Do you plan some serious hiking this summer? There’s a website that might get you inspired. It’s a comprehensive article at Boot Bomb on the Top 50 Long Distance Hiking Trails In The USA. Access is FREE and it not only gives you descriptions and locations of those trails, but also offers tips on long-distance hiking with lots more links to advice.
We also included five great trails to try locally in the DC metro area.
* Please note: restrooms and/or water fountains may not be open in select areas due to the current pandemic.
- Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland – The gorgeous park is full of spectacular scenery and access to Cunningham Falls to cool off. One side of the park is a bit more dense than the other, with wetlands and lots of wildlife. More information on the park can be found here.
- Prince William Forest Park, Virginia – Nearly 40 miles of trails makes up Prince William Forest Park. Enjoy over a dozen separate routes from easy ones for the whole family to enjoy to harder ones for a grueling workout. There’s even options for grandparents—there’s a geology e-walk option for those who can’t get outside. More information on the park can be found here.
- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia/Virginia/Maryland – The historical gem features amazing Blue Ridge Mountain views, lots of Civil War era history and 20 miles of trails. The C&O Canal towpath runs through the park and it’s also exactly the halfway point of the Appalachian Trail. Note: The footbridge across the Potomac River is currently closed due to train derailment damage. More information on the park can be found here.
- Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania & Virginia – A part of the trail runs from Roosevelt Island to the Chain Bridge, a perfect five-mile route. There’s lots of fishing and waterfalls around too, perfect for taking a little break as you hike. More information on the park can be found here.
- Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, Virginia – The Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is one of just a couple of nature preserves in Fairfax County. There’s stunning wildflowers on display, Virginia bluebells and more. The forests surrounding the preserve are full of lush oak and beech trees and wild cherry trees too. More information on the preserve can be found here.
- This article was updated by Kate Oczypok on May 26, 2020