Best US Urban Hikes
"Urban hiking is a way of connecting our cities on foot in a way that feels very different than the way neighborhoods are connected by cars," says Liz Thomas, a professional distance hiker who holds the women's unsupported speed record of hiking the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail. Below, Thomas and Tom Robson, head of trail content for Hiking Project, share eight of the best urban hikes in the United States.
Chester Creek Trail
The trail provides easy viewing of all the gorgeous nature sights Alaska's known for (including, yes, moose) without leaving the city limits. And in the winter, it can also be used for cross-country skiing.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Hudson River Greenway
The Little Red Lighthouse at the start of the hike is a gorgeous landmark within itself. If you still have energy once you get to Central Park, follow the paved loop toward the picturesque Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.
Just a stone's throw from the nearby Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, make a day out of your hike by visiting two of the most popular spots in town.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Time your hike to finish around sunset, and you'll get the most spectacular views of the city. Los Angeles as a whole is ideal for urban hikers, says Thomas. "It's all so wildly diverse," says Thomas. "Everyone wants to help you. Plus, you can walk through completely different neighborhoods all on the same hike, more so than any urban hike I've done."
You'll get one of the most outstanding views right off the bat of Mt. Rainier, as well as the West Point Lighthouse. Hit this trail in the spring, and you'll see the most beautiful Insta-worthy wildflowers.
You'll find historical plaques along the route that talk about the city's history as a shipping port. Plus, you'll get unreal views of the city skyline.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Mile Rock Beach
You can hit a slew of Bay Area attractions in one fell swoop. Make sure not to miss the Mile Rock viewpoint about halfway through the trail. "It has some of the best Golden Gate Bridge views in the San Francisco area."
Chicago Lakefront Biking Trail
One of the few places where there are hills in Chicago, this loop allows you to get high enough to take in essential Chicago skyline views. Plus, you're not far from the city's biggest attractions, like the Lincoln Park Zoo and Wrigley field.