Conquering the best hiking trails in every state will give you a deeper love for the access we have to nature here in America.
You might have a bucket list of hitting all fifty states before you turn fifty. Well, you'll need something to do in those states! So, while you can find the best dive bars or the most romantic restaurants, here's another idea. Tackle the best hiking trails in every state to truly experience all the natural wonders we have between sea and shining sea. So, make sure you have a great pair of hiking boots and maybe a good GPS watch in case you get lost. Once you're set, dive into these best hiking trails in every state.
1. Alabama – Walls of Jericho Trail
Credit: Michael Hicks
This six and a half mile out-and-back trail is located near Hytop, Alabama. It is a difficult trail as it has 1,348 feet of elevation gain. But you will be rewarded with a spectacular waterfall. The cherry on top is that it is both dog and horse friendly if you have some furry friends to come along.
2. Alaska – Flattop Mountain Trail
Wildflowers. Moose. Short but difficult. What else do you expect from the northernmost hiking trail in the US? Flattop Mountain Trail is just over three miles but is quite strenuous. It's quite accessible, being just outside of Anchorage, Alaska. If you're fit, it's popular for trail running, hiking, or taking your dog for a walk.
3. Arizona – Devils Bridge Trail
Stunning green brushy desert landscapes await you on this next stroll on our list of the best hiking trails in every state. The Devils Bridge Trail is located in Coconino National Forest. It is just over four miles and will give stunning views for all.
4. Arkansas – Whitaker Point Trail aka Hawksbill Crag
This three mile out and back excursion is a great family-friendly hike. Complete with a waterfall only 400 feet of elevation gain, you will love that this made of our list of the best hiking trails in every state. Your reward for finishing this hike? You'll stand atop a rock formation that sticks out into the air while overlooking Whitaker Creek. It's no surprise it looks like a hawk's bill either.
5. California – Sentinel Dome Trail
Quick. Easy. Stunning. The Sentinel Dome Trail is an out and back trail totaling two miles in Yosemite National Park. It gives you gorgeous views of El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Nevada Falls, Half Dome, and Clouds Rest. You'll quickly understand why this is my personal favorite hike on our list of the best hiking trails in every state.
6. Colorado – Royal Arch Trail
Wander through a pine forest just outside of Boulder for this next hiking trail. The Royal Arch Trail is a popular three mile out and back option for the avid hiker. Dogs are allowed here, and it's best used between March and October to avoid snowfall and ice on this rocky route.
7. Connecticut – Ragged Mountain Loop
Enjoy 5.5 miles of stunning vistas and views of the Wassel Reservoir on the Ragged Mountain Loop. Bring along a picnic for the lake views or your camera in the fall when the leaves are changing. Either way, be prepared for some steep hills and bouldering at points along this trail.
8. Delaware – Swamp Forest Trail
Take a long, leisurely stroll on the most relaxed trail on our list of the best hiking trails in every state. The Swamp Forest Trail is a 6.8 mile loop around a lake amongst gorgeous wildflowers.
9. Florida – Shark Valley Trail
A trip to Florida isn't complete without a walk on the Shark Valley Trail in Everglades National Park. This is a long 15.8 mile loop trail that will take you by the whole myriad of Floridian animals. Enjoy the wildlife, but keep in mind there is no shade available and it gets pretty toasty in the south.
10. Georgia – Raven Cliff Falls Trail
Credit: Jeff Gunn
Follow a river through the woods at Raven Cliff Falls Trail. You'll head out on a 4.8 mile out and back trail that features a waterfall and stunning views. It's perfect for the pups as there is water all along the way and changing terrain. Take note to make wise and safe choices at the end of the trail where erosion is quite prevalent.
11. Hawaii – Diamond Head (Le'ahi) Summit Trail
Make sure to start the Diamond Head Summit Trail before 4:30 in the afternoon and you'll have the hike of a lifetime. The most popular hike on Oahu, you will hike from out of the Diamond Head crater to enjoy panoramic views of the island from the rim. You can see the 3,500 foot wide crater from the top and be in awe of its beauty. This unparalleled view is one of the most unique walks on our list of the best hiking trails in every state.
12. Idaho – Iron Creek to Sawtooth Lake Trail
The Iron Creek to Sawtooth Lake Trail is an 8.5 mile out and back trail that meanders through Sawtooth National Forest. You can enjoy a detour Alpine Lake, and it will be more than worth it. But, you'll end up at the stunning, wildflower spotted Sawtooth Lake. It's the perfect spot to spend some time relaxing with whomever you chose to do this with.
13. Illinois – Little Grand Canyon Trail
This gorgeous three mile loop of the Little Grand Canyon Trail is the best there is in Illinois. It will take you up and down through a waterfall as you explore the small canyon. This trail is known to be slippery at times, but the mushrooms, frogs, insects, and butterflies you see will be so worth it.
14. Indiana – Clifty Falls Loop
Clifty Falls State Park is a natural playground. Any outdoor enthusiast will fall in love with the endless trails, waterfalls, and spots to meander. So, check out the Clifty Falls Loop by combining the 8, 3, 4, and 5 trail. In the end, it will be an almost six mile loop that you can bring Fido along on their leash or enjoy it the seclusion solo.
15. Iowa – Wildcat Den Trail
We love a good loop trail, and the Wildcat Den Trail is just that. It's a four mile trail near Muscatine Iowa in Wildcat Den State Park. This place is filled with history, camping, recreation spots, and picnic areas. You'll see Steamboat Rock, the Devil's Punch Bowl, and Fat Man's Squeeze all along here. Combine this with the beautiful bluffs and rock outcroppings and you're all set for the time of your life. The best hiking trails in every state all compete with the majesty on the Wildcat Den Trail.
16. Kansas – Elk River Hiking Trail
You won't feel like you're in Kansas anymore on this next stroll on the list of the best hiking trails in every state. This 14.1 mile point to point hike will need a moderate effort. There are primitive campsites along the trail if you'd like to turn this into a backpacking adventure as well. Either way, enjoy the limestone bluffs on Elk City Lake. You'll pass by little streams, deep ravines, and even wind through narrow canyons and rock overhangs here. It is truly a magical spot in the midst of Kansas.
17. Kentucky – Dog Slaughter Falls Trail
This may be one of the oldest trails on our list of the best hiking trails in every state. It was built in the 1880s by the Lexington and Eastern Railroad. The just over three mile loop will lead you to the Natural Bridge. It is steep to start but quickly levels off. Feel free to stop at any of the multiple Civilian Conservation Corps shelters along the way. Take in the smells of the marvelous hemlock, tulip tree, white pine, and thickets of rhododendron. Once you make it to the natural bridge, hope up on top through the natural fracture near the arch.
18. Louisiana – Comite Park Trail
While this is a hiking trail, the Comite Park Trail is also well loved as a mountain biking loop. It's a total of 4.9 miles tucked near Baton Rouge, Louisiana and is one of the most well maintained in Comite River Park.
19. Maine – The Beehive Loop Trail
The Beehive Loop Trail may only be 1.3 miles, but it is quite difficult. You can make this adventure an out and back or a loop, depending on your style. If you're adventurous, make it a loop by climbing the iron rungs on exposed cliffs after conquering the steep vistas. The views of Sand Beach at Acadia National Park are stunning.
20. Maryland – Great Falls Loop
This 4.6 mile loop is a stunner. Near McLean, this loop will give you views of the impeccable Great Falls while allowing you to take a myriad of stops along the way.
21. Massachusetts – Blue Hills Skyline Trail
This 12 mile loop is just ten miles south of downtown Boston in Massachusetts State Park. It will give you spectacular views of fall foliage as you enjoy swamps, ponds, and marshes. Take note of any endangered species you might see as well.
22. Michigan – Chapel Trail Mosquito Falls Loop
You'll see Lake Superior while you walk the 9.7 miles on the Chapel Trail Mosquito Falls Loop. Given the name, make sure to bring your bug repellent along on this.
23. Minnesota – Fifth Falls and Superior Hiking Trail Loop
This simple three mile loop will be a great easy choice when you get a little tired tackling all the best hiking trails in every state. If it's a toasty day, make sure to bring a swimsuit along to take a dip in one of the numerous watering holes along the way. The Fifth Falls and Superior Hiking Trail Loop is a great family adventure for little ones of all ages.
24. Mississippi – Clark Creek Primitive Trail
The Clark Creek Primitive Trail is a 4.3 mile loop near Woodville, Mississippi. Bring along your dog or train for a something longer on this moderate terrain. Make sure to pop down to the creek and climb around the waterfalls to cool off when you need it.
25. Missouri – River Scene Trail Loop
The most stunning trail in Castlewood State Park is the River Scene Trail Loop. It encompasses three miles of strolling alongside the gorgeous Meramec River. Follow a long wooden staircase from the high bluffs to the valley as you get up close and personal with the river. Of course, this is all spotted along the way by a forest and panoramic views.
26. Montana – Grinnell Glacier Trail
There are endless possibilities for stunning trails in Glacier National Park. But, take the almost ten mile Grinnell Glacier Trail to experience the best of the park's hiking, fishing, and fly fishing. Be careful to watch out for bears as they're quite lively in this area.
27. Nebraska – Hackberry, Hawthorn, Chickadee, Hickory, and Ridge Trail Loop
Who knew that so much magic was secluded in the Omaha metro area? Well, 2.2 mile loop is accessible year round and is perfect for walking, hiking, and even trail running.
28. Nevada – Hunter Creek Trail
The Hunter Creek Trail is a 5.7 mile out and back trail near Reno, Nevada. It will give you a moderate workout while you enjoy the waterfall views and the luscious greenery.
29. New Hampshire – Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop
If you've gotten this far tackling the best hiking trails in every state, we definitely think you're ready for the Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop. You'll take the 8.5 miles near Franconia, New Hampshire and gain almost four thousand feet. On this hike, you will top three peaks before being gifted the best views in New England.
30. New Jersey – Mount Tammany: Red Dot and Blue Dot Loop Trail
Credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli
Enjoy a 3.5 mile loop when you're on Mount Tammany's Trail. Near Columbia, New Jersey, you'll tackle the challenging ascent on the way up and enjoy the pleasant scenery on the way down. You can enjoy a rest by the small pond along the winding path through the forest.
31. New Mexico – Tent Rocks Trail
History is engulfed by the Tent Rocks Trail in New Mexico. This three mile out and back trail will take you through a slot canyon the plenty of rock formations and hood0os. Please stay on the trail as it is a religious site for the Cochiti Pueblo people. You'll climb about 750 feet during this, so bring water along to stay safe.
32. New York – Cascade & Porter Mountains
If you're in hiking in New York, then visiting Lake Placid is a must. Just nearby are Cascade and Porter Mountains, two of the infamous 46ers. If you do both, it will be a strenuous 5.6 miles that will give you some of the best views in New York.
33. North Carolina – Looking Glass Rock Trail
If you're looking for the very best hiking trails in every state, the Looking Glass Rock Trail might just need to be moved to number one. When you top out on this hike, you might just exclaim out loud when the surrounding beauty overtakes you. Just be prepared with water and other hiking essentials for this six mile out and back trail with over 1,700 of elevation gain.
34. North Dakota – Wild Canyon Trail
You can never go wrong with a short trail in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The Wild Canyon Trail will take you on a half mile tour of the Little Missouri River.
35. Ohio – Ledges Trail
Credit: Jen Goellnitz
These 2.6 miles of ledges, moss, and caves along Ledges Trail are marvelous. The low elevation change and short length make it one of the most family-friendly on our list of the best hiking trails in every state.
36. Oklahoma – Elk Mountain Trail
Enjoy the expansive savannah views on the Elk Mountain Trail. This 2.3 mile out and back trail will walk you through stunning wildflowers and give you picture perfect views of the wildlife refuge.
37. Oregon – Trail of Ten Falls
One of the most marvelous trails on our list of the best hiking trails in every state is the Trail of Ten Falls. Located in Silver Falls State Park, this 7.1 mile trail will walk you by ten different and equally stunning waterfalls. This relaxed hike will walk you through a beautiful canyon, but don't worry. There are plenty of places to sit along the way. So, pack up the whole family for this spectacular hike.
38. Pennsylvania – Glen Onoko Falls and Lehigh Gorge Overlook Trail
The best hiking trails in every state usually incorporate waterfalls into them. This is no exception. The Glen Onoko Falls and Lehigh Gorge Overlook Trail is a 3.7 mile loop near Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. You'll have great views of falls, but please be careful as they are steep and wet and pose a falling risk.
39. Rhode Island – World War II Memorial Loop
This 4.4 mile loop is home to a bomber crash site and a 1940's Boy Scout Camp. The World War II Memorial Loop will give you beautiful views of all of this, as well as Providence, a beautiful rock quarry, and the upper bay.
40. South Carolina – Table Rock Trail
Credit: Martin LaBar
The Table Rock Trail is not for the faint of heart. It is a strenuous 6.4 mile loop that gives you rock scrambles, waterfalls, and a stunning summit. It does get toasty here so make sure to stay hydrated while you're hiking.
41. South Dakota – Black Elk Peak Highpoint Trail
The Black Elk Peak Highpoint Trail is a 6.8 mile loop tops out on a 7,242 foot granite mountain in South Dakota's beautiful Black Hills. You can also enjoy a historic stone fire tower view at the top as you stare across the rock formations.
42. Tennessee – Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte Trail
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is home to a favorite on our list of the best hiking trails in every state. The Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte Trail is a 10.7 mile loop that will take you through Tennessee's Inspiration Point, Arch Rock, and some beautiful primitive cabins. So, make a weekend out of this spectacular hike.
43. Texas – Riverplace Nature Trail
This trail will give you the thigh workout you've been waiting for. With a multitude of stairs, you'll enjoy both the stellar scenery and the intense workout of the Riverplace Nature Trail near Austin. But, bring water along even though there are waterfalls and rivers along the way.
44. Utah – Lake Blanche Trail
The Twin Peaks Wilderness near Salt Lake City, Utah is home to the Lake Blanche Trail. This out and back, 6.7 mile trail will give you beautiful views of the canyon. Make sure to start out early to avoid the crowds and the heat that comes later in the day.
45. Vermont – Stowe Pinnacle Trail
Near Stowe, Vermont is the Stowe Pinnacle Trail which will take you on a three mile out and back journey. Like every great mountain trail, you'll be rewarded with stunning and luscious green mountain views when you top out here.
46. Virginia – Old Rag Mountain
Shenandoah National Park is one of the most beautiful spots in the country. Old Rag Mountain is no exception. This 8.6 mile loop will make you work for the view with the rock scramble at the top. Make sure to grab a picture holding up the boulder. You'll know it when you see it.
47. Washington – Rattlesnake Ledge Trail
Rattlesnake Ledge is a 5.1 mile out and back trail near North Bend, Washington. When you top out, you'll have stunning views of Mount Si and Mount Washington. Just note this is a busy trail, so try to hike it in the offseason or in non-peak hours.
48. West Virginia – Endless Wall
The New River Gorge is a stunning escape for hikers, outdoor enthusiasts, and rock climbers. The Endless Wall is a 2.7 mile loop will give you breathtaking views and is a perfect start for beginner hikers. If you do head out on this hike on our list of the best hiking trails in every state, make sure to bring all your rock climbing essentials to get out on the crag.
49. Wisconsin – Devil's Lake Loop
Circumnavigate Devil's Lake on this 4.7 mile loop. Near Baraboo, Wisconsin, this trail has plenty of camping nearby. So, pair this with some great car camping adventures and you won't want to leave.
50. Wyoming – Taggart Lake Loop
Credit: Ken Lane
Grand Teton National Park is home to so many unbelievable hikes, it's hard to pinpoint the best. But, Taggart Lake Loop gives the others a run for their money with its 3.8 miles of wildflowers and towering mountains. This is a great hike for all skill levels.
Take on this list of the best hiking trails in every state if you're ready to fall in love with nature over and over again.
If you're intrigued by these fifty hikes, then it's probably time to download a hiking app and keep track. Do you have a favorite hike that didn't make this list? Let us know what you think are the best hikes all across the country and we'd love to check them out.