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The 10 longest Hiking Trails in the US

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Are you looking for the longest hiking trails in the US?

The United States has a vast geographic area with various beautiful natural spots to visit, and hiking is one of the oldest ways to explore the natural beauty around any area.

All the adrenaline junkies and nature lovers opt for hiking through the scenic views of nature, and are sure to love this list of the longest hiking trails in the US!

Trails is a wide term used to describe a designated pathway that is reserved for individuals to traverse. These trails can be located in local and national parks, the wilderness, and even residential areas. They can be explored on foot, using bicycles, cars, and even horses.

Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, United States
Hiking to the Muir Woods National Monument, Mill Valley, United States.

Some trails are hiking-only trails. These trails are solely designated for hiking on foot.

The longest hiking trail in the world is The Great Trail, also known as the Trans Canada Trail, situated in Canada. It stretches across the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans. It is a 24,000 kilometers long multi-purpose trail. 

The longest hiking trail in the US is a tie between two trails: The American Discovery Trail, and The Great Western Loop. These are the most expensive hiking trails in the world and are sixty-eight hundred miles long. 

Another trail on the list of longest trails in the US is The Appalachian Trail, although it is not as lengthy as the above two. 

Top 10 Longest Hiking Trails In The Us

The United States has many beautiful hiking trails within its geographic boundaries. Here is a list of the top ten longest hiking trails in the US:

 1. American Discovery Trail

Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes, DE, USA
Expect to see amazing wildlife and birdlife in Cape Henlopen State Park.

This trail stretches 6800 miles from along the cost from Delaware to California. It has two routes, with the North route being shorter than the South route. The North route is 4,834 miles long while the South route is 5,057 miles.  

The Eastern end of the American Discovery Trail is adjacent to Cape Henlopen state park. And when you reach the point of the hiking trail you will get to explore the Argentine pass in Colorado. Lastly, at the western end of this trail, you can go to Limantour beach in California. 

The trail crosses many national parks and forests in the United States. Te trail covers a massive area from the eastern end to the western end of the United States and the temperatures can exceed the level of 110 degrees. Since it’s so long and passes through so many locations, you can expect to experience different types of weather on different parts of the trail. 

Therefore you should remember to pack all the essential items needed for the hike, as well as plenty of portable water. There are only a few designated areas where you can find fresh water along the trail, and these can be miles apart from one another. 

2. North County Trail

Bernal Heights, San Francisco, United States
Although the North County Trail is known to be sunny most of the year, always take specific weather conditions into account.

This trail runs 48, 00 miles along the Northeastern side of the United States. It stretches from Middlebury in central Vermont to Lake Sakakawea State park located in the central part of North Dakota. It covers scenic trails of the northern end of the country, therefore it is also known as the North County National Scenic Trail. 

The North County Trail connects the longest trails of the Appalachian Trail and Lewis Clark trail, and covers eight states of the US which are New York: Ohio, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, and Minnesota

The trail begins in North Dakota and progresses to the western region of New York. Within this route, there are many parks. It is on the eleventh spot on the list of national scenic trails which are authorized by Congress. 

When someone is hiking through North Dakota they will be able to visit many parks, forests, and recreational areas such as Lake Sakakawea state park, Valley City, Sheyenne River State Forest, and Clausen Springs recreation area, and many more.

The days on this trail are mostly sunny; the highest temperature it can reach is twenty-six-degree Celcius. When on a hiking trail there are limited supplies: You should take the specific weather conditions into consideration so that you are able to pack according to the weather conditions of the trail. 

3. Wonderland Trail 

Wonderland Trail, Southwest Harbor, ME, USA
The end of the Wonderland Trail drops you at this beach with dozens of stone piles made into art standing against the elements.

The above-mentioned trails are very lengthy and tiresome for many. Wonderland trail is an adequate, lengthy trail for long-distance hiking. It is 93 miles long and is located at an elevation of 22,000 feet. It has an elevated height in a circular route of Mount Rainier national park situated in Washington.

There are almost eighteen campsite areas where one can rest during the hike. Here you can cut your long hike into small parts to get food and rest. 

These facilities make the hike much easier. The trail covers many scenic wonders of nature such as glaciers, waterfalls, volcanic ridges, and meadows. 

The average time that is required to complete the entire trail is approximately 10 to 14 days. The trail circularly routes the mountain. 

While hiking on this trail you can see multiple glaciers and wonders of nature. The trail is tiresome as the track is elevated from the ground. So, while hiking on this trail you are either ascending the mountain or descending it. 

On this trail, you can see many forests and river crossings which are usually covered with snow or melting from it. The weather in this area is mostly sunny during the day and reaches the highest temperature at twenty-three degrees Celsius. 

4. Appalachian Trail 

Black bear on Appalachian Trail
Although rare, it is possible to encounter black bears on the Appalachian Trail, so be careful!

This is one of the longest hiking trails in the US which is for hiking only. No other transport can be used while hacking on this track.

This trail stretches from Georgia to Maine covering fourteen US states, covering whopping 2,180 miles.

While hiking on the Appalachian Trail you can detour to the Pinhoti trail which is 339 miles long and goes to the south of Georgia. This trail was completed in 1937. The credit for preserving this trail is done by the national park service. 

Around three million individuals hike this trail completely or in segments. The trail is mostly covered with forests and wilderness areas. 

It passes from North Caroline, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts from its northern end to its southern end.

Hikers hike this trail in a single season. The hikers can carry a lightweight tent with them to set camp in the forest. There are few trail communities along the trail which can accommodate hikers with food and other facilities.

On this trail, there is a caution alert for the wildlife. Black bears reside in this area but merely have human encounters. The weather in this region is highly unpredictable; it can drop to freezing temperatures and then rise to mild in a single day of the hike. 

5. Pacific North West Trail

Snow Lake Trail on the picturesque Pacific North West hiking trail.
Snow Lake Trail on the picturesque Pacific North West hiking trail.

The length of the North West trail is around 12, 00 miles. It is also known as America’s wildest national scenic trail because of the rugged land it crosses. This trail bridges the gap between the Pacific Ocean and the Continental divide. 

The trail has many segments of national forests, three national parks, seven mountain ranges, and many scenic views of nature. Hikers who hike on this tray get a chance to explore trail towns and waterside communities along the way.  

This trail already has many challenges in its route. Firstly, the supplies facilities are present at the end of the route therefore one has to be thoroughly prepared in terms of food and supplies. 

Secondly, on this trail, there is a caution alert for wild animals such as bears. A region that spreads for over 400 miles is known territory of grizzly bears and chances of encounters with black bears ranges in a frequent percentile. 

The weather conditions in this trail comprise high and low-temperature points. The temperature in the daytime while it is relatively cold at night. The temperatures may drop to freezing point at night. 

The best way to hike on this trail is to prepare your dressing according to the weather. Keep those clothes that can accommodate the hot period of the day and layers of clothes that can keep you warm during the cold and wet weather conditions.  

6. Pacific Crest Trail 

Pacific Crest Trail
Pacific Crest Trail

It is one of the most sentimentalized trails in terms of romance in the country. Its longevity is 2650 miles from one end to another. 

To track the complete trail might take months as the route is very intriguing. The hikers are on their toes at all times due to the circumstances faced on the trail. 

The trail passes through various ranges of natural scenic substances. For instance, it passes through dense long-ranged forests, the Mojave Desert, the snow peaks of Sierra Nevada, and beautiful views of Cascade Range. 

The walk on this trail demands strong stamina and good heart health. It is not a straight line trail but comprises many mountains and deserts. You’ll have to ascend to high elevation levels during your hike. 

This track is stretched from California to Washington while crossing Oregon. It is similar to walking from Canada to Mexico by passing different levels of mountains and deserts. 

The variety of natural elements present in the route of this trail makes the weather conditions unpredictable. 

Due to this the climate and weather conditions keep changing. Therefore adequate supply range should be readily available to the hiker. All these supplies will aid the hiker during the hike. 

7. John Muir Trail

Enjoy breathtaking scenic views along the John Muir trail.
Enjoy breathtaking scenic views along the John Muir trail.

This trail elongates its route from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney by 211 miles. The name of this trail is inspired by a legendary nature-inspired writer. The writer was impressed by the scenic views of Yosemite Valley.

If you are looking to hike without having a crisis along your route then this is the safest choice. You can enjoy breathtaking scenic views along the John Muir trail. 

This trail passes through a range of mountains and bands of alpines, elevated at a height of 8,000 feet from ground level. 

The trail has been known as America’s most popular trail. Around 1500 hikers complete this trail entirely every year. 

A fewer number of individuals hike through this trail in segments for walks to soak in the goodness of nature. 

This trail is located among the wilderness, while hiking on this route you can witness the majestic beauty of Kings Canyon National park, Devils Postpile National Monument, and Sequoia National park ending on Mount Whitney.

The trail begins at Yosemite national park. The trail ascends upwards therefore the weather conditions are relatively cold on this trail. 

Therefore one should be prepared accordingly when hiking through this trail. The weather is wet and cold here. As the trail is elevated therefore adequate gear is required to hike on this trail. 

8. Continental Divide Trail    

Continental Divide Trail    
Continental Divide Trail    

The continental divide national scenic trail is 31,00 long hiking tracks. The trail crosses the regions of New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana along with the silver of Idaho. 

The trail comprises 567 miles of Colorado trail. There is a variety of natural substances present in this trail which leaves the viewer in awe. 

This is the highest trail among other trails therefore it is the most challenging as it passes through rocky mountains and most of its area is secluded. This trail is known as the continental divide as it passes through and divides the Rocky Mountains. 

The trail has been described as a secluded and raw hiking track. Many hikers intend to complete this hike but only one-third of the hikers can complete this trail due to its raw and rugged nature. 

There are a large number of alternative routes available on the trail which closely trail the Continental Divide.  A few parts of the trail are incomplete and raw and most parts of the trail are located in public spaces such as national parks and forests. 

The temperature in this region is relatively cold with highs around eighteen degrees Celsius and lows estimated around eight degrees Celsius. The weather is partly sunny with high chances of thunderstorms. 

9. Tahoe Rim Trail

The Tahoe Rim Trail forms a loop around the Lake Tahoe Basin in the Sierra Nevada
The Tahoe Rim Trail forms a loop around the Lake Tahoe Basin in the Sierra Nevada

With this trail, you can witness the majesty of Lake Tahoe. The trail revolves around the trail which gives a complete view of Lake Tahoe. 

The trail’s longevity is on the course of 173 miles with the highest elevation point of 28,052 feet which is very close to the height of Mount Everest which stands at 29,029 feet. 

The trail stretches from Tahoe city to Relay Peak in Nevada. The hikers will have to thoroughly plan their routes to complete this trail. 

The challenges that this trail possess requires at least ten to fifteen days for a hiker to complete this trail. It requires a lot of effort but is possible to track the trail in a maximum of fifteen days. 

The trail loops around Lake Tahoe and passes through the ranges of the Sierra Nevada in Nevada, the United States, and California. 

Around fifty miles of this trail also intersects with Pacific Crest Trail. A range of breathtaking scenic views of nature is witnessed here which leaves the viewer in awe. 

The hiking trail’s most popular season is from July to September. The trail is not suitable for hiking during the winters due to the high amount of snow. 

The weather here is low all year round ranging from four degrees Celsius to twenty degrees Celsius. The temperature in winter drops to freezing points with high predictability of storms during the cold seasons. 

10. Florida Trail 

Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, United States
Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, United States

The Florida trail’s longevity is 15, 00 miles which start from Big Cypress National Preserve and Gulf Islands National Seashore moving from South to North. 

The trail comprises breathtaking views of nature. The trail can be divided into four sections for the course of its traverse. 

The region of Panhandle in the Gulf of Mexico stretches across sandy lands and hills having the maximum height of the state along with low lands. The north section spreads across the flat wood forests which are further split into east and west directions. 

The central region circumferences around Orlando have different views depending on the route which was opted by the hiker. The last region is on the southern side which gives views of old cattle country and swamps. 

The temperature is usually hot unless the top hits. The temperature ranges from twenty-six degrees Celsius to one degree Celsius. 

The range of temperature can change within a day. Therefore dress in lightweight attire and put on some layers if needed during your hike on this trail. 

The Final Take 

The above article shows a list of the top ten longest hiking trails in the US. All these trails comprise breathtaking scenic views of nature. The natural substances witnessed at these trails differ from one another due to their distant locations. 

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If you are a hiker and want to conquer these trails then you must opt for adequate gear. Here is a list of 10 essential items which will aid you during your hike.

And if you are looking for some beautiful places in the US, use this list to pick the Prettiest State Parks in the U.S. For The Next Hang Out.

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