Read these 11 Top National Hikes Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Hiking tips and hundreds of other topics.
The West Coast Trail is a challenging 47-mile hike delight between Port Renfrew and Bamfield on Vancouver Island. A hike of the entire trail takes 6 to 10 days so prepare to camp out in weather that varies (there is rain, but more sun in summer months). Keep your provisions spoil-proof, as you will be on your own for food and water. Good preparation, including spare pants, hiking shoes and hiking socks, will ensure that your West Coast hike will be one of the best you've ever experienced!
There are several wonderful hiking trails in Yosemite National Park. Two easy trails can be found in the Mirror Lake/Meadow area. One is one hour (two miles) long, and the other is two hours (five miles) long. You can take a leisurely walk either along an old, paved road or along a slightly longer dirt trail to this area. Mirror Lake is actually a large pond in spring and a meadow the rest of the year. Despite this, you're still right at the bottom of Half Dome, and you'll find a beautiful view of it from Mirror Lake/Meadow.
The North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon are about 25 miles apart as gauged by a hiker's hike. Traveling by road, it is a 220 mile, 5 and a half hour drive, from one rim to the other. If you choose to do a rim to rim to rim hike, swap car keys with a group hiking in the opposite direction, at about the same time as your hike. Make arrangements where to meet after completing your hikes. Make sure each group gets its own permit.
With so many beautiful places in the country, it's hard to decide where to set out on your hike. Why not try one of the many southern states hike excursions available? Nearly every state in the southeast and southwest has incredible hiking trails in their state parks. From Mississippi's Black Creek Valley to hiking the snow-tipped mountains of Taos, New Mexico, there is something to tickle every hiking fancy. Besides, it's a great way to get up close and personal with the country!
Washington's Olypic Coastal Strip has been voted one of America's most satisfying beach hikes. Olympic National Park offers 57 miles of coastline that make up the most primitive ocean shoreline in the contiguous 48 states. The hiking is tricky, with mud and rocks all around, but the view is worth every step. With rocky seastacks, bluffs rising above the beach, eagles, sea otters, whales and seals out in the water...there's more than an adventure waiting.
The 34,400-acre Table Top Wilderness lies in western Pinal County, Arizona. Table Top Mountain is the highest peak in the area (4,373 feet) and its flat-topped summit is a familiar landmark. Table Top hiking trail is four miles long and leads to its flat-topped summit. The view offers a panorama of mountains ranges and desert plains. The Lava Flow Trail takes hikers through the lowlands of the wilderness area, where sheep, coyote, quail, giant spotted whiptail lizards, and numerous birds, reptiles and raptors can be seen.
North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest offers a challenging hiking trail called, "Shut-in Trail." Rhododendron thickets which line the trail may have given this 1890s trail its name. It is now a part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. In 16.3 miles, the trail climbs from an elevation of 2,025 feet to 5,000 feet. For the most part, it offers a quiet walk through hardwood forests with many nice views of the valleys below.
Like your hike to be a workout (or vice cersa)? The American Hiking Society has listed these city hiking trails to be the best to get your heart pumping: Red Trail - Albany, New York; Barton Creek Greenbelt - Austin, Texas; Rock Circuit Trail - Boston, Massachusetts; Sand Creek Greenway - Denver, CO; Burke Lake Trail - Greater Metro Washington, DC (Fairfax/Northern Virginia); Indiana Central Canal Towpath - Indianapolis, Indiana; The Long Path - Greater Metro New York City (New Jersey); Black Rock Loop - Phoenix, Arizona; Guy Fleming Trails - San Diego, California; Coastal Trail - San Francisco, California.
Utah's Zion National Park is famous for its deep slot canyons, a popular place for canyoneering. One of these canyons, "The Narrows," was ranked fifth on National Geographic's 100 Best Adventures. But be prepared: Canyoneering in Zion involves swimming in icy water, climbing boulders, scaling rockfaces, and rappelling. Some tips for hikers: make sure you get a mountainers boot, like vasque hiking boots
, that are made specifically for rough and unpredictable climates. If you are new to canyoneering try a guided canyoneering adventure at Zion Ponderosa!
The American Hiking Society voted on the nation's top ten family-friendly hikes in June of 2005. Here's a list of the top 10 trails: Boston: Lizzy's Trail; Chicago: Illinois & Michigan Canal;
Cleveland: Ohio & Erie Canal Trail; New York: Long Path; Orlando: Florida Trail; Pittsburgh: Great
Allegheny Passage; Portland: Horsetail & Ponytail Falls; St. Louis: KATY Trail; San Francisco area:
Point Reyes; and Washington, DC: C&O Canal.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is a volunteer-based, private nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of the 2,175-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This is a 250,000-acre greenway extending from Maine to Georgia. Founded 80 years ago, the ATC was formerly known as the Appalachian Trail Conference. Benton MacKaye organized the very first Appalachian Trail conference in 1925. Today, the ATC maintains clubs that serve to engage the public in conserving this essential American resource.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|