How to find a great hiking path

In today’s tech-crazy world, getting away from the hubbub and onto the trails is a relaxing way to unwind and unplug. Take out the ear buds, unplug the laptop and let the cell phone battery die. It’s time to take to the trail. Though hiking experts always know where to go, you might be a bit of an outdoors newbie. It helps to know where to find the most beautiful and hikeable trails. Here’s how to find the best hiking path for your experience level, region and desired atmosphere.

woman hiking

Ask an outdoorsy friend

Sure, your first instinct might be to take to the internet for advice, but asking your outdoor-friendly neighbors, friends and co-workers where to go will often be your best bet. Arguably, human conversation is better than reading reviews online. Specify what kind of trail you’re seeking — easy, medium or difficult — and you’ll be surprised by how much your friends know about getting their hike on.

Take to the web

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of hiking websites on the internet, plenty of which rate trails and scenery. trail finder, for instance, allows you to search by popular national park, state park and city trails near you. Whether you want to go out for a weekend jaunt or want to hike the Appalachian Trail, allows you to break down trails by state, with a description of most of them from experts who know trails the best. While you might want to get away from the computer, your computer might be your first step to finding the right trail.

Go for a ride

Unless you live in an expansive metropolis, there’s likely a hikeable trail near you. Even if you do live in a large city, urban trails exist within your concrete jungle. A trail is never too far away. Take a ride on your bike or in your car and see what you find. Head to the wilderness just outside your city and take a look around. Odds are you’ll stumble across a trail. Though you might want to take your GPS so you can get back to the city, getting lost is part of the fun. As J.R.R. Tolkien said, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Do some wandering of your own and discover what experiences you find.

The great outdoors

Discover popular outdoor adventures where you live with our Outdoor Activities Guide. From hiking trails to balloon rides, we’ve got you covered. What are you waiting for? Mother Nature awaits!

Read more

Our favorite hiking websites
Top 10 hikes in the U.S.
Preparing yourself for the trail