Are you seeking for the best summer hiking adventures?
Check out the following recommendations that include open country hikes as well as urban experiences.
You should literally take a hike, as the American landscape offers the perfect scenery for that. You'll be impressed by the gateway towns and cities that serve as starting points for some of the best hiking trails in the world. Summer is the perfect time for walking in the woods, either on flat terrain or on steep, rocky ridges that take you to breathtaking peaks.
This article takes a closer look at five of the best cities in America from which to start your summer hiking adventure. You'll also find a few highlights of the trails that recommend them as excellent options for all hiking lovers.
Madison is home to many natural wonders and it has a mild climate, being therefore perfect for summer hiking. The city is the starting point of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail which features several hiking trail segments. The most popular ones are Table Bluff (well-defined trail, 5 miles long) and Devil's Lake (you can either choose to hike the entire 13.7 miles of this trial or some of its smaller segments). There are several state parks in the neighborhood of Madison. You can explore Governor Dodge, Blue Mund and New Glarus Woods among others.
This village is more than a simple gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most popular national park in the US. It is also a beautiful village worth exploring by foot. There are many summer hikes that start here, including steep and long trails (the Alum Cave Bluffs route to Mt. LeConte is one of the best examples) and easier walks on paved walkways (the Laurel Falls route is one of these easier hikes). The Chimney Tops hike is also among the most popular attractions in this area.
Tip: You should choose a layered outfit for this one. The changes in elevation bring significant temperature differences. Besides, East Tennessee is known for its summer showers, so make sure you have a rain jacket in your backpack. Check whether there are portions of the path that are closed for rehabilitation.
Portland is one of the main Pacific Northwest attractions, home to a wide array of summer-hike choices. The 410-acre Washington Park boasts about 15 miles of wooded hiking trails covering various levels of difficulty. If you want to see a dormant volcano, you can embark on the Mount Tabor adventure which is only 2 miles long and offers some excellent photo opportunities. For more breathtaking photo opportunities, head over to Powell Butte Nature Park and photograph Mount St. Helens, Mont Hood and Mount Adams. There's also the Aspen Trailhead, west from Portland, which tales one full day to complete but which is well worth it.
This hamlet is one of the hidden gems in the Katahdin/Baxter Peak area. Located on the Appalachian Trail, Millinocket is difficult to reach, as it requires eight to 12 hours on a rocky terrain. If you don't feel fit enough for that, you can choose a milder option such as Russel Pond, a 14-mile trail that crosses several creeks. This makes it a great choice for fly fishing fans and wildlife lovers.
West Maroon Creek Trail
The West Maroon Creek Trail stands out from the crowd of all Rocky Mountains hikes. It crosses an impressive glacial valley, and then it heads up and over the Maroon Pass. June is the best time to hike this trail, as this is the wildflower season in Colorado and everything will be covered in amazing shades of red, purple, yellow and white. You'll never want to leave!
The high altitude and the rough terrain make West Maroon Creek Trail a difficult hike. There are some hotels in Aspen that offer their guests a lift to the trailhead. You may even be able to find a ride back to Aspen the next day. If you afford it, you can choose to return by helicopter. If not, you're going to need to stick to the classic shuttle.
Precipice Trail, Acadia National Park
Few landscapes are more beautiful than the views of the ocean from the top of the mountains. The Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park is you best chance to experience just that. The trail is rather steep and it features narrow ledges. It offers scenic views that are worth the pain of taking this hike. Although it is only a short 1.6-mile trip, it has a high level of difficulty. If you fear heights, you may not want to try it.
Mooney Falls, Grand Canyon National Park
The three-mile trail to Mooney Falls is gorgeous but also challenging. It starts from Supai, a village in the Indian Reservation of Hualapai. You'll have the opportunity to descend two travertine tunnels, two iron ladders and some portions featuring chains anchored into the mountain. You'll love the lovely views of the aquamarine plunge pool that waits for you to try it out. There's also a garden of wild grape vines that can offer you some good photo opportunities.
You'll find guest lodges in Supai, as well as a camp ground. Consider setting your base camp here to explore the surroundings for a few more days. Navajo Falls and Havasu Falls are only two of the tourist objectives to see in this area.