With a little research, you will be surprised at how many parks and trails are in your area. Below are a few of our local favorites, as well as random ones we found online to inspire you to do a little digging in your region :)
Seneca Park and Potomac Heritage Trail, Great Falls, Virginia
Seneca Park Potomac Heritage Trail combines the best of the woodlands and the riverside. This path offers astonishing segments of greenery that lead through the woods to the Potomac River.
Start your hike by traversing any of the several trails at the parking lot near the end of Seneca Road. Upon reaching the riverside, go along the Potomac Heritage Trail (West or East). If you venture to the western end of the park, you’ll be rewarded with benches and a stone wall of the Potowmack Canal.
Whitaker Point Trail (Hawksbill Crag), Arkansas
Hoping to immerse yourself in IG-worthy scenery, and at the same time, do some “soul searching?” Check out Whitaker Point or Hawksbill Crag. This astonishing trail leads to a majestic rock that overlooks a lush forest with wildflowers and a view of Buffalo River.
Midway to the crag, there’s a wet-weather creek that opens to two paths. Although visitors tend to use the right trail, which turns to a waterfall ledge, both trails will lead to the crag. You’ll know Whitaker Point when you see it. A word of caution: stay away from the sheer drop-off - no Instagram picture is worth that risk.
Scott’s Run Nature Preserve, McLean Virginia
If you’re a fan of waterfalls, check out Scott’s Run Nature Preserve. An easy trail along a creek and through the woods leads to one of the prettiest waterfalls in the area. Swimming is not allowed, but we almost always see swimmers in the water when there in the summer. We recommend listening to the park rangers and not swimming so as to preserve the water. Heading into the woods away from the waterfall, you will find more isolation and solace from the weekend crowds. We love the story of this park - saved from development by the local community and turned into a nature preserve for all to enjoy, it is now one of the most popular parks along the Potomac River in Virginia. Parking is tricky in the tiny lot, so arrive early!
Great Falls Park, Great Falls, Virginia
This national park is really a local treasure. There is a total of 15 miles of trail in this small park, and the popular 3-mile partial loop is perfect for those looking for a moderate trail with great views. The trail leads to a steep part of the River Trail that exhibits a spectacular view of the Potomac River and Mather Gorge. Don’t forget your camera! It’s really something else to see this portion of the Potomac River. Our favorite time of year to visit is fall (and same for everyone else it seems).
Bear Mountain to Lion’s Head, Connecticut
This stony knob connects Bear Mountain to Lion’s Head via the Appalachian Trail. It offers a 180-degree scenic view of the surrounding lakes and farmland.
The trail is best accessed from State Route 41 near Salisbury. Hike your way for 2.7 miles to tag Lion’s Head, then continue until you reach the Bear’s summit, which is 3.3 miles away. From there, you’ll get a majestic view of Mount Greylock staring back at you across the horizon.
Knobstone Trail, Indiana
Check out the longest footpath in Indiana: the Knobstone trail. This 60-mile backcountry hiking trail runs across Clark State Forest, Elk Creek Public Fishing Area, and Jackson-Washington State Forest. Knobstone Trail is one of the most scenic areas in Indiana. It rises above low-lying farmland in some areas as it works its way northward from near the Ohio River to south of Martinsville. There is a lush growth of vegetation in the area, which is mostly dominated by a mix of hardwood.
Check out these amazing hiking destinations, and let’s exchange notes in the comment section below.