“New York City, USA – October 20, 2012: People walking under the bridge in the autumn Prospect Park near the pond”
The renowned author’s exaltation of America’s national parks is one of the most accurate facts ever stated. In his words, Wallace Stegner said that national parks are “the best idea we ever had.” This long held truth will soon have more meaning with the summer season on its way as it presents a fabulous opportunity to hike around and enjoy the splendors of the national parks closest to you. For an enjoyable and gratifying experience, Yelp has gathered a list of the best hikes in the United States to help you plan for a perfect adventure. This list has been meticulously gathered based on official records and site rankings.
To come to these findings, Yelp ranked the locations in its parks category that had “a large concentration of reviews mentioning the words ‘hiking,’ ‘hike,’ and ‘trail,’ then ranked those spots using a number of factors including the total volume and ratings of reviews mentioning those keywords.”
Only two parks were included per state to ensure geographic diversity. Check out the entire list below, and to make a (cheap) trip out of it, see places you can stay for free near U.S. national parks here.
Prospect Park in Brooklyn delivers many exciting and engaging endeavors for park goers to explore. With a wide range of activities ranging from basketball and tennis courts, to bird watching and hikes, there is definitely one activity that you greatly enjoy. The park has miles of roadways and paths, including a 3.35-mile running lane along Park Drive.
Visitors can walk through the exquisitely dazzling landscaped Japanese Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle, Washington. The city park, a living museum home to over 20,000 plant species from around the world, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
Washington Park Arboretum
Washington Park Arboretum is not as big as most parks but remains a secret gem situated close to Lake Washington in Washington State. This park majestically sits on 230 acres and it is full of an extensive assortment of plants, some found nowhere else in the Northwest. Hike and relish the arboretum's assortments of plants, displayed in several themed gardens, ranging from the ecogeographic gardens in the south end of the park to seasonal gardens such as the Witt Winter Garden.
Aerial View Of Mendenhall Glacier And The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, Juneau, Southeast Alaska, Autumn
Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Juneau, Alaska is an epicenter of hiking around the Mendenhall Glacier and the Tongass National Forest. The area is a nature-lover's paradise with visitors often spotting bald eagles, sockeye salmon, and black bear cubs. Visitors can choose to hike through dense forests and meadows, explore caves, or even venture on a wooden “boardwalk” trail through swampy bogs, called muskegs. With more than 700 miles of trails, hikers need never see the same sights twice.
H5Y4ME Stone bridge spanning Beargrass Creek in Cherokee Park Louisville, Kentucky.
Cherokee Park in Kentucky is very popular among locals and tourists alike. Its main feature is a 2.4-mile scenic loop that takes visitors through rolling hills, open meadows, and woodlands of the Beargrass Creek valley. With its family-friendly atmosphere and range of paths to take, it’s the perfect place for hikers of all ages.
Backpacker hiking at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in New Mexico. USA.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in New Mexico, located 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe, is one of the newer parks in America after being established in 2001 by then-president Bill Clinton. The park has several trails, including a 1.2-mile hike which leads up through a slot canyon to a lookout point that offers stunning views of the tent rocks from above. For a closer look, the park also has a 1.3-mile loop trail that leads past the tent rocks’ base.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is located just 75 miles from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. The park consists of 200,000 acres of protected lands that are home to deer, songbirds, and a clear, star-speckled night sky. The park also has more than 500 miles of hiking trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Each trail offers something new, including waterfalls, viewpoints, and deep forests.