5 More Trails That Belong on Your Bucket List

Getting to know different trails around the country (and on occasion, across the globe) is one of our favorite parts of having writers from every corner of the backpacking community. It’s hard to not be continually inspired by the range of trails—from mountains to the ocean—that are sitting out there, waiting for you to throw on a pack and hit the dirt. Here are five trails and how to hike them, from the Northeast to the Northern Rockies and everything in between. Be sure to click on the trail name for more info and logistics for each hike.

Have a trail you’d like to see profiled? Leave it in the comments! 

1) Northville-Placid Trail

New York, 138 miles

If you’re looking for quiet backcountry lakes, moderate rolling terrain, and a sense of solitude and isolation that is increasingly difficult to come by in the backcountry, the NPT is for you. The trail winds between serene lakes and ponds, through the valleys that surround the famous mountains of the Adirondacks. Many of these peaks are visible along the way, their shadows looming over the bodies of water that hikers find themselves camping at each night. One of the best aspects of this trail? The picturesque Adirondack lean-tos found along its entire length.

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2) Sheltowee Trace

Kentucky, 323 miles

Most of the hiking along with serene trail would be considered moderate. There are some steep climbs/drops but few total over 500 feet in elevation change. The best time to hike this trail is in October, but it is technically in the south and stays under 2,000 feet in elevation, so it’s entirely possible to hike it year-round. The numerous stream crossings and waterfalls mean not only will you always have something to look at, you won’t run out of water either.

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3) The Beaten Path

Montana, 26 miles

Mile for mile, one of the most incredible trails you’ll ever hike. From alpine meadows, an endless string of lakes, canyons, and old forests, this trail through Montana’s Absaroka Wilderness is truly spectacular. The trail follows running water for nearly its entire length, and the campsites are so plentiful you’ll have trouble choosing where to stay. Well-maintained yet with a remote feel, this is one you shouldn’t miss.

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4) Tahoe Rim Trail

California/Nevada, 170 miles

The scenery on this loop trail will not disappoint. With daily mountain views and numerous alpine lakes, Lake Tahoe won’t be the only thing you take pictures of. The path passes through open forests consisting of various pines, firs, and aspen. Much of the trail is in National Forest or one of three Wilderness Areas, so camping is plentiful as well. Much of the hiking is moderate, with strenuous sections scattered in there… you are hiking in the Sierras after all.

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5) Tongariro Crossing

New Zealand, 12 miles

Want to hike along one of the paths filmed for Lord of the Rings? Here you go. This is one of the most popular day hikes in the world, and for good reason. You’ll have to plan ahead for the shuttle, and expect crowds, but should you find yourself on this side of the world, this is a must-do trek. You’ll be hiking through a World Heritage Site, a National Park, and get a chance to hike Mt. Ngauruahoe, which also happens to be Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings.

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