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Looking to Hike the 50 States? Here are the Highest-Rated Trails in Each State

The first Saturday in June is National Trails Day, and here at Outdoors.com, we are thrilled to be celebrating this day outside. If you’ve been looking to hike across the country, this is the article for you. Here is the highest-rated trail in each of the 50 states, according to AllTrails.

Walls of Jericho Trail, Alabama

Starting off strong, this strenuous, 8.1-mile hike is popular with campers, hikers, and birdwatchers. Reviewers say the trail has beautiful views, but it can get slippery after a rainstorm. The suggested time to visit is between March and November.

Harding Icefield Trail, Alaska

Located outside of Seward, Alaska, the Harding Icefield Trail is a 9.2-mile out-and-back hike that takes roughly 6.5 hours to complete. Pets are not allowed and be prepared for snow, even as we approach the summer months. Though the hike is long, reviewers say it is not too strenuous. The best time to go is between May and October. 

Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail, Arizona

This challenging hike is very popular because of the spectacular view from Flatiron. Best from September until June, this out-and-back trail is not recommended during the hot Arizona summer. Locals suggest going early in the morning and downloading the AllTrails app to keep a copy of the trail map handy.

Whitaker Point Trail, Arkansas

Considered moderately challenging, Whitaker Point is located in the Ozark National Forest in Pettigrew. It is a popular area for hiking, and you can even bring your dog (as long as it’s on a leash). Reviewers say that the overlook at the end is worth the work, though the trail can get muddy at times.

Vernal and Nevada Falls via Mist Trail, California

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Image by Jackie Bialecki

Located outside of Yosemite Valley, California, this 6.4-mile loop trail usually takes about four hours to complete and is considered to be a challenging hike. Dogs are not allowed on the trail, and the peak season is May through October. Reviewers recommend bringing an extra pair of socks.

Sky Pond via Glacier Gorge Trail, Colorado

This trail within Rocky Mountain National Park is popular with backpackers, campers, and fishing enthusiasts. It’s a challenging route that’s 8.6 miles long. The trail is beautiful throughout the entire year, but hikers recommend wearing spikes during the snowy months, because it can get slippery.

Bear Mountain Trail, Connecticut

This dog-friendly hiking location offers a great opportunity to get out and explore if you’re near Taconic, Connecticut. The best times to visit are March until November. Located in Mount Riga State Park, the 6.1-mile loop trail has an amazing view from the top of the trail. Reviewers recommend packing bug spray to protect yourself from creepy-crawlies and mosquitos.

Gordons Pond Trail, Delaware

Though Delaware isn’t really known for its elevation gains, this 6.4-mile out-and-back trail in Lewes is great for getting out into nature. Considered to be an easy hike that takes roughly two hours to complete, Gordons Pond is particularly popular on warm, sunny days. Dogs are welcome on a leash. 

Black Bear Wilderness Area Trail, Florida

This wilderness trail is moderately challenging and very popular with people who love the outdoors. Bring your dogs on a leash for a chance to explore with your favorite furry friends. The trail takes a little over two hours to complete and will give you the opportunity to view wildlife and beautiful wildflowers. Keep animals and children close by, because there’s a chance of alligator sightings.

Mount Yonah Trail, Georgia

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Image by Suhas Ramesh

This strenuous hike is a favorite among hikers, campers, and runners. The trail is great to visit between February and November. Dogs are welcome and even allowed off-leash in some areas. The trail can get muddy after rain storms, but it is known for its beautiful views.

Kilauea Iki Trail and Crater Rim Trail, Hawai’i

A very popular trail for walks in Hawai’i, this trail is a challenging 3.2 miles in Volcanoes National Park. The Kilauea Trail is in the rainforest on Crater’s Rim. Recent hikers recommend getting there early and going counterclockwise on the looping trail.

Sawtooth Lake via Iron Creek Stanley Lake Trail, Idaho

This 10-mile out-and-back takes roughly five hours to complete and is considered to be a moderately challenging hike located outside of Stanley, Idaho. Dogs are welcome but must be on leash from July 1st until Labor Day. Though the trail can still have snow on it well into the year, it’s a quintessential wilderness hike, so you’ll want to check it out if you’re in the area.

Gardens of the Gods Observation Trail, Illinois 

Almost the complete opposite of the last hike on our list, this easy trail comes in at a whopping 0.5 miles and offers gorgeous views of the beautiful Illinois wilderness. With panoramic views of the Shawnee National Forest, the trail is open year-round. The trail is rough and not recommended for wheelchairs or strollers.

Trail #3 at Turkey Run State Park, Indiana

Parts of this trail are temporarily closed.

This lollipop loop is a little less than two miles long. The trail is popular with local hikers and visitors to the area, so it can get busy on days with nice weather. In general, reviewers say it is a trail that you can bring young kids or older adults on with little issue.

Wildcat Den Trail, Iowa

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Image by Zachary Olesen

Located in Wildcat Den State Park, this trail brings you through a variety of terrain to locations like “Steamboat Rock” and “Devil’s Punch Bowl.” Recent hikers note that the trails can get buggy, so if you’re going, you’ll want to bring bug spray. The trail is relatively shaded, which is good for a strenuous, four-mile hike.

Shawnee Mission Park Violet and Red Trail, Kansas

This trail is subject to seasonal closures.

Located in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, this six-mile loop is strenuous and takes a little over two hours to complete. Recent hikers say that the trail is challenging and poorly marked in some areas, but overall it is in good condition and is a great place to go to get outside.

Double Arch, Courthouse Rock and Auxier Ridge Loop, Kentucky

This trail is beautiful year-round and is dog-friendly. The loop is six miles long and known for being a difficult hike with beautiful overlooks. The paths can get muddy after a rainstorm, but it’s a well-liked trek.

Audubon Park Loop, Louisiana

This easy trail is known for only taking about a half-hour to complete, as it is about two miles long and has an elevation gain of just six feet. Audubon Park is located in uptown New Orleans and is frequently full of joggers. Recent hikers say that the trail, which is lined with ancient live oaks, is a great option to get outside, especially if you’re visiting the area with your family.

Precipice Loop, Maine

Located in Acadia National Park, just outside of Bar Harbor, Precipice Loop is a 2.1-mile trek that is considered challenging. The National Park Service does not recommend hiking this trail in the wet season, especially because the hike begins with boulder scrambles. Precipice Loop is known for being a difficult and steep trail. 

Weverton Cliffs, Maryland

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Image by Andrew Olek

Located outside of Knoxville, Maryland, Weverton Cliffs is an out-and-back trail that is moderately challenging. The view when you get to the end of the hike is worth the effort. The hike is dog-friendly (even for those little legs). Reviewers say that the trail is well-marked.

Great Blue Hill via Skyline Trail, Massachusetts

Located in the forest of the Blue Hills Reservation, Great Blue Hill will offer you excellent views of the downtown Boston area. The hike is three miles long and takes an hour and 45 minutes to complete. Though considered to be a moderate hike, many people enjoy taking this path, even if parts of it are a bit overgrown. The trail is well-marked, according to recent reviews.

Mosquito Falls and Chapel Falls via Chapel Loop, Michigan

Subject to seasonal road closures, as the roads are not plowed during the winter.

This loop is 10.2 miles long and takes a little less than four hours. The best time to visit the trail is from April until November. The hike is not animal-friendly but is very popular among hikers and campers. Start early, as there is a lot to see on the trail, including overlooks of Lake Superior, as well as beach fronts like Mosquito Beach and Chapel Beach.

Oberg Mountain Loop via Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota

This moderate hike in Tofte, Minnesota is a 2.3-mile loop that takes a little over an hour to complete. The trail is popular with hikers and is dog-friendly. Recent hikers say it has great observation points, though it can get a little muddy in the rainy season.

Bear Creek Outcropping Trail, Mississippi

This is an easy hike located in Dennis, Mississippi that’s a little less than two miles long and takes about 40 minutes to complete. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, you’ll be able to take in unique landscapes and rock formations when you make this trek. The trail is a little overgrown and can get slippery after the rain.

Pickle Springs Natural Area, Missouri

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Image by Charlotte Schlup

Pickle Springs Natural Area was designated a Missouri landmark in 1974. This two-mile loop is considered moderate, though it only takes about an hour to complete. Dogs are welcome on a leash, and the trail is very popular with hikers and runners. Recent hikers say that hiking boots are a must-have.

Grinnell Glacier Trail, Montana

As part of Glacier National Park, this 11-mile trail takes over five hours to complete and is considered challenging. The trail is best from August through October and is very popular with locals and tourists alike. Considered to be a must-see when you’re in the park, Grinnell Glacier offers views of glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, and forests.

Schramm Park Nature Loop, Nebraska

This two-mile loop takes about 50 minutes to complete and is popular with bird watchers and hikers. Dogs are welcome as long as they’re on a leash. The trail can get icy during the winter season and muddy when the ice begins to melt. Recent hikers recommend taking extra care, as it’s been slippery lately.

Calico Tanks Trail, Nevada

This popular out-and-back trail is 2.3 miles long and is considered moderately challenging. The best time to visit is from October until May, and it does require reservation during the busy season. Recent hikers say the trail is short and sweet with varied terrain.

Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Loop Trail, New Hampshire

This trail is 8.1 miles long and challenging. The well-liked, dog-friendly trail gives you great views of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. There are campgrounds available in Franconia Notch State Park, if you want to make the hiking trip into a camping trip. Recent hikers say Falling Waters is a great climb.

Mount Tammany: Red Dot and Blue Dot Loop Trail, New Jersey

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Image by Gabrielle Labbate

One of the most popular hiking trails in New Jersey with its views of the Delaware Water Gap, this 3.6-mile loop is considered challenging. The hike is rocky, but it is well worth the work. Arrive early, as a lot of people are looking to get onto this trail, especially on the weekends. 

Alkali Flat Trail, New Mexico

This 4.7-mile loop is popular for walking, hiking, and running. As a moderate hike, you’ll be able to take in the gorgeous views without getting too exhausted. Located in White Sands National Park, hikers love to visit this trail and say that it’s a lot of fun to run on the sand dunes.

Gertrude’s Nose and Millbrook Mountain Loop, New York

Located in Kerhonkson, New York, this 6.7-mile loop is a moderately challenging hike. The trail goes through dense areas of the forest while also traveling on the edge of a cliff. The trail is popular with hikers, especially from April to October. Dogs are allowed, but because of the rocky terrain, pets are not recommended. 

Looking Glass Rock Trail, North Carolina

Looking Glass Rock Trail is one of the most popular trails in Pisgah National Forest. This trail will allow hikers to take in the beautiful scenery and forestry, especially during the spring. When you reach the summit of this out-and-back trail, you’ll be greeted by the stunning view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The trail can get muddy after a rainstorm, but in general, it is well-liked by hikers.

Caprock Coulee Loop, North Dakota

This 4.4-mile loop is in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and takes about two hours to complete. Though dogs are not allowed on the trail, you’ll be able to see plenty of creatures, like bison and bighorn sheep, when you’re out there. During the warmer season, be on the lookout for rattlesnakes on the trail. Recent hikers note that the trail is well-marked and not overly crowded. 

Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave via Buckeye Trail, Ohio

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Image by Aaron Leasor

This is a very popular trail for hiking near South Bloomingville, Ohio. The 10-mile trail is an out-and-back that will take a little less than four hours. As part of Hocking Hills State Park, the hike is moderately challenging but well-loved. Be sure to follow the one-way directional trails.

Friends Trail Loop, Oklahoma

This 1.5-mile loop is popular with hikers and runners alike. Part of Beaver’s Bend State Park, this trail takes roughly 45 minutes to complete. Recent hikers recommend that you download the offline map in case you lose signal. They also recommend bringing a bathing suit. 

Trail of Ten Falls, Oregon

Silver Falls State Park in Oregon is a popular hiking location in the state. The hike is 7.4 miles and will take a little over three hours to complete. The hike is a combination of the Canyon Trail and the Rim Trail, and you’ll see a number of falls on the loop. Recent hikers say the trail has great conditions, though it can get a little wet if you’re exploring behind the waterfalls.

Ricketts Glen Falls Loop, Pennsylvania

This lollipop trail is 6.3 miles long and takes about three hours to complete. The trail is open year-round and is dog-friendly. It’s considered one of the best hikes in Pennsylvania with one of the best waterfalls in the Eastern United States. There’s a total of 21 waterfalls on the trail, so you’ll want to keep an eye out to see if you can spot all of them on your hike.

Cliff Walk, Rhode Island

With seven miles of stunning waterfront views, this trail is well-liked by hikers, runners, and bird watchers. This out-and-back hike takes a little over two hours and is pet-friendly. While walking on this trail, you’ll be greeted by the coast on one side and stunning beach-front mansions on the other side. Recent hikers say they feel like they’re in The Great Gatsby and that the trail is easy on your feet, since it’s mostly paved.

Rainbow Falls, South Carolina

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Image by Sam Henley

This local favorite outside of Cleveland, South Carolina starts off easy and then becomes more challenging as you get closer to the falls. As part of Jones Gap State Park, the hike requires a reservation at least 48 hours in advance. This state park is considered to be in a rainforest, and recent hikers say it can get muddy after a storm. 

Black Elk Peak and Little Devil’s Loop, South Dakota

This 7.7-mile loop takes about four hours to complete and is best to visit between May and October. The moderate hike is a combination of a few different trails and a number of picture-perfect sites, including Little Devil’s Tower and Cathedral Spires. Recent hikers say the trails can be a little rocky.

Myrtle Point and Mount LeConte via Alum Cave Trail, Tennessee

Located in Great Smoky Mountain National Park, this 11.8-mile loop is a strenuous hike, even though the incline is not too steep. The out-and-back trail takes between six and seven hours to complete and offers stunning views when you reach the peak—the third-highest peak in Tennessee. Recent hikers say that the challenge is worth the view at the end. 

Guadalupe Peak Trail, Texas

Guadalupe Peak Trail is a challenging hike in Guadalupe National Park that is open year-round. The trail is an out-and-back that is a little over eight miles long and can take anywhere from six to eight hours to complete. The trail is popular with hikers and backpackers, and there are a number of campsites along the trail. There are many trails available, as well as diverse plant life. Recent hikers say that the trail is in great shape, but the incline is intense. If you’re interested in hiking this trail, bring lots of water and a set of trekking poles for stability.

Angels Landing Trail, Utah

Located in Zion National Park, this 4.3-mile out-and-back trail is strenuous. The best time to visit is between February and October. This is the most popular trail in Zion, and it is recommended that you begin early in the day to ensure that you have enough sunlight to complete it. If you are afraid of heights, it is recommended that you do not do this hike. Also do not hike this trail if there is inclement weather in the area. This hike requires a permit.

Mount Mansfield Loop Trail, Vermont

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Image by Alexander Marshall

Seasonal closure from mid-April until Memorial Day.

This challenging 7.7-mile loop is part of Underhill State Park. The best time to visit this lollipop trail is between June and March. Dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed. Mount Mansfield is the highest point in Vermont and is a great hike with excellent views. Hikers note that the trail has gorgeous views the entire time, no matter which direction you go.

Old Rag Mountain Loop, Virginia

As a part of Shenandoah National Park, this 9.3-mile loop often has many people exploring on it, especially during peak season between May and October. Though the hike is challenging, it is one of the most frequented. The hike takes a few hours, no matter how strong of a hiker you are. Be sure to bring plenty of water. Reviewers call the hike “deeply rewarding.”

Skyline Trail Loop, Washington

Located in Mount Rainier National Park, this moderate loop hike is 5.6 miles long and takes about 3.5 hours. The most popular time to visit the trail is between June and September, and it is a “choose your own adventure” hike that many people enjoy. There’s a variety of plants to see, as well as the opportunity to view a glacier. There can be snowy conditions well into the spring and summer months, so hikers note that you’ll want to bring snow shoes with spikes.

Maryland Heights via Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

A popular hike from March until October, this 4.6-mile out-and-back trail is located in Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park. As a moderately challenging hike, this trail will take about 2.5 hours to complete. Though the hike up the mountain can get a bit steep, the trail has great views. There are four designated accessible spaces near the parking lot. 

Devil’s Lake via West Bluff Trail, Wisconsin

This popular hiking location is in Devil’s Lake State Park. The moderate trail is a little less than five miles long and takes the average person a little less than 2.5 hours to complete. Recent hikers say that the trail looks beautiful, as the wildflowers have begun to bloom. The trail can be rocky, so be sure you’re wearing the proper footwear.

Delta Lake via Lupine Meadows Access, Wyoming

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Image by Juli King

Subject to seasonal road closures.

This out-and-back trail in Grand Teton National Park is a strenuous 7.4-mile hike that you’ll want to visit between May and October. Though it is one of the most popular trails in the park, it is not an official trail and is not maintained. Recent hikers say that there is still snow on the trail, and there have been a number of grizzly bear sightings.

With all of these options, it’s hard to choose where to go first. Which hikes are on your list? Comment below.

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