When you are a keen hiker, or even if you are a newcomer. The aim is to hike in the great outdoors to experience the miles of hiking trails and see the gorgeous views nature has to offer.
It can be hard to come up with new hiking locations, yet depending on the time you have available, there is the Appalachian Trail, which has to be on every backpacker’s bucket list.
If you were to tackle the full extent of the Appalachian, it could take you months; however, it does comprise sections, which include some of the best places to hike in the US.
Here we have the best hiking locations for nature lovers, or those who love the feeling of being outdoors and learn about the arts, culture; or anything else they come across while hiking.
Most parts of the Appalachian are pet-friendly, although there are a couple of areas such as the Smoky Mountains, North Carolina, and Tennessee where there are restrictions.
One good thing when hitting this trail is you won’t come across any mountain bikers as the trail is for hiking shoes only, and bikes will need to stick to areas such as an old part of the Iron Mountain Trail for their enjoyment.
Now, here are the best places to hike and cover different lengths and durations.
Best Hiking Places
1. Maine – 100-mile Wilderness
While some hikers are keen to start at the other end of the longest footpath in the world, it is nice to begin in the origin.
Here, you find the 100-mile Wilderness, and for the most part, you won’t cross a road. For three days, you can take in the first 30-miles and sample the 60-foot high Lower Wilson Falls, rocky rivers and the sugar maple forests.
Everywhere you look, you have panoramic views of the Barren-Chairback Range. On the route, you have plenty of campsites and four shelters where you can stay overnight. This leg of the A.T ends a little way from Gulf Hagas.
Here is a slate filled gorge teeming with waterfalls. It is best to head here in late summer, thus avoiding bugs. If you want to experience the full 100, it can take between 9 to 12 days.
2. New Hampshire – Presidential Range
If you are taking on several sections, you will find the second trail one of the most difficult by comparison and can take up to 9-days. The effort is well rewarded the most beautiful places where to go hiking.
When you hit the White Mountain National Forests, you find the United States fabulous network of hiking trails.
The 88-mile section boasts such classics as Mount Moosilauke, Mount Washington, and the toughest, the Kinsman range.
Be sure your camping essentials list prepares you for the tundra areas you may experience.
Heading from Kinsman Notch toward Gorham, you will absorb dramatic outlooks consisting vally lakes where you can find six huts along the route where you can rest. ( Read Best National Parks for Hiking)
3. Massachusetts – Taconic Highlands
This one direction trail can take 2-days, although it is possible to take day hikes from the Housatonic Valley beginning on route 41.
However, the full stretch takes you from Salisbury to Jug end and covers 16.9 miles. You thread your way through plenty of old-growth forests and cross Mt. Everett while passing numerous waterfalls.
You can extend this trail by including the Taconic Skyline and Taconic Crest trails.
4. New York – Anthony’s Nose
You’ll find you’re hiking in the A.T’s lowest portion around this area of New York as you cross the Hudson.
From there, you see some elevation gain as you climb up Anthony’s Nose. While short, it is steep, and you can hike the length in a day or a long afternoon. For addition, you can encounter the Camp Smith trail that runs 3.7 miles in range, and this short hike offers some great views of NY City in the distance.
5. Pennsylvania & New Jersey – Delaware River
In this 2-day one-way hike, you will make your way across The Kittatinny Ridge, which towers over 1,000 ft. over the Delaware River. It is possible to stop off for a while and dip your feet in the Sunfish Pond.
Here lies the southernmost glacial lake you will find on the Appalachian. Alternatively, you can take a side trip across toward Mount Tammany.
In this section, it can be easy to be distracted from the A.T. There are more than a dozen other hiking trails, which total hundreds of miles into the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
June is the best time to hit this stage as you can encounter many thru-hikers who are challenging themselves to complete the 2,200-mile trek.
6. Pennsylvania – Blue Mountains
Forty miles and four days take you alongside the farm landscapes across the Blue Mountains ridge. Along the way are some unique areas such as the Cliffs, Bake Oven Knob, and most the notable of them all is the Pinnacle.
Hawk Mountain sits right in the heart of the region, and during the fall, you can catch a glimpse of the many raptors who are in the area migrating.
If you are making it a part of a multi-day trek, you will find five shelters, and campsites in the stretch that takes you from Port Clinton to Lehigh GapBreak. It is possible to break this section down to make it a day hike is you so wish.
7. Virginia – Shenandoah National Park
When you go to hike this portion of the A.T, you need to set aside ten days to complete it all. While it is easier than most other sections, it still covers 100 miles of the Shenandoah National Park.
Here, you have fantastic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, as you travel the countless miles of hiking trails. You find the valley is parallel to Skyline Drive.
Anyone who is into wildlife has the chance to pull over and glance at the white-tailed deer or black bears around the Big Meadows Lodge and nature center. You can also make this a nightly stopover and rest in one of the local huts.
Most of the trail is flatter than other areas and is one of the best places to hike for beginners, although it may be on the long side for many.
8. Virginia – Mau-Har Loop
You can do this as a full-day hike as it is overnight. The fourteen miles round trip of the trail loop are packed with swimming holes and waterfalls reaching 40-ft. However, nothing is too easy and as you need to pass the views of Flat Rock Vista, Chimney Rock Vista, and Hanging Rock Vista on Bee Mountain and Three Ridges Mountain.
It takes you through the Three Ridges Wilderness up around 7,000 feet that is strewn with rocks and boulders. Once at that point, you can pitch your tent close to a stream before you make your way back the park trails the following day.
9. Tennessee – Great Smoky Mountains National Park
You will find this one of the best hiking spots in the country, and for this reason, you will possibly require reservations for campsites and shelters. Weekdays, however, are less crowded, so you may fit in the 4-day trip in and go hiking between Mondays to Thursday.
You will find the mountain state park offers routes that cover ridges and alongside streams. It is possible to experience the icy swim holes; fire tower views all before you climb to the highest point at around 6,600 ft. on Clingman’s Dome.
While it is one of the best hiking areas, the trails are more extended, steeper, and higher than many other areas, and if you are here in the spring, you can encounter hailstorms, snow, or unexpected rain.
While there are many more good hiking places before you reach the end of the Appalachian in Georgia and North Carolina, you will have experienced the best the trail has to offer in the above.
Even if you don’t follow the routes of the A.T., Countless State Parks have trails reaching hundreds of miles in length.
If you live on the east of the US, reaching any of these may be easy. However, if you live as far away as Los Angeles or other cities across the country, making the trip across the country can encounter other classic trails.
You can top off your trip taking in one of the best sections in the A.T, or use it as a starting point, and then hit the trails back across the country until you reach home. The main thing being, you will experience the very best hiking, and the US has to offer.
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