The continent of America is by far one of the most beautiful on the face of the planet. Whether it’s the wildlife or the unparalleled natural sights, it’s easy to agree that it is truly a pristine paradise – and if you’re serious about hiking, there are certainly some trails that you have to check out. And the best part is, they’re located right here in the States, so you don’t have to venture far from home to experience the adventure of your lifetime. In this article, I’ll be talking about the top seven locations (in my personal opinion) that you should definitely visit during your lifetime, so without further ado, here they are.
1. Backbone, Santa Monica
The backbone is probably one of the oldest and most popular trails in California, and with good reasons. Dating back to the 1970’s, this trail goes on for more than sixty miles, and though it’s in the middle of an urban area, it’s still considered to be a wilderness zone – and it looks exactly like one. The trail will definitely take you a few days, so make sure that you are prepared well and are dressed for the weather. Mountain biking is permitted, albeit only in certain areas, so if you plan on treading the path by bike, just be aware of the fact that you’re going to be pushing your ride for quite a bit. Perhaps the most breathtaking thing about this trail is the amazing view of the Pacific Ocean – trust me, it’s a view you won’t be able to catch anywhere else.
2. The Violet Crown in Texas This trail is actually planned to be completed in 2018, and when that time comes it will hold the title of the longest trail in the state of Texas. It is currently no more than a stretch six miles long, but when it’s finally completed it’ll hopefully be five times as long. Construction of this trail began a couple of years ago, but it has been planned since way back in the nineties. So, if by any chance you happen to be passing through Texas sometime next year, I highly recommend that you check out this trail, as I bet that it is going to be every bit as awesome as it is promised. Texas has some amazing landscapes, especially in the area where this particular trail is located, so it’s definitely something that should be on your hiking list.
3. Washington’s Predator Trail This one is perfect for mountain bikers of all ages, as the Predator trail is basically purpose-built for sliding downhill on your favorite mountain bike. The road was basically dreamt up as a collab between Washington’s Department of Natural Resources and the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. With a length of just under two miles it’s definitely not the longest trail out there, but it’s perfect if you haven’t been biking for a while and just want to get it out of your system in one swift ride. The situation here is exactly the opposite of the Violet Crown one, as on-foot hikers are the ones that are not allowed on the trail – for their own safety if nothing else.
4. Wild Rogue Loop in Oregon This road was long off-limits due to the natural erosion and wildfire disasters basically making it impassable, but fortunately a restoration effort in 2015 succeeded in re-opening a segment of the road about eight miles long. The trail spans through a stretch of old-growth forest and even takes you through some pretty breathtaking canyon scenery, and designated parts of the road can be trodden in a mere day. Perfect for the newbie hiker that is interested in seeing some amazing sights without completely exhausting themselves.
5. Mount of the Holy Cross, Colorado If you’re serious about your mountain climbing efforts, the Holy Cross in Colorado is definitely something you want to check out. Akin to Wild Rogue, before this path was restored several years ago it was significantly more complicated and difficult to pass, which often resulted in less competent hikers getting stuck or lost and requiring rescue. Since the restoration, however, the situation was greatly improved (thanks to the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative), and now it is possible to (relatively) easily reach its 14,000 feet high peak – an achievement worthy of any hiker’s personal record book. That being said, be sure to prepare yourself adequately for this kind of trail, bring plenty of food, water and anything else you might need, as it is not a path that you should allow yourself to underestimate.
6. New York’s Empire State Trail Unfortunately, this is a trail that won’t be accessible to the general public for a few additional years, but from what we’ve seen so far it definitely looks promising. By far the longest trail on this list, the Empire State is predicted to be a whopping 750 miles long, and it is planned to traverse all the way up to the Canadian border. Whether you’re a hiker, a runner, biker, or cross-country skier, this trail will be open to all.
7. Captain Ahab in Utah This is a relatively new trail that’s been open since 2013, and today it is considered to be one of the most popular downhill trails in Utah. It’s only about three or four miles in length, but the elevation changes drastically as you continue down the path, and at the end of the path your total altitude drops by around 1,000 feet. It’s important to note that this is a trail for experienced hikers only, as the steepness can definitely prove to be too challenging for a newbie, so that’s something that you should keep in mind if you are new to hiking.
Conclusion There are many more awesome hiking paths that you should check out in the States, but I believe that this list will keep you occupied for quite a bit. Hiking is an amazing experience in and of itself, but often it is that much better if you’re on a good path. So pick your battles carefully, and remember to have fun!
About the Author: Tayler Michaelson is a 32-year-old adventurer and writer. His main hobbies include time outside, writing, calisthenics and TV shows. He is also a part-time blogger at Prosurvivalist.com