10 Trails Every Hiker Should Tackle

Featured Article, On the Road, Outdoors
on May 19, 2014

1. Bear Butte Summit Trail, Bear Butte State Park, S.D.
Climb this 3.75-mile loop to the northern point of the 111-mile Centennial Trail and earn a commanding view of South Dakota’s Black Hills and vast prairielands.

2. Black Balsam Knob/Art Loeb Trail, Pisgah National Forest, N.C.
A two-mile taste (and view, from a broad, grassy summit) of this 30.1-mile trail that some view as a mini- Appalachian Trail.

3. The Canyon Trail, Sinks Canyon State Park, Wyo.
Inspired to someday hike sections of the Continental Divide Trail? This four-mile day hike in similar terrain takes you through sagebrush meadows, aspen and pine groves, and over glacial moraines.

4. Chambers/Bretag/Palmer Trails, Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Combine these trails for a moderate three-mile circuit among breathtaking rock formations.

5. Cleetwood Cove Trail, Crater Lake National Park, Ore.
Dip down to the azure waters of this famous lake on this 2.2-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail and enjoy a strenuous climb on the way out.

6. Marsh Overlook/Bayou Coquille/ Palmetto Trails, Barataria Preserve, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, La.
Link these shorter trails for a two-mile moderate day hike over and along marshes filled with alligators, snakes and waterfowl.

7. Old Rag Hike, Shenandoah National Park, Va.
A low-key eight-mile adventure, with plenty of places to scramble that’s great for families with kids who like to hike.

8. Rim Trail, South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.
Moderate grades, shade and 13 miles of excellent views of the inner canyon make this a wonderful first long hike. Bring your own water, and plenty of it.

9. Tuckerman Ravine Trail, Mount Washington, N.H.
This more advanced 8.4-mile trek offers beautiful views along the way to the highest peak in the Northeast, but beware of extreme weather any time of year.

10. Half Dome Day Hike, Yosemite National Park, Calif.
Follow in the footsteps of John Muir and thrill to the final stretch of climbing steep granite with cables and ladders. A strenuous 14- 16-mile loop, but one for the bucket list!