8 Extreme U.S. Hiking Trails Even Beginners Can Conquer

The fast pace of everyday life often causes stress and tension. However, going out to breathe in fresh air is good for both the mind and body. Spending the day surrounded by nature is rewarding in itself, but the benefits of hiking provide an added bonus. Most people who backpack on a regular basis have incredible physical stamina and tough mental strength. The endurance that it takes to complete hikes not only builds muscles, but tenacity as well.

Luckily, no matter where you are in the United States, there’s a nature trail nearby. The country is filled with majestic national parks that cater to people who enjoy walking through the great outdoors. Taking the time to trek through awe-inspiring scenery while capturing breathtaking photos is the perfect way to relax and recharge. The best part is, these beginner trails don’t require any serious hiking gear or extreme athletic ability.

Rose River Trail, Virginia

Located in Shenandoah National Park, Rose River Trail offers a breathtaking escape from the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. The park is a short three-hour drive from the city and makes a great day trip for the weekends. The hiking trail stretches 3.7 miles and starts at the parking area which is just north of the Fishers Gap Overlook. Visiting Rose River Trail during any time of the year is terrific.

However, to see the most stunning views, go in the fall when the leaves are changing or in the spring and summer when the wildflowers are in bloom. The rocks along the path tend to be slippery, so wear good hiking shoes and be watchful of bears. Overall, this is a moderate-intensity hike that’s well worth the effort. The serene atmosphere provides a feeling of calmness and rejuvenation.

Devil’s Lake Loop, Wisconsin

Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin has more than 29 miles of hiking trails that any skill level can conquer. The loop itself spans 4.8 miles and leads you along impressive rock formations that give the path its stunning scenery. For the best experience, visit Devil’s Loop during the summer and fall months, and be prepared for a good workout. There’s a steep climb at the start of the hike, but the rest of the trail is relatively easy to navigate. After finishing the journey, recharge at one of the nearby concession stands on the north or south shore.

Fountain Valley Loop Trail, Colorado

This hiking trail is located within Roxborough State Park, which is just an hour away from downtown Denver. The majority of the loop is flat and wide and lasts for 2.3 miles. Don’t worry about getting lost, as the direction signs throughout the trail are easy to follow. There are elk and deer that roam the area, which makes the hike more exciting. However, the main attraction is the red rocks. Their unique structure is breathtaking and produces incredible photos.

Cathedral Rock Trail, Arizona

The distance of this path is only a mile long, but it provides incredible exercise. Be prepared to climb up a few steep cliffs as you go, and also dress appropriately. Depending on the time of year, the temperatures can get pretty high. The trail is located within Coconino National Forest in Arizona and wearing sun hats or performance hats is a good idea to prevent sunburn and fatigue. Nonetheless, the scenic landscape is enough to take your mind off the heat and makes the hike worthwhile. This park is also a great spot to watch the sunset.

Tall Trees Grove Loop Trail, California

Tall trees isn’t just a catchy name for the trail, but an actual testament to how large the vegetation is within the loop. Redwood National Park in California is home to massive trees that grow as high as 379 feet, which is taller than a 35-story building. This is a relatively easy trail, however, there’s an uphill climb at the exit of the park. The scenery throughout this hike is lovely, and visitors enjoy every minute of the 3.5-mile loop. Go to the park during the spring, summer and fall months to get the best ambience.

Pawnee Buttes Trail, Colorado

The Pawnee National Grasslands span 193,060 acres of arid plains in Northeast Colorado. This trail equals 4.1 miles round-trip and is a birder’s dream. Numerous hawks and falcons fly
across the blue skies, and a few other species of animals roam the area. The beautiful atmosphere and the sandstone rock formations make this entire trail picturesque. Dogs are also welcome on the grasslands, so bring them along to enjoy the scenery.

Eagle Falls Trail, Kentucky

Eagle Falls offers scenic routes as you hike through the 1.9-mile trail in Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky. There are a few steep inclines along the way, but the views and the waterfall make it satisfying. Feel free to visit the park any time of the year, and dine at Riverview restaurant after completing the hike. The restaurant is open from March to November. Also, take a dip in the swimming hole during the warmer months. It’s a refreshing treat after finishing the path.

Quechee Gorge Dewey Pond Trail, Vermont

This trail is perfect for beginners and stretches through 1.4 miles of Quechee State Park in Vermont. The area is known as “Little Grand Canyon” and provides some fantastic views. Be sure to bring family members and pets, as this park is excellent for a group outing. Feel free to hike during any time of the year, but the warm months are the best because swimming is an option during the spring and summer.

Live the Adventure

There’s no better way to explore beautiful places and connect with the world than to take a hike. All of the trails on this list are amazing getaways that offer something special to each person who visits. Plus, it doesn’t require expert-level fitness to complete any of them. Just take it at a slow pace and stop to appreciate the incredible surroundings.

No matter whether the trail is done as a solo adventure or shared with others, the memories created will last a lifetime. So pack some bottled water, grab a few friends and enjoy the day!

Note: We do not have images for all those places. Please feel free to share images if you have any of the above mentioned hiking places, we will upload it along with photo creditably.