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Best Hiking Trails

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best hiking trails

H is for Hiking Trails

For the letter H, I decided to focus on hiking trails [both longer and shorter] that I dream of being able to complete one day.  These are just some of the few that are on my list.  Looks like I’ll be doing a hell of a lot of walking my future.

Pacific Crest

The Pacific Crest Trail [PCT] is one of the three that make up the Triple Crown of hiking and I fully intend to thru hike it one day.  I’m shooting for within the next couple years but we’ll have to see how things work out.

Where – From the U.S./Mexico border to the U.S./Canada border on the edge of Manning Park in B.C., Canada.  The park runs through California, Oregon, and Washington states.

Distance – 2,663 miles

The Pacific Crest Trail (Three Second Thru-Hike) from Halfway Anywhere on Vimeo.

Appalachian

The second trail that’s included in the Triple Crown of hiking is the Appalachian Trail [AT].  While the PCT is on the west coast, this trail is over in my neck of the woods and just as appealing to me as the PCT.

Where – The AT extends between Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.  The trail passes through Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virgina, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Conneticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Distance – 2,200 miles

Appalachian Trail: Totts Gap to Mount Minsi (2)

Continental Divide

The third and final of the Triple Crown in hiking – the Continental Divide.  This is the least common of the three – only about two dozen people attempt to thru hike this a year.

Where – Extends between Mexico and Canada following along the Continental Divide of the Americas along the Rocky Mountains passing through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Distance – 3,100 miles

Continental Divide, Milner pass.

John Muir

The John Muir Trail [JMT] is a trail located in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California – passing through Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks.

Where – From Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney.  About 160 miles of the trail follows the same route as the PCT.

Distance – 210.4 miles

John Muir Trail - Yosemite National Park

El Camino de Santiago

Also known as the Way of St. James is the pilgrimage route to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.  There are many different routes but the Camino Frances is the most popular (leaving from France).

Where – From the foothills of the Pyrenees in France to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain.

Distance – 490 miles

Camino de Santiago Tour

Pacific Northwest Trail

The Pacific Northwest Trail [PNT] runs horizontal where the three trails that make up the Triple Crown run vertical and the PNT actually connects with the Continental Divide Trail.

Where – Runs from the Continental Divide in Montana through Idaho, to the Pacific coast of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.  Passes through the Rocky Mountains, Selkirk Mountains, Pasayten Wilderness, North Cascades, Olympic Mountains and Wilderness Coast – through three National Parks and seven National Forests.

Distance – 1,200 miles

Pacific Northwest NST

Florida Trail

The Florida Trail is one I hadn’t heard much about until recently but it is one of eleven National Scenic Trails in the United States.

Where – Runs from Big Cypress National Preserve (between Miama and Naples) to Fort Pickens in Pensacola Beach.

Distance – 1,000 miles

Big Shoals from Florida Trail 3

Mount Kailish Pilgrimage, Tibet

Every year, thousands of people make the pilgrimage to Kailish believing that circumambulating Mount Kailish on foot will bring good fortune.

Where – Mount Kailash is a peak in the Kailas Range in Tibet.

Distance – 32 miles

hiking trails, mount kailish

Source

Laugavegunnin/Fimmvorounals Pass, Iceland

This trail takes you through lava fields, glacial streams, hot springs, and mountains.  A diverse paradise if you ask me.

Where – Skogar, Southern Highlands, Iceland to Thorsmork

Distance - 34 miles (50 miles with Fimmvorounals extension)

hiking trails, iceland

Source

North Country Trail

The longest of the eleven National Scenic Trails is the North Country Trail [NCT].

Where – Spans from Crown Point in New York to Lake Sakakawea State Park in North Dakota, United States.  Passes through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

Distance – 4,600 miles

hiking trails, north country trail

Source

Te Araroa Trail

The Te Araroa Trail offers coastlines, mountains, jungles, farmland, volcanoes and national parks all in one trail.

Where – New Zealand.  Covers the entire country from Cape Regina in the north to Bluff in the South.

Distance – 1,894 miles

hiking trails, new zealand

Source

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

One of the most famous treks in the world covers mountains, cloud-forests, jungles and lots of Incan ruins all leading to Machu Picchu – ‘Lost City of the Incas.’

Where – Peru, South America

Distance – 26 miles

hiking trails, machu picchu, peru

Source

Have you completed any of these trails or dream of completing them?  What others would you add to the list?

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge [2014]. 

Yesterday’s – Game of Thrones – Filming Locations

Tomorrow’s – I…

atoz-2014-BANNER-910-900x74

Ashley is the mastermind behind A Southern Gypsy, a travel blog focused on adventure, outdoors and wildlfe, and is in the process of selling all her things and prepping for long term travel before she leaves for Southeast Asia in November. She writes about prepping, past travel experiences, life in Nashville and future travel plans.

39 Comments

  1. Dennis Kopp

    April 9, 2014 at 4:00 AM

    Ashley, that is a great and quite ambitious collection of hiking trails! Camino de Compostela is a walk that I would like to do as well and as far as I know it can be done in many different ways and lengths. But making it to the holy mountain Kailash would be a real dream. Unfortunately it is quite expensive and difficult to get to, but maybe one day it will be possible somehow… :)

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 9, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      Thanks so much Dennis! Yea, the Kailash one may not be possible for myself for a long time at least…

  2. Ann

    April 9, 2014 at 5:41 AM

    I think the El Camino de Santiago was featured in a Martin Sheen movie. It made me really want to do something like that one day. I’m definitely interested in most of these, though for a lot of them I would probably only do a smaller segment.

  3. Mandie

    April 9, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    If you ever want a hiking partner, I’ll volunteer! Especially for the Te Araroa Trail. :)

  4. Syd

    April 9, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    Girl, you better start training! Lol. My feet would totally crap out on me on any one of these. I lived along the camino de santiago for awhile in 2009 and always wanted to do it. My crazy landlord basically spent most of his time chasing the pilgrims out of his garden. That was the camino del norte, that goes through asturias. You could also do el camino frances, or el camino del oro (up from sevilla I think?) but I would definitely recommend the norte because you get to follow the coastline and it’s the least traveled route…absolutely incredible part of the world.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 9, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      But see, my ass would totally crap out on me (pun not intended? :/ ) with all the biking you do. Thanks for the tip – I would have probably done the Frances one but maybe not now :)

  5. Stephanie

    April 9, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    Hiking seems like it would be such an adventure with the right people and in the right conditions. The Appalachian Trail is crazy for how long it is!

  6. Britany

    April 9, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Wow this list makes me want to get outside and move my legs!

  7. Christy@SweetandSavoring

    April 9, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Oh man what a great list. I’ve read books about or researched several of these would LOVE to do El Camino), and some, like the North Country Trail, I was surprised I’d never heard of before! I love hiking but have never done it in an overnight-long-term sort of way and this post is great motivation!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 9, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      Thanks Christy! I hadn’t heard of the NCT until recently either – it seems pretty intense :)

  8. Daidri | Thee Getaway Gal

    April 9, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Ashley, I am so excited to hear about your journey through the PCT one day! I know you’ll do it and I’ll be cheering you on. I love hiking and it was extremely fun to read about some of these I had never heard of before. They look beautiful and while I don’t think I’ll ever do any of them all the way through I would love to see parts of them. Such a fun read!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 9, 2014 at 2:43 PM

      Thanks so much Daidri! I hope I’ll prove you right one day :)

  9. Chris Boothman

    April 9, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    This is an awesome list of hiking trails Ashley, its a great way to get out, get exercise and explore new regions of the world. England is a great spot for hiking trails, in particular the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales so I would add those to the list but apart from that I think you have a pretty cool collection for folks to start with if they are really interested in hiking.

  10. Anabel

    April 9, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    We’ve done day hikes on parts of the AT on various US holidays but I’m not sure I’d have the stamina to do the whole thing! We have great trails in Scotland too, e.g. the West Highland Way, but the big disadvantage is the weather. If you like hiking in mud it’s great though! And I absolutely endorse Chris’s comment above about the Lakes and Yorkshire Dales.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 9, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      That’s awesome Anabel – I haven’t done any of the AT.

  11. Tam @Travellingbookjunkie

    April 9, 2014 at 12:49 PM

    I second Chris’s comment about the walks available in the UK, whilst not as long as some you have mentioned they will definitely test you! :). I would love to complete any of the ones you have mentioned but I think the Inca Trail in particular would be calling me first!

  12. Calli

    April 9, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    What a collection of hiking trails – I think I got a blister just reading this post. I hadn’t heard of any of the trails in the US but now I want to put them on my bucket list. One question, does it count if someone carries you through the trail?

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 9, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      I think it should count Calli – I mean you were still there, right? ;)

  13. Corinne

    April 9, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Wow, you’ve really got your work cut out for you. Sounds energetic! Good luck!

  14. SJ @ Chasing the Donkey

    April 9, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    Um… helloooooo you forgot Croatia. I dont think we can be mates any longer :) Kidding…. kind of.

  15. birgit

    April 9, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    I watched a documentary on the 1st trail you talked about. It was very interesting. Most people who started didn’t finish and I can see why-it is difficult:) We have the Bruce Trail here and there are others. My niece is going to Scotland and doing a 6 days short trail-I can’t recall the name of it. Love the pics from all these places

  16. Justine

    April 10, 2014 at 4:31 AM

    Wow i think it is amazing you are selling everything to go travelling, what an adventure and you are grabbing life by the so called ‘balls’. This way you will have amazing memories and tales to tell grandchildren if not other people. I commend you and shall enjoy snippets of your adventures. PS hello from another a-z blogger x

  17. Tasha

    April 10, 2014 at 5:37 AM

    I really wish I could hike. I have an ankle condition that made walking long distances nigh on impossible these days, but I love the middle of nowhere. These trails look amazing. When I was a teenager we used to walk on Exmoor and some of the paths across the moor and along the coast were so very beautiful.
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings – AtoZ (Vampires)
    FB3X – AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

  18. Catherine Green

    April 10, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    This is a fabulous plan, what an adventure you will have! See you round on the #AtoZChallenge

  19. Sean @ His and Her Hobbies

    April 10, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    What an awesome list of trails! I have only hiked a few miles of the Appalachian Trail with a mate a few years ago but have watched a few shows and read the Bill Bryson book on it as well. If I had to choose only one it would be the one in New Zealand as it is one of the most scenic places on earth and one I would love to visit again some day.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

  20. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs

    April 11, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    I love hiking and those are some really great choices, I’m dreaming of Peru the most!

  21. Jennifer

    April 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    This is a fantastic list of some very challenging hiking trails. Several are on our own bucket list.

  22. Stian R

    April 14, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    Hi there!

    We just launched a new 4-day hiking trail to to one of the most popular attractions in Norway right now — Trolltunga in Hardanger. We start our guided tours this summer. Hope this will find it’s way on your site one day.

    Follow us on twitter @trollsadventure or take a look at our site http://www.trolltunga-adventures.com

    Sorry, for the selfpromotion, but if Trolltunga is on your bucketlist — this will be the most special, exclusive and unique hike to reach the majestic site.

    • Stian R

      April 14, 2014 at 5:27 AM

      Sorry, our Twitteraccount is @Trolladventure

  23. Leslie

    April 15, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Great post! I would love to check out any/all of those trails. I’ve don’t the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and it’s well worth the trip! The Iceland trail you highlighted looks gorgeous!

    • Ashley Hubbard

      April 15, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      Thanks Leslie! That’s great that you’ve done the Inca Trail :)

  24. Pingback: Intrepid : The Kind of Traveler I Aspire to Be – A Southern Gypsy's Adventures

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