The Best Hiking Trails in Every State
Discover amazing scenery across the country or explore new sights in your own backyard.
Alabama: Branyon Backcountry Trail
Seven different trails make up the Branyon Backcountry Trail, one of the best hiking trails in the state. It’s a 15+ mile trek along the southern state’s Gulf Coast and is considered a must-do by the Alabama Tourism Board. You’ll travel through cities like Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, and the Gulf State Park, passing a butterfly garden, marshes, swamps, and perhaps even a bobcat or white-tailed deer, too.
Alaska: Winner Creek Trail
David Gonzalez Rebollo/Shutterstock
This northern state has tons of options for adventurous hikes, especially near glaciers and lakes, but the family-friendly Winner Creek Trail pleases everyone who visits. Located 45 minutes south of Anchorage, the most popular part is Lower Winner Creek, a three-mile walk- and bike-friendly path through Alaska’s rainforest setting. You’ll have to cross a wooden bridge and take a tram (which you pull across yourself) to get over Glacier Creek—a unique, breathtaking experience.
Arizona: South Kaibab Trail
You can’t beat the views and the bucket list experience of the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, arguably one of the best hiking trails in the country. It starts at Yaki Point on the South Rim, then one mile in, you’ll reach Ooh-Aah Point—perfectly named for how you’ll feel when you check out the canyon around you, according to Matthew Nelson, executive director of the Arizona Trail Association. Go another half-mile and you’ll arrive at a picnic spot called Cedar Ridge. Then, just another 1.5 miles ahead is Skeleton Point, a good turn-around spot for beginners, as the name suggests. If you love to hike, you’ll also want to know these 15 best places to camp in National Parks.
Arkansas: Lost Valley in the Buffalo River Wilderness District
You’ll see tons of pretty sights on the trek through Lost Valley in the Buffalo River Wilderness District, including Eden Falls, a quadruple-tiered waterfall, Cobb Cave, countless wildflowers, and maybe an elk or two. It’s a journey just over two miles round-trip, which means you can bring the entire family with you, plus, the first half-mile is wheelchair accessible.
California: Table Mountain
Some of the best hiking trails in the country fill the Golden State (and some of the most famous ones), as its home to Yosemite National Park, Redwood National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, and Lake Tahoe (to name a few stand-out spots). But for a hidden gem, check out Table Mountain in Butte County, where you get a mix of wildflower super blooms—try to plan a trip for spring when these bright flowers paint the hills—and waterfalls, too. Get inspired by taking a gander at these gorgeous photos of our national parks in full bloom.
Colorado: West Maroon Pass
Spanning from Crested Butte to Aspen for 22 miles, most hikers take the West Maroon Pass as a one-way and either stay overnight at one end or take a shuttle back to the start that same day. According to the tourism board, this trail includes the most photographed peaks in all of Colorado, Maroon Bells.
Connecticut: Hike to Gillette Castle in Gillette Castle State Park
Just visiting Gillette Castle State Park, without doing tons of walking, you’ll see pretty views of the Connecticut River. But follow the 1.3-mile path to the medieval-looking stone castle (open Memorial Day through Labor Day), and you’ll get to see the former home of actor, William Gillette, built between 1914 and 1919. A steam train and riverboat might also pass by as you hang around the area—riding them is on our bucket list for the Nutmeg State.
Delaware: Junction Breakwater and Gordons Pond Trail Loop
Through Cape Henlopen State Park and between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, the Junction Breakwater and Gordons Pond Trail Loop offers waves, dunes, evergreen forests, and expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean. It has that shoreline feel, with wildlife like osprey, bald eagles, and shorebirds flocking overhead. Consider it the perfect combo of beach time and green space.
Florida: Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail
The Florida National Scenic Trail system has tons of top-notch options for some of the best hiking trails in the country. But for a multi-purpose path, check out the Fred Marquis Pinellas Trail, a nearly 50-mile stretch in Pasco and Pinellas counties. It’s recommended by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy—a non-profit working to creating a country-wide trail from Washington D.C. to Washington State—this rail trail connects parks, coastal towns, and neighborhoods.
Georgia: Tennessee Rock Trail
In the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Black Rock Mountain State Park is the highest in the state and packs trails with flowers, streams, small waterfalls, and forests—along with beautiful views. The Tennessee Rock Trail is a 2.2-mile loop and a moderate-level trek that lets you peep more than 80 miles out on a clear day, featuring North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee all in one view.