Unforgettable Hiking Trails in North America
For individuals who want to explore areas unknown, to get their heart racing and to see views many will never see, there is a solution. Hiking. And North America is filled with amazing hikes for all abilities. For those wanting to lose themselves in raw, untapped beauty, West Virginia and Alaska beckon. People wanting stunning views can try the volcano hikes in Nicaragua and canyons in Mexico. From shady lanes to sheer cliffs to oceans- it’s all waiting. Grab your boots and come on!
Summit Volcan Baru, Panama
Panama has gorgeous places to experience while hiking. Volcan Baru is the highest peak in Panama. Sturdy hikers can reach the summit in 12-14 hours. The best approach is to plan an overnight camping spot somewhere along the trail. Start in Volcan or Boquete. Travel through coffee plantations and pastures, up to lush vegetation and amazing birds, and on up to scrub forest, elfin forest and finally cloud forest. You will pass through several ecosystems. The most breathtaking view is in early dawn on the summit where the strenuous hike pays off with views of both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Enjoy the pristine view with a cup of coffee.
Chilkoot Trail, Alaska
The Chilkoot Trail on Alaska’s Klondike Trail is full of Alaskan adventure. The trail was originally built as a way to access the gold. Now, it is a breathtaking 33-mile adventure through bear country. Pass by relics of the gold rush days, long forgotten. See snow covered passes, pristine lakes and mountains canyons with frigid water carving through the rocks. This hike is not for the faint-hearted and visitors need to be prepared for a variety of weather, altitudes and strenuous hiking. If you feel that you are not in the shape to hike the trail, consider taking the train up and then hike back down.
Copper Canyon, Mexico
If canyons of Alaska are just too cold for you then try a hotter type of canyon. Copper Canyon in Mexico. This caldera forms seven canyons and each one is deeper than the Grand Canyon in the United States. Start your hike at an elevation of 7000 feet. Follow Tarahumaras trails forged centuries ago. You may also spot the indigenous people still living in high caves along the way. Pass hot springs and countless rivers. Take the dirt road/trail to Batopilas, the 1880’s site of the world’s richest silver mine. Remote, forgotten and isolated- if you want to be alone, this is the place.
Bruce Trail, Canada
The Bruce Trail in Tobermory, Canada is made for visitors of all abilities. For the novice hiker, try the trail from the visitor’s center to the harbor of Tobermory. The surface is flat and sometimes paved, with wheelchair access. More advanced hikers can go south from the visitor’s center on moderate to very difficult terrain. The Bruce Trail Burnt Loop Point is for intermediate hikers. This loop is 1.5-2 hours of hiking over rough and rocky places. The scenery on the Bruce trail is fantastic with islands like Bear’s Rump, sea caves, rocky shorelines and gorgeous mountains.
New River Gorge, West Virginia
Gorges carved eons ago are easily viewable at New River Gorge in West Virginia. There are many maintained trails and also deserted roads and trails, too. Little Laurel Trail descends 1,400 feet, passing an old coal mine and the remnants of the coal town of Royal. The trail is an old road and is now used by the park service at times. Or try going up Castle Rock Trail and see the sheer drop-offs, the towering cliffs and the exposed coal seams. Either way, the beauty is spectacular.
Santiaguito Volcano, Guatemala
Adrenaline overload seekers must hike the Santiaguito Volcano in Guatemala. This is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Hikers will take at least two days to go to the crater and back, and that’s if you are in good condition. Hike from Llanos del Pinal for two hours to reach the viewpoint of Santiaguito. Another 3 hours and you will reach the ‘beach’. Then hike another 3 hours to campsites where you can see the lava lines streaming down. Most people camp overnight and hike back the next day. This is definitely a ‘bucket list’ hike.
Concepcion Volcano, Nicaragua
Nicaragua boast its own volcano hiking. Concepcion Volcano is only for the very physically fit. Hikers will climb over tree roots and through jungles, but that’s the easy part. The real climb begins after the jungle. Sometimes hikers will be on all fours, scrambling for hand and foot holds. Loose rocks, steep steps and no platforms or ropes to hold mean this is a treacherous hike. You are mere meters from the crater so don’t slip or ‘it’s all over but the crying‘, as they say. This hike is for those who want the memories to last a lifetime.
Whether you chose to stroll or strenuously scrabble, come enjoy the trails and vistas of North America.