Sunday, 14 March 2010

How to find places for Hiking and Rambling

The United States is filled with so many places to take an outdoor stroll. Though, some might think that walking outdoors is strictly for those who intend to make and entire day, a month, or even a full year out of walking. Not so, however there is a big difference between walking and hiking. There are a myriad number of short distance walking trails that do intertwine and cross over into some of the larger and more popular hiking trails but this is not to say that one must be a professional hiker in order to take them on. Speaking as a resident of the south, there are hundreds, if not thousands of clear-cut walking trails in each state alone that take anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour to complete.

Some prime examples of these shorter spots are the Cloudland Trail on Roan Mountain, Tennessee, which is only three sevenths of a mile. Also, the Cades Cove loop in the Smokey's is another wonderful place to walk. Not only does the 11 mile trek around the loop itself make for a decent walk, but there are several different smaller tributaries stemming off the main rod that are quick and easily navigated as well such as Cooper's trail and the nature trail on the opposite side of the park. Of course, Abram's Creek Falls is there too and that makes for an interesting trek for the long-winded walker at 8 miles. To the south of that is the famous Appalachian Trail, which runs into the Cloudland trail mentioned earlier.

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers some of the most picturesque scenery for walking. To the north, Julian Price campground has good walking trails. Up the road two or three miles from that is the Moses H. Cone Homestead with some short footpaths going through it. In addition, there is also the Lynnville Falls trail and the manmade paths at Grandfather Mountain. Outside of Tennessee there is Hungry Mother State Park in Kentucky with its variety of walking and hiking trails. Then, in Virginia there is Natural Tunnel State Park with walking trails and a ski lift. For those not willing to drive a far distance to get these other places, there are local parks with plenty of trails like Warrior's Path in Kingsport and Winged Deer Park in Johnson City, Tennessee. Some people don't care too much for the nature scene, however and in that case a brisk walk around the track of a local high school would work just as well. Whatever the walking preference, the main points to remember are to stay safe and have fun.

Author is a freelance writer. For more information on skyland trail please visit

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