Take a Hike: Trails to Blaze this Spring
Put a Spring in Your Step with These Top 7 Hiking Spots
Take spring in stride by heading outdoors for a walk or hike. Hiking is great for burning calories and exposes you to natural scenery while walking is a gentle yet effective addition to any exercise routine. Both can be budget-friendly, mood-enhancing and adaptable to skill level and schedule. All you really need is sun protection, comfortable shoes (terrain-appropriate) and a supply of water. That said, make sure to check weather forecasts and trail information before you head out.
Spring is often a time of year when the weather is cool enough that you won’t get overheated if you go out mid-day. Lingering snow may be giving way to new blooms, but you’ll get to breathe fresh air and reconnect with simpler pleasures. Here are several top-rated trails that will undoubtedly put more spring in your step.
Boulder River Hike, WA
If hiking by the banks of a river sounds calming, you’ll enjoy a spring hike along the Boulder River in Washington state. Some of the trail is wide and flat with its share of wilderness, moss and old growth trees. The distant sounds of Boulder Falls are motivating. While you won’t have mountain views while you get your 4 miles of steps in (one way), there are waterfalls.
- Length: 8.6 miles
Upper Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, CA
Want to hike on a historical trail that leads to the Top of North America’s tallest waterfall? The Yosemite Falls Trail in Yosemite National Park, California features wildlife (no feeding), bird watching, wildflowers and a spectacular view of the Upper Yosemite Falls. While open year-round, the waterfall is at its peak in spring.
- Length: 3.0 miles
Herman Gulch Trail #98, CO
Colorado has no shortage of hiking trails. The Herman Gulch Trail #98 is dog- and family-friendly. It begins on an old sawmill road, then emerges from a forest and continues toward Herman Lake, a section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Overall, you’ll be treated to unobstructed views and seasonal wildflowers, plus the possibility to spot bighorn sheep and mountain goats.
- Length: 3.3 miles
Ramsey Cascades Trail, NC
One of the nice things about Ramsey Cascades Trail is that it starts out easy by the streams and then becomes more challenging closer to the waterfall. These latter parts may have you hike up stone stairs and climb over rocks, so make sure you wear suitable footwear (no runners). Springtime brings lovely wildflowers in this old-growth forest. It’s also do-able in a day.
- Length: 8.0 miles
Cascade Mountain, New York
Located in Keene, New York, Cascade Mountain is one of the Adirondack’s many hiking trails. This is a great one to do if you love reaching a summit with 360-degree views. There is lots of bare rock on the trail, which gets busier towards late spring and early summer. It’s also short enough (2.2 miles one way) to leave you with energy should you stay in the area overnight.
- Length: 4.4 miles
Philadelphia locals love their urban walks, and if you stay in Center City, you’ll really love the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT), though you’ll have to share it with cyclists and joggers. Nonetheless, the views are great, especially of the Art Museum and Boat House Row. If you prefer more forest and the sound of a waterfall, Wissahickon Valley Park provides an oasis from city life. In fact, the trail ‘Forbidden Drive’ won the state’s 2018 Trail of the Year.
- Length: 7.4 miles
The Great Smoky Mountains, TN/NC
The Great Smoky Mountains, located on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina is America’s most visited national park. Each April, they kick off flower season with the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, which features professionally-guided walks. The Cove Hardwood Self-guiding Nature Trail is under a mile-long loop but there are many other trails to consider, and the Laurel Fall Trail is among the most popular.
- Length: 4.1 miles