United States

Description

Arizona Trail - by DerekGiven the boundless diversity of trails and landscapes, the United States can safely be labelled the hiker's Walhalla. In the U.S. you can truly get lost in the expansive wilderness areas. Meetings with black bears, grizzly bears and vipers are common. Camping out in the wild is a rule rather than an exception. European hikers - thoroughly spoilt with B&B's, mountain huts and gites d'etappe - will be thrown back into reality here.

The U.S. is where the tradition of long distance hiking started. As main eye-catcher, the Appalachian Trail runs for over 2000 miles through 14 eastern states, and was laid out as early as 1937. In fact it was a major inspiration for the first British long distance trail, the Pennine Way. Many legendary thru-hikers have left their tracks on the slopes of the Appalachians.

The most important hiking trails in the U.S. received the status of "National Scenic Trail". There is also a category of so-called National Historic Trails, but these are not really hiking trails. Third are the National Recreational Trails, of which there are several thousand. Most of these measure only a couple of miles, although some continue for a hundred miles or more, and often hikers will share the trail with bikers and riders. And there is more. Countless long distance trails lack a national status, but are no less beautiful or important.

The National Scenic Trails (NST), "designation for protected areas in the United States that consist of trails of particular natural beauty", and the most important long distance hiking trails are the following (take note: the construction many trails is by no means completed. Over time, gaps are being closed, extensions are added, and long stretches exist on paper only):

  • American Discovery Trail (6356 miles 10229 km)
  • Appalachian Trail - the first, 1937 (2100 miles 3380 km) NST
  • Arizona Trail (817 miles 1315 km) NST
  • California Coastal Trail (1200 miles 1930 km)
  • Continental Divide Trail (3100 miles, 4990 km) NST
  • East Coast Greenway (2500 miles 4000 km)
  • Florida Trail (1400 miles 2300 km) NST
  • Great Eastern Trail (1600 miles 2575 km)
  • Great Western Trail (3100 miles, 4990 km)
  • Ice Age Trail (1000 miles 1600 km) NST
  • Idaho Centennial Trail (1200 miles 1931 km)
  • New England Trail (220 miles 354 km) NST
  • North Country Trail (4600 miles 7400 km)
  • Pacific Crest Trail (2638 miles 4240 km) NST
  • Pacific Northwest Trail (1200 miles 1930 km) NST
  • Potomac Heritage Trail (700 miles 1127 km) NST


This list covers already 34399 miles or 55360 km!

Longer hiking trails than the above do exist, but consist of shorter trails strung together. For instance the Eastern Continental Trail (5400 miles 8700 km) or the International Appalachian Trail, extending into Canada.

All trails differ widely in terms of landscape, terrain and demands made on the hiker. On the one extreme you will find spectacular and challenging trails like the Pacific Crest Trail, following the Eastern Sierras, Cascades and other mountain ranges from Mexico to Canada. If you're looking for something easier, try the Florida Trail. In urban areas you will find so-called "greenways", a green corridor. For the ultimate survival experience, get dropped in Alaska to find your own way home through the wilderness.

Hiking in the U.S. is not restricted to long distance trails. In the many National and State Parks or Forests you will generally find extensive networks of trails. National Parks do get crowded, so avoid visitors centres and roads and trek into the less accessible parts. Within many parks, separate and secluded wilderness areas exist where hikers are welcome, sometimes with permit. The lesser known National Forests, State Forests and BLM Lands are no less interesting, often larger and more quiet.

The choice of landscapes is unlimited, ranging from tropical rain forests in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and subtropical hiking in the Everglades National Park, to the prairies of the Badlands National Park and canyons in the Grand Canyon of Hells Canyon National Park.Some parks, notably the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Nez Perce National Forest and the Wenatchee National Forest each have thousands of miles of trails. Alaska has the largest nationale park, Wrangell-St. Elias, about the size of Croatia (55.000 sq. Km) and the highest mountain, Mt. McKinley (20320 ft 6194 m).

The most beautiful (consequently the busiest) parks are:

  • Yosemite National Park (California)
  • Yellowstone National Park  (Wyoming)
  • Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)
  • Rocky Mountains National Park (Colorado)
  • Glacier National Park (Montana)
  • Olympic National Park (Washington)
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park (California)
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina, Tennessee)

Opinions

Rate 9.0 | 1 vote | No 2. in North America
  • Miguel
  • Rate 9
  • Positive Excellent landscapes, countless opportunities
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Map

USA Trails North-West USA Trails North-East

USA Trails South-West USA Trails South-East

Trails

Regions

States

Mountains

Books

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Simple Gestures
  • The Greater Middle East poses major challenges for the United States. Yet despite decades of intense involvement in Middle Eastern affairs, most Americans still know little about the cultures of the region. ”Simple Gestures” describes one American`s efforts over forty years to better understand the society in the countries where she lived and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Alan Stoob: Nazi Hunter: A Comic Novel
  • Alan Stoob, hero of this hilarious novel has been described as a new member of the great pantheon of British comic characters - genus awkward old bastard - that already includes Mr Micawber, Mr Pooter and Captain Mainwairing. Originally a Twitter sensation, whose fans include India Knight and Dara O`Brien, he now walks the pages of this book... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico
  • Map No. 790, Caribbean National Forest, Puerto Rico, in an extensive series of GPS compatible, contoured hiking maps of USA’s national and state parks or forests and other popular recreational areas. Cartography based on the national topographic survey, with additional tourist information.The maps, with most titles now printed on light,... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Old Faithful Day Hikes WY
  • Map No. 3195, Old Faithful Day Hikes in Wyoming, at 1:35,000 in an extensive series of GPS compatible, contoured hiking maps of USA’s national and state parks or forests and other popular recreational areas. Cartography based on the national topographic survey, with additional tourist information.The maps, with most titles now printed on light,... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • The Book Depository, United Kingdom
  • Bol.com, Netherlands
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Old Faithful Day Hikes
  • • Waterproof • Tear-Resistant • Topographic MapNational Geographic's Old Faithful Day Hikes trail map is a two-sided, waterproof topographic map designed specifically for day hiking around Yellowstone's famous geyser basin. The map features 9 suggested day hikes with a brief description of each, distance and level of difficulty.... Read more
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Netherlands
» Click to open
Bol.com
Netherlands
» Click to close
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • On the Trail - Scholar's Choice Edition
  • This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Wanderings in France and Switzerland - Scholar's Choice Edition
  • This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Green guide USA Oost – USA East | Michelin
  • Oostkust Amerika - Groene gids van Michelin met beschrijvingen van de bezienswaardigheden, kunst en cultuur, restaurant en hoteltips, wandel- en autoroutes en plattegronden van de belangrijke steden - Engelstalig. Met foto's en illustraties. Michelin Green Guide USA East presents the wide panorama of eight distinct regions covering 31 states... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • The Danger Trail
  • About the Author-James Oliver "Jim" Curwood (June 12, 1878 – August 13, 1927) was an American action-adventure writer and conservationist. His books ranked among Publisher's Weekly top-ten best sellers in the United States in the early 1920s. At least eighteen motion pictures have been based on or directly inspired by his novels and short... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2015
  • Reisgids Capitool USA Zuidwest & Las Vegas | Unieboek
  • Prachtig geïllustreerde reisgids met o.a. 3D tekeningen, fraaie kaarten en geweldige foto’s. Daarnaast uitgebreide achtergrondbeschrijvingen. Echt om in de stemming te komen! Groot formaat gids. Capitool Reisgids. Het Zuidwesten bestaat in deze gids uit Arizona, New Mexico, de Four Corners, met Zuidwest-Colorado en Zuid-Utah, en de stad Las... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
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Maps

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Marco Island - Ten Thousand Islands, FL
  • Marco Island - Ten Thousand Islands Coastal Recreation Map at 1:40,000 from the National Geographic in their extensive series of GPS compatible maps of USA’s national and state parks or forests and other popular recreational areas. Cartography based on the national topographic survey, with additional tourist information. Coverage includes... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Dinosaur National Monument, UT/CO
  • Map No. 220, Dinosaur National Monument, UT/CO, in an extensive series of GPS compatible, contoured hiking maps of USA’s national and state parks or forests and other popular recreational areas. Cartography based on the national topographic survey, with additional tourist information.The maps, with most titles now printed on light, waterproof... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • The Book Depository, United Kingdom
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Los Angeles Borch
  • Laminated and waterproof map for visitors to Los Angeles, combining a selection of street plans and a road map to cover the LA conurbation as a whole plus its most visited parts in greater detail. An overview street plan of the city at 1:60,000 extends from Santa Monica and the International Airport inland to Pasadena and San Gabriel, naming... Read more
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Walking holidays

Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • The Heart of Vermont
  • Walking through classic Vermont & New England landscapes. Wind your way by car into the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountains and stay in classic and unique country inns. Discover the pristine and serene landscapes, rolling hills, quiet woods, clap-board clad houses and huge red barns that are quintessentially New England. Explore Vermont’s... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Alaska - Avontuur
  • 'Into the Wilderness' is het motto van deze avontuurlijke reis in Alaska. Middels gegidste dagwandelingen, optionele bootexcursie, kano- en zeekajaktocht en bijzondere 'wildlife' excursies maak je kennis met het hoge noorden. Een lokale Alaskaanse gids en kok begeleiden dit avontuur. Een afwisselende reis voor een bijzonder scherpe prijs! Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Verenigde Staten - America's Tent Lodges
  • Vakantie in de zonovergoten landschappen van Utah en Californië, kamperen in compleet ingerichte familietenten die al voor u klaar staan en in mooie blokhutten! Campings met zwembad, tenten met vaste bedden en ingerichte keuken. Ideaal en goed betaalbaar voor families met kinderen. Met huurauto reist u vanaf Las Vegas door de parken van Bryce,... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Kaapverdië * Santo Antão
  • Deze korte wandelreis laat je kennis maken met Santo Antão, een van de mooiste wandeleilanden van de 500 km voor de West-Afrikaanse kust liggende Kaapverdische archipel. Loop langs scherp gekartelde heuvels, drakenbomen en pijnbomen met zilvergroen baardmos. In de gapende kloof Ribeira do Paúl zie je huisjes verspreid liggen alsof ze uit de... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Spanje - Alpujarras * fotoreis
  • De witte Moorse dorpen en groene terrashellingen van de Alpujarras, met de besneeuwde toppen van de Sierra Nevada op de achtergrond. Dat is het decor van deze intensieve landschapsfotografie cursus. Onder leiding van een professionele fotograaf wordt u in deze inspirerende en bijzonder fotogenieke omgeving getraind in het zien, kiezen en... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Alaska - Comfort
  • Geniet in stijl van de mooiste wildernis en de hoogste bergen van Noord-Amerika: Alaska, The Last Frontier. Klassieke rondreis met vele wildexcursies inclusief, per bus en boot, korte wandelingen en sightseeing; de beste plek op het continent om groot wild te observeren en fotograferen. Overnachtingen in hotels en schitterend gelegen... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Verenigde Staten - Camperreis Utah & Montana
  • Reizen per camper combineert het beste van twee werelden: verblijven in de 'open lucht' op kampeerterreinen nabij de nationale parken in het comfort van een 'hotel op wielen'. Alle plekjes zijn vooraf gereserveerd; dat geeft zekerheid en geen verspilde tijd. Verken de mooiste landschappen van de staten Utah en Montana; ga wandelen door de... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Verenigde Staten - Eclipstour 2017
  • Op 21 augustus 2017 trekt een totale zonsverduistering als een smalle band over het midden en westen van de Verenigde Staten. Natuurlijk grijpen wij deze gelegenheid aan om weer op pad te gaan en deze bijzondere gelegenheid te koppelen aan een rondreis. Onder leiding van een SNP-gids en de wetenschapsjournalist Govert Schilling bezoek je de... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Denemarken - Zuid Jutland
  • Net over de Duits-Deense grens, ligt op de noordelijke oever van de Flensburg Fjord het Gendarmepad, een 74 kilometer lang afstandspad tussen Høruphav en Padborg. Je loopt dit kustpad in vier dagen langs witte stranden, donkere beukenbossen, Middeleeuwse kastelen, oude steenfabrieken, kliffen en over zwerfkeienstranden. Je verblijft in B&B's en... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Alaska - wandelvakantie
  • Leer Alaska kennen op een unieke manier. Geniet van een wandeling en wildlife bekijken in Kenai Fjords NP, Chugach Mts, Denali NP, Chena River, Wrangel-St. Elias NP. Met onze wandelbeschrijvingen kun je op een veilige en verantwoorde manier de wildernis verkennen, ook al ben je met z'n tweeën. Je maakt deze rondreis per huurauto en je overnacht... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Verenigde Staten - Hiking Colorado, Wyoming & South Dakota
  • Natuurrondreis met vele wandelmogelijkheden in enkele van de fraaiste National en State Parks van South Dakota, Wyoming en Colorado. Maak een wildlifesafari in Custer State Park, waar duizenden bizons grazen op de prairies. Rijdt enkele van de mooiste 'scenic byways' van het land in de Black Hills. Ontdek de fascinerende vulkanische... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Verenigde Staten - Eclipstour 2017 weekvariant
  • Op 21 augustus 2017 trekt een totale zonsverduistering als een smalle band over het midden en westen van de Verenigde Staten. Beleef deze eclips onder leiding van de wetenschapsjournalist Govert Schilling en een SNP-reisleider. Je maakt een groepsrondreis van 1 week en bezoekt daarbij de vulkanische wonderwereld van Yellowstone en het... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Verenigde Staten - Hiking Utah & Californië
  • Rondreis per huurauto door de staten Californië, Nevada, Utah en Arizona, met de grootste dichtheid aan Nationale Parken van Amerika. Je vindt hier een enorme diversiteit aan landschappen. Hier maak je wandelingen en excursies in Yosemite, Sequioa, Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Natural Bridges en Grand Canyon. Je verblijft in comfortabele hotels... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Stel je eigen reis samen in Mid- en Noordwest-USA
  • Reizen in de Midwest en Northwest van de Verenigde Staten betekent genieten van de mooiste nationale parken tussen de Rockies en de Pacific Ocean. Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, Mount Rainier, Glacier en Olympic behoren tot de mooiste van het land. Maar ook meer onbekende natuurparken als Custer en Badlands zullen uw hart stelen. Het... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Verenigde Staten - Hiking Washington, Oregon & Californië
  • Een rondreis per huurauto: 'oneway' van Seattle naar San Francisco, dus relatief weinig kilometers. Dat betekent dat je veel tijd hebt voor wandelingen en excursies in Olympic, Mount Rainier, Crater Lake, Lassen Volcanic en Yosemite National Park! Tips en wandelbeschrijvigen van de SNP-experts krijg je mee! Een avontuur door het noordwesten van... Read more
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