Mar 18

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50 Best Trails in United States

Greatest Trails in America

hikers on colorado's glenwood canyon trail

Glenwood Canyon Trail

What are the best United States trails? I need your help in compiling that list. Although I don’t know exactly what trails to include, I do have a good idea about the criteria for selecting America’s greatest trails. Here are some of the trail qualifications I’m looking for:

  • destination trail – the trails must be worth traveling to and maybe even planning an active travel vacation around. So as a result, the best trails must be:
  • long trails – Who would want to travel halfway across the country to ride on a 3 mile trail? I’m thinking the best trails must be at least 20 miles long in order to make the best trails list.
  • accessible trails – In order to qualify as one of the U.S. best trails, the trail must be accessible by the general public. It must have at least one trailhead that is either near a large population center, can be reached via some sort of mass transit or public transportation system or is linked to other trails. It could be an urban or rural trail, as long as it’s relatively easy to reach.
  • multi-use trails – Paths that qualify as the country’s top trails must accommodate a wide range of personal transportation vehicles. So we’re not talking about bike trails or hiking trails but also recumbent trails, tandem trails, inline skating trails, equestrian trails, Trikke trails, running trails and more.
  • versatile trails – The best trails are the trails that can be used by everybody, no matter their age, ability, disability or shape. These trails aren’t just for the robust 5%, although they would love these trails also, but for people of all ages, shapes, sizes, interests and abilities.
  • scenic trails – This is the most difficult one of all because “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” So rather than trying to find a single definition of beauty (because there isn’t one) we’ll strive for a variety of scenery from urban to rural, from plains to mountains, from tree-lined trails to wide-open trails.
  • interesting trails – We will look for historic trails, scientific trails, nature trails, park trails and educational trails. Once again, each person has their own definition of interesting, so we’ll look for a wide variety of trails that suits a diversity of interests.

As you can see, this is a pretty major undertaking. So we could use your help. Please read the criteria (or is it criterion?) listed above and send your America’s best trails suggestions via the comments below.


Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/03/18/50-best-trails-in-united-states/


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  1. Ross-Barry Finlayson

    Hi Kevin. Sorry I can’t be of any help with this. But I have shared on Facebook and Pinterest.

    1. trailsnet

      Thanks for sharing Barry. Once we get the list all compiled, you can come and try out all 50 trails. You’ll be the official Trailsnet tester. (-:

      1. Ross-Barry Finlayson

        Count me in on that idea. I shared your post onto my “Pinterest” page with the comment, “if you can be of any help”. And someone answered by saying that “…they are daffodils”. I am reluctant to reply in fear of upsetting. Am looking forward to your list.

        1. trailsnet

          Thanks for helping to spread the word, Barry. Don’t worry about the daffodil person. It’s only the shrinking violets you have to worry about upsetting. They’re real wallflowers.

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