Guest post today by Sol Vazquez is the founder of BackpackerVerse.com. The site gives you the best backpacking, hiking, and camping tips, tricks and news. You also get up to date reviews and recommendations on outdoor gear.
Since the introduction of first National Scenic Trails, Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail in 1968, hiking slowly started increasing in popularity. Nowadays, not only do Americans enjoy this activity but there are a lot of tourists all over the world who come to our country to enjoy the great outdoors. There are a lot of long-distance trails in America. However, if you wish to get the best possible experience, I recommend that you take one of National Scenic Trails. They are very lengthy (the shortest one has 220 miles) but the experience makes up for it.
Here are some of the best trails America has to offer!
1. Appalachian Trail
If you live on the East Coast, this is definitely a trail for you. The Appalachian Trail is 2,200 miles long and it stretches through 14 states. It starts in Georgia and ends in Maine. However, due to its enormous popularity, especially in last couple of years, Appalachian Trail Conservancy established several new trails that will reduce crowds. The trail inspired various books and it is often mentioned in popular culture. One of the most popular pieces was the one written by Bill Bryson, “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail.” However, this path doesn’t only consist of woods and trees. There are numerous attractions such as Mt. Greylock’s War Memorial Tower and Walton’s Mountain Museum.
2. North Country Trail
Although this trail passes through seven states, it is much longer than Appalachian Trail. Furthermore, it is the longest trail in America with 4,600 miles. Its length, together with the fact that it goes through northern, colder areas, makes it very hard to thru-hike. Still, it is a very rewarding journey for people who wish to spend several days in nature. The trail goes near the Great Lakes, and the journey through Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota can be breathtaking. There are 57 state parks on the North Country Trail together with 47 state forests and 22 state game areas. While hiking on this trail, you can see two National Wildlife Refuges (North Dakota’s Audubon and Minnesota’s Tamarac), several dams, Wren Falls, Tionesta Lake, and East Fork Lake.
3. Continental Divide Trail
As the name implies, the Continental Divide Trail splits the US right down the middle. It goes from Mexico to Canada, starting from New Mexico and ending in Montana (or vice versa). The Continental Divide Trail is second longest trail after North Country Trail. It is 3100 miles long. Only two hundred people a year attempt to finish the trail. If you are a casual hiker, you will be pleased to learn that there are certain sections which can be using a bike or a horse. There are several interesting villages along this trail such as Pie Town, Animas, and Reserve. El Mapais National Monument is also worth visiting.
4. Pacific Crest Trail
Together with Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail is the oldest and most popular National Scenic Trail. In fact, it can even be considered as its counterpart on the West Coast. While on this trail, you will pass through California, Oregon, and Washington. In fact, it stretches throughout California, making it even more impressive and worthwhile. Total length of the trail is 2,650 miles. Similarly to Appalachian Trail, this trail is a source of inspiration for many. In 2014, there was a movie called “Wild” staring Reese Witherspoon which was based on Cheryl Strayed’s autobiography and her experience on the trail. Pacific Crest Trail has a lot of notable natural beauties such as Adams Glacier, Santiam Pass, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Crater Lake National Park.
If you wish to go and relax for a couple days in nature, these trails are among the best in USA. They will take you through numerous national parks, allowing you to experience all the beauty of our country. It is definitely harder than your standard tourist experience, but it is also something that will stay in your memory forever.