to a summit that resembles a camelback hump and provides 360-degree views of the surrounding city. Both the Cholla Trail (currently closed) and the Echo Canyon Trail are rated as extremely difficult, challenging hikes with exposed rocks, strenuous climbs and sections of hand-over-hand climbing. The Echo Canyon Trail is steep and rocky ascent requires the help of handrails and climbing to reach the top, but the 360-degree view from the summit is worth it.
Greenfield Lake Park, Wilmington, North Carolina
The great outdoors is closer than you think in North Carolina cities. where busy streets meet scenic trails. When planning summer stories and more travelers are looking for outdoor activities. Wilmington: On a 250-acre Greenfield Lake Park, more than four miles of trails encircle the name well amidst centuries-old cypresses and long-leaved pine trees. Hikers will find a sunken garden, fragrant garden and paddle settings, which improves the odds of spotting an alligator. Raleigh: Art gets star billing at the NC Museum of Art’s 164-acre park, where trails lead from a walk-in camera obscura and a wind-driven whirlpool to picnic lawns, gardens and a terraced pond. Charlotte: Freedom Park spans 98 acres between historic neighborhoods and Center City and attracts city walkers to the loop around its seven-acre lake and Discovery Place Nature museum.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco California
Located in the 75,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Cavallo Point offers over 350 acres to explore just steps from the hotel. Chapel Steps to Bay Trail: Simple and Tranquil with Picturesque Views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay (two miles), Battery Spencer Trail: Under the Golden Gate Bridge and up to the former coastal battery (three miles), Coastal Trail to the SCA Trail: Through California Golden Poppies and into the Marin Headlands overlooking the town and Bay (three miles), Kirby Cove Trail: Reveals a pristine beach at the base of the Marin Headlands west of the Golden Gate Bridge, (four and a half miles), Slacker Ridge: Connecting to the top of the Coastal Trail with panoramic views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean (four and a half miles), Rodeo Valley Trail to the Bobcat Trail: Dive into the tranquil valley where runners can find the Red Tail Hawks and Mission Blue Butterlies along with views of the valley, Rodeo Beach and the Pacific Ocean (ten miles).
Dinosaur National Monument, Jensen, Utah
Travel back in time by hiking the Dinosaur National Monument’s stunning geology and rock art with several easy trails for day trips to suit just about anyone. The famous Fossil Discovery Trail is 2 km, leading you through geological formations representing 80 million years. There is also the Sound of Silence Trail with 4 km through several of the monument’s rock layers with good views of Split Mountain. Watchman is a 5.3 mile round trip with moderate drop-off. Exit at the viewpoint of the temples and towers, lower Zion Canyon, Watchman Peak and Springdale. The trailhead is located near the Zion Canyon Visitor Center, across the street from the shuttle stop.