The United States of America has one of the most diverse landscapes on the planet, from wide open plains, to snowy mountains and everything in between. The sheer land mass of this part of North America throws up some exciting, challenging but vastly rewarding walking trails. In this blog we discover some of the ultimate treks in America, some that are fairly easy to navigate and others you will have to be an advanced walker to complete. Of course how much you attempt is totally up to you, it rather depends on what type of walker you are.
The Continental Divide
The Continental Divide is commonly known as the CDT and it traverses across Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana and Idaho, and if you take the whole trail in a long distance trek you will have to walk over three thousand miles. A great deal of the walk is remote and follows the rugged crest of the Rocky Mountains from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Not all the path is completed and for about a third of the time you will be traveling off piste. Only a small limited number of enthusiastic hikers attempt the full walk every year and not many manage to complete the entire route. The highlight of this mammoth trek is without doubt the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana, a desolate and wild place that is one of the world’s last great wildernesses. This wild, wonderful terrain is full of wildlife and some of it dangerous, including bears.
The Appalachian Trail is the greatest and most popular trail in the United States, it may not be the longest but is the most respected. Along the way walkers will pass many towns and roads, so navigating along the trail is far simpler than some of the treks in America. Because of this there are many hikers hostels along the way, and a growing number of diners are starting to offer hiker specials. Navigating the trail is easy as it is marked all the way with white blazes, and they can be found painted on nearly everything from fence posts, trees, pylons etc.
The northern section of the Appalachian trail is the most difficult, and it is advisable for hikers to stock up with provisions when tackling Mount Katahdin. For this stretch if you are not an experienced walker a guide may be a good idea.
This trek from Utah to Arizona is just under a thousand miles long and goes through a desert landscape which at times throws up some difficult terrain. The trail winds its way through a series of public lands and goes through, Zion, Grand Canyon, Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon national parks.
This arduous trek is not for the inexperienced walker, and only seasoned hikers should attempt it. Finding sufficient water is one main problem, and the landscape at times is so bizarre that only good navigators can find their way around the trail. It is so tough that only a dozen or so hikers have completed the entire trail, although small sections of it are regularly traversed by weekend walkers.
This Arkansas trail is a comfortable 220 miles long, and for most of this interesting trail walkers will be following the Ozark mountains. The mountains can be traversed all year round as snow rarely troubles them and although shelter is hard to come by on-route there are a number of campgrounds which weary hikers can avail themselves of. At night many walkers like to relax and to take advantage of getting some well needed rest. Being far away from the nearest town
Be sure to take in the wonderful White River which goes through the Lower Buffalo Wilderness for fifteen miles, this gives walkers a true taste of wilderness. This landscape is truly beautiful so take some time out to enjoy all the fantastic vistas.
Ice Age Trail
A truly spectacular walk through Wisconsin of over one thousand two hundred miles. As the title may suggest, during the Ice Age this area of America was buried under sheets of ice, and when the frozen ice cap melted, it left behind it almost an alien landscape. Much of Wisconsin is now covered in lakes and rocky terrain as a result. Walkers are invited to follow the steps of the giant creatures that lived thousands of years ago, the Ice Age Trail follows the edge of the massive glacier through large wilderness areas and numerous state parks. To endure this hike a good ability to read maps will be needed as only about 50% of the trail is marked. There are not many people who attempt this trail in its entirety, but those that do state that the section that follows the Milwaukee river is the most beautiful. Along the thousand or so miles on the route are numerous campsites and shelters so those hikers that do attempt the whole Ice Age Trail have no problem finding rest and shelter.
Many walkers take the opportunity to rest up at night to relax, and being far away from the nearest town it gives the perfect opportunity to have some fun on your mobile with draughts, spinners or whatever you like. Perhaps enjoying your favorite games might take your mind off just how incredibly tired you actually are. These most spectacular epic walks celebrate the diversity of the vast wildernesses that the United States of America has to offer. From frozen trails to hot deserts, high rocky peaks and low river valleys, America has it all. Obviously some of the trails are for the more seasoned hiker, and should not be attempted by the leisure walker. However, there are plenty of sections of these trails that can be attempted by everybody, just make sure you are fully equipped and enjoy your day’s hiking.