For the Northeast, spring was a long time coming this year. Now that it’s finally arrived, it’s time to start scouting the perfect hiking destination for the upcoming outdoor season.
As the East Coast is home to the famed Appalachian Trail, there’s no shortage of superior hiking terrain. Note that the routes farthest south are best saved for the cooler months (early spring or fall), as the humidity has been known to wilt even the most avid of outdoors people. For a more extensive list of East Coast trails, check out this handy resource.
- Beech Mountain, Maine
Located in picturesque Southwest Harbor, this easy (1.5 mile) slope is part of Acadia National Park, which is worth a trip for the breathtaking rockbound coastal scenery alone. The views of Somes Sound from the Beech Mountain fire tower will be worth every moment of the climb.
- Overlook Mountain, The Catskills, New York
“Hiking” and “New York” may not be synonymous to many outsiders, but anyone who’s seen the Hudson Valley from this aptly named peak knows that those others are missing out. This 4.9-mile climb is especially lovely during foliage season, when the valley is bathed in crimson, russet, and gold.
- Mount Tammany, New Jersey
The New Jersey/Delaware border is home to some stunning vistas, but this one is the cream of the crop, as it offers both an exerting workout and a host of other outdoor opportunities at the nearby recreational center. At 4.3 miles, it’s a good climb to fit into into a busy day.
- Old Rag, Virginia
This peak is located in Shenandoah National Park, which can translate into huge crowds during the summer months. That’s all the more reason to visit midweek, once the weather cools down, so you can navigate the rock slides and take in the Virginia scenery with only the native birds for company. The route is 9.8 miles round trip, so plan accordingly.
- Jack’s River Trail, Georgia
Plan for a weekend (or at least a long overnight) to enjoy this 16-mile hike through the Cohutta Wilderness, one of Georgia’s best kept secrets. Be aware that the trail is remote—hikers should be sure to stock up on all necessary supplies before setting out.