6 Great Hiking Trails to Get You Back into the Spring of Things
By Leah Rambadt, American Forests
As the weather gets warmer, you’ll probably look for activities that let you stay outside longer and let you enjoy nature. Here are some hiking trails that’ll help you get psyched for spring and the outdoors!
For those who aren’t hiking enthusiasts, let’s define the three types of trails that are listed below:
- Loop Trail: Brings you back to your starting point without walking on the same path.
- Point-to-Point Trail: Designed for you to walk from one place to another, and is too long to return to the starting point.
- In and Out (or Out and Back) Trail: You follow the trail to its end, and then walk back the same way to the starting point.
Hite Cove Trail, California
Distance: 6.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 980 feet
Best Time to Use: Accessible year-round (wildflower walk: March–mid-May)
Hite Cove Trail is located near Mariposa, California. It’s an out and back trail that leads down to the abandoned Hite Cove mining settlement. The trail is accessible year-round, and used for hiking, walking, nature trips and birding.
Lily Mountain Trail, Colorado
Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1240 feet
Best Time to Use: March–September
Lily Mountain Trail is an out and back trail located near Estes Park, Colorado. It’s used for hiking, walking, nature trips and birding, and you’ll also see beautiful wildflowers. The first part of the trail is a gradual climb through pine forests, which then steepens as you climb the mountain. It goes over the summit, though the last ¼ mile of the trail may be harder to follow. From the summit, you can see Longs Peak, Estes Park and Twin Sisters Peak.
Battle Creek Falls Trail, Utah
Distance: 2.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 1236 feet
Best Time to Use: March–October
This out and back trail is located near Pleasant Grove, Utah. It follows Battle Creek as it goes up the canyon, and you can choose to continue past Battle Creek Falls. You’ll see a couple of more waterfalls, and enter a steep climb that reaches a junction where you can transfer onto Curley Springs Trail and head towards Dry Creek Canyon.
Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte, Tennessee
Distance: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 2854 feet
Best Time to Use: March–November
Alum Cave Trail is located near Twin Creeks, Tennessee. It’s an out and back trail that features views of Little Duck Hawk Ridge, The Eye of the Needle and Myrtle Point. There is also a lodge and cabins near the top of the mountain – if you’re interested, you can make a reservation and stay the night!
Pine Creek Trail, Pennsylvania
Distance: 61.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 908 feet
Best Time to Use: March–November
This point-to-point trail is located near Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. It has numerous trailheads, comfort stations, campgrounds and small towns along the route, which allows you to plan for short and long excursions. There are many access points to the trail with parking lots that you can use.
Bear Lake Trail, Florida
Distance: 3.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 55 feet
Best Time to Use: Year-round
This is a loop trail that’s good for all skill levels. It’s located near Munson, Florida, and goes around an impounded reservoir that flows into Sweetwater Creek. In addition to hiking, it’s also an excellent spot for birding. You may see a swallow-tailed kite on your hike!
Remember, these are just suggested hiking trails to get you started. Choose any trail you’d like, close by or far away, and hike out!
Also, if you share #WhyIHike with our partner, Eddie Bauer, you could win one of three hiking destinations!
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