Caption: Unbelievable scenery is closer to the most popular urban cities in the US than you might think
If you are someone that loves nothing more than strapping on their hiking boots, filling their backpack and exploring the beautiful landscape and scenery that surrounds us in the north-east, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that the US has plenty of treks and trails that can improve any North America visit. Hiking can provide the perfect light relief during bustling city breaks, helping you to walk off some of those holiday excesses that we all know and love.
If you’re thinking of planning an exciting trip Stateside in the future, be sure to make a note of the following cities with breath-taking walks and scenery located a stone’s throw away:
The capital city of Idaho, Boise, is known as the “City of Trees”, thanks largely to its position nearby the Boise River Greenbelt. This Greenbelt offers a host of tree-lined treks, as well as plenty of parkland to explore alongside the water. In total, there is more than 340 miles of single track available to explore by foot, with a direct pathway between Boise downtown and the Sawtooth Mountains to the north-east of the city. Head a little further east of downtown Boise and you’ll also be able to head out along the Idaho Centennial Trail, spanning the Nevada border all the way to the Canadian border.
Caption: Pack your bags and head out into Portland’s Forest Park
Portland, Oregon is home to one of the most spectacular parklands in the heart of the urban area. Forest Park consists of over 5,000 acres of tranquil wilderness and has dozens of miles of trails ideal for daily hikes. If you plan to hire a car, you can also drive about 60 minutes south of the city to explore the majestic Silver Falls State Park. Waterfall lovers will enjoy feasting their eyes on the Trail of Ten Falls that’s less than an eight-mile hike.
Las Vegas is infamous for plenty of things, but hiking is not typically one of them. For sure, “Sin City” is famed for the glitz and glamour of its casinos and its high-end dining and entertainment, but the Nevada city is also surrounded by lots of spectacular desert landscape. The Valley of Fire State Park offers the perfect demonstration of the desert’s brightly coloured rock formations. Meanwhile Muffin Ridge, on the fringes of Red Rock Canyon, provides an awe-inspiring view looking down on Vegas and the Las Vegas Boulevard Strip. Just remember that, when you plan a visit to Vegas, one of the best ways to save money on your trip is to book hotel rooms during the week and avoid the busy weekends.
Sure, Los Angeles is considered one of the most metropolitan cities on the planet, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in green spaces and excellent hiking opportunities. Two of the best walks in the LA area are the Mishe Mokwa Trail, which has only moderate elevation but offers magnificent scenery from the Santa Monica Mountains. Secondly, the Mount San Antonio trail takes you to the highest point possible in the city, peaking at an elevation of just over 10,000m. Who knew that Southern California was such a trekking paradise?!
Last but by no means least, the capital. Washington D.C. does not have the biggest appeal when it comes to tourism, especially outdoor tourism. Nevertheless, residents of D.C. would certainly recommend Rock Creek Park as a way to help you change your minds. Take a walk alongside the creek and enjoy a trail that was often frequented by former US President, Theodore Roosevelt. Again, if you are budgeting for car hire, you can always drive half-an-hour south of D.C. to experience Prince William Forest Park, which culminates in the stunning South Valley Trail and meanders through the Virginia forest.
Hopefully this helps to whet your appetite as to the hiking opportunities across North America. Wherever you are headed, there will always be an opportunity to pack your hiking boots and escape the concrete jungle on an adventure.