This is a list of long-distance trails in the US that are at least 100 miles in length and are primarily footpaths. Most of these trails are maintained by hiking clubs and outdoor recreational organizations. Please consider joining these organizations, becoming a trail maintenance volunteer, making a donation, or purchasing merchandise from their website stores. These are all great trails, so get out there and hike them.
Probably the best known long-distance trail in the US, the Appalachian Trail spans 2,178 miles from Maine to Georgia. Many local trail organizations contribute time and effort to maintaining sections of the trail.
- The AT Guide (this is really all you need and the best planning reference)
- AT Thru-Hiker’s Companion
- Appalachian Trail Pocket Profile Map Set (complete 20 map set)
- National Geographic Trail Maps (complete set)
The Allegheny Trail is a 287.81-mile north-south trail starting at the PA/ WV state line running north/south on roads and trails through the Allegheny Highlands including the Monongahela NF in WV and the George Washington & Jefferson NF in VA ending on the Appalachian Trail. Volunteer workers maintain all sections of the Allegheny Trail, which is marked by 2″x 6″ yellow blazes. Visit the West Virginia Scenic Trails Association for more information. A guidebook is available in their online store.
The Arizona Trail is a primitive long-distance trail, nearly 800 miles long, that traverses the state of Arizona from Mexico to Utah. The rail is broken into 43 sections that are 11 to 35 miles in length. The AZT is maintained by the Arizona Trail Association which publishes The Arizona Trail Guide (which is also available for the kindle).
Benton MacKaye Trail
The Benton MacKaye Trail runs through the Appalachian Mountains of the southeast US for nearly 300 miles and passes through some of the most remote backcountry of Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.
- Join the Benton MacKaye Trail Association
- Trail Sections
- Hiking the Benton Mackaye Trail: A Guide to the Benton MacKaye Trail from Georgia’s Springer Mountain to Tennessee’s Ocoee River
The Buckeye Trail forms a circuit around the state of Ohio and is neat 1,444 miles in length. There are 26 section to the Buckeye trail each named after a town or trail feature.
The Cohos Trail is a 162 mile trail in northern New Hampshire that stretches across the state’s most remote and unpopulated terrain.
- Join the Cohos Trail Association. Maps provided for free.
- Cohos Trail Guidebook (Updated in 2014)
- Cohos Trail Databook (updated in 2016)
Stretching almost 500 miles from Denver to Durango, the Colorado Trail travels through the spectacular Colorado Rocky Mountains amongst peaks with lakes, creeks and diverse ecosystems. Trail users experience six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges topping out at 13,334 feet. The Colorado Trail is maintained by the Colorado Trail Foundation. They publish the definitive Colorado Trail Guidebook w/Maps as well as the Colorado Trail Databook.
Continental Divide Trail
The Continental Divide Trail links Mexico to Canada, passing through the states of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. At this time, the CDT is not yet completed although significant portions have been completed in all 4 states. The Continental Divide separates the rivers and streams that flow east to the Atlantic Ocean from those that flow west to the Pacific.
- Join the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC)
- Long Distance Hiking Information from the CDTC
- Recommended: A Long Way From Nowhere: A Couple’s Journey on the Continental Divide Trail
Finger Lakes Trail
The Finger Lakes Trail is 562 miles long and connects the Catskills with the Allegheny Mountains passing through remote sections of New York State.
- Join the Finger Lakes Trail Conference
- Maps and GPS Data
The Florida Trail stretches the length of the State of Florida for nearly 1,400 miles. Portions of the trail that cross private land can only be hiked if you are a member of the Florida Trail Association, so join now.
The Foothills Trail is a 76 mile woodland path along the Blue Ridge Escarpment in northwestern South Carolina.
The Horse-Shoe Trail is a 140-mile hiking and equestrian trail that runs from Valley Forge to the Appalachian Trail in southeastern Pennsylvania. The trail runs roughly parallel to the I-76 turnpike from Harrisburg to Valley Forge.
Ice Age Trail
The 1,000 mile Ice Age Trail is located entirely within the state of Wisconsin. The Trail goes through mixed forests, open prairies, marsh and wetland areas, along wide gravel rail-trails and established state park trails. It traverses farm fields, urban and residential areas, small communities and remote state and national forests.
- Join the Ice Age Trail and Path Association
- Plannng resources for section or thru-hikers
- The Ice Age Trail Companion Guide
John Muir Trail
The John Muir trail runs for 211 miles from Yosemite Valley to Mt. Whitney, in California. The trail is considered one of the most picturesque hikes in the US and trail elevation ranges from 8,000 feet to nearly 15,000 feet. Wilderness Permits are required to camp on the trail.
- Tom Harrison’s John Muir Trail Maps – These are the most recommended!
- John Muir Trail Guide
- John Muir Trail: Day and Section Hike Guide
Lone Star Hiking Trail
The Lone Star Hiking Trail is the only long-distance National Recreation Trail in Texas. At 128 miles (including loop trails), it is also the state’s longest continuously marked and maintained footpath. The trail meanders through flat and gently rolling forests of pine, oak, and mixed hardwood, and cypress swamps and bayous in the famed Big Thicket area in east Texas, in the Sam Houston National Forest.
The Long Path is a 326 mile hiking trail extending from the George Washington Bridge, north to John Boyd Thacher Park near Albany. Future plans are to extend the trail to the Mohawk River and eventually into the Adirondaks.
- Join the New York New Jersey Trail Conference
- Guide to Long Path Maps
- The Long Path Guide (free and online)
Built by the Green Mountain Club between 1910 and 1930, the 272 mile Long Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont’s highest peaks. It was the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail, which coincides with it for one hundred miles in the southern third of the state.
- Join the Green Mountain Club
- Vermont’s Long Trail Waterproof Hiking Map
- Green Mountain Club Long Trail Guide: Hiking Vermont’s High Ridge
- The Long Trail End-to-Ender’s Guide (Green Mountain Club Hiking Trails Series)
Mason Dixon Trail
The 193 mile Mason Dixon Trail connects the Appalachian Trail with the Brandywine Trail. The trail starts at Whiskey Springs on the Appalachian Trail, in Cumberland County, PA and finally then heads northeast to its eastern terminus at Chadds Ford, PA on the banks of the Brandywine River.
Midstate Trail of Pennsylvania
The 285 mile Midstate Trail is the longest continuous footpath in Pennsylvania running from the Mason Dixon Line to the Pennsylvania/New York State border. The trail features spectacular vista from mountaintops and the remoteness of wild forests and streams.
- Join the Midstate Trail Association
- Guide to the Midstate Trail in the Seven Mountains of Pennsylvania
- Free Map Set
The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway is a 50 mile hiking trail linking Mount Monadnock with Mount Sunapee in southwestern New Hampshire. The trail winds along the Monadnock Highlands that separate the Connecticut and Merrimack River watersheds.
- Join the Monadnock Greenway Trail Club
- Overview Map of the Trail
- The Greenway Trail Guide
- Updated Maps
Mountains to Sea Trail
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a simple footpath stretching almost 1,000 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks. More than just a walk in the woods, the trail traces the diversity that is North Carolina. Experience ancient mountains and small Piedmont farms, coastal swamps and colonial towns, changing textile villages and barrier islands. More than 500 miles of footpath are now completed. With temporary routes on backroads and bicycle paths, hikers can now follow the trail on an adventure across North Carolina.
New England Trail
The New England National Scenic Trail (NET) is a 215-mile trail route that has been in existence for over half a century. It travels through 39 communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and is comprised primarily of the historic Mattabesett, Metacomet, and Monadnock (M-M-M) Trails.The route showcases classic New England landscape features: long distance vistas with rural towns as a backdrop, agrarian lands, un-fragmented forests, and large river valleys.
North Country Trail
The North Country Trial is nearly 4,600 miles long and passes through 7 states from New York to North Dakota, linking 7 states, 10 national forests, and more than 150 public lands.
- Join the North Country Trail Association
- Purchase maps and guides
- Ron Strickland’s Guide to the Best Hiking and Backpacking Trips on the North Country Trail
Northville Placid Trail
The 133 mile Northville Placid Trail passes through what many consider the wildest and most remote parts of the Adirondack Park, notably the high plateau that encompasses the Spruce, West Canada, and Cedar lakes area, along with that of the Cold River. The highest point the N-P Trail reaches (3008 ft) is at the crest of the ridge to the E of Blue Mt. and of Tirrell Pond.
- The NPT Trail Guide
- National Geographic Map #742 and Map #744 that cover the NPT
- Read The Allure of Deep Woods by my friend Walt McLaughlin
The Ouachita Trail stretches 223 miles through the beautiful Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma.
- Join Friends of the Ouachita Trail
- The Ouachita Trail Guide (includes maps)
Ozark Highlands Trail
The Ozark Highlands Trail is 165 miles long and is located in northwest Arkansas.
The Ozark Trail
The Ozark Trail is 350 miles of trail that wind through the Missouri Ozarks, part of a 25-year-old concept to run a trail from St. Louis to the Arkansas border and eventually connect with the Ozark Highland Trail in Arkansas to create a 700-mile through-trail.
Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail is 2,650 miles long and zigzags its way from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The trail passes through a wide variety of habitats including desert, old-growth forest and alpine back country.
- Join the Pacific Crest Trail Association
- Yogi’s Pacific Crest Trail Handbook – The Best!
- Pacific Crest Trail Data Book
- Pacific Crest Trail Day and Section Hiker Guide
Pacific Northwest Trail
The Pacific Northwest Trail is 1,200 miles long and runs from the Continental divide to the Pacific, passing through the Rocky Mountains, the Selkirk Mountains, Pasayten Wilderness, the North Cascades, the Olympic Mountains and the Wilderness Coast.
- Join the Pacific Northwest Trail Association
- Trail Maps
- Pacific Northwest Trail Digest
- Pacific Northwest Town Trail Guide
Sheltowee Trace Trail
The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail traverses nearly 290 miles across narrow ridges and deep ravines in the Daniel Boone National Forest and is considered the “backbone” of an expansive interconnecting trail system. Many other trails link to the Sheltowee Trace enabling easier day hiking loops and challenging multi-day backpacking trips.
From north to south, the trail travels from the Knobs region to the Cumberland Plateau in southern and eastern Kentucky. Old homesteads, oil and gas wells and logging tracts can be seen along the trail, representing the remnants of past land uses that have occurred over time. In 1979, the Sheltowee Trace was officially dedicated as part of the Daniel Boone National Forest trail system. The trail is named in honor of Daniel Boone. Sheltowee (pronounced shel-toe-ee) is the name given to Boone by Chief Blackfish of the Shawnee tribe, meaning “Big Turtle.”
- Sections and overview map (US Forest Service)
- Day and Overnight Hikes along the Sheltowee Trace Trail
Superior Hiking Trail
The Superior Hiking Trail is a 205 mile long footpath that follows the rocky ridgeline above Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota from Two Harbors to the Canadian border. The trail has trailheads with parking lots every 5 to 10 miles, making it ideal for section hikers, including 92 fee-free campsites.
- Join the Superior Hiking Trail Association
- Online map of the trail
- TThe Superior Hiking Trail Guide
- 4 section maps
Tahoe Rim Trail
The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 165 mile loop around Lake Tahoe. About 50 miles of the trail overlap with the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Become a member of the Tahoe Rim Association
- Official Tahoe Rim Guidebook
- Tom Harrison’s Tahoe Rim and Lake Tahoe Waterproof Maps: Recommended
The Tuscarora Trail was originally created as a new route for the Appalachian Trail. It departs the Appalachian Trail at the top of Blue Mountain in Deans Gap and travels along ridge tops, southwesterly, to Maryland, where it connects to the Big Blue Trail before joining the Appalachian Trail again in Shenandoah National Park. The trail is over 250 miles in length, with 110 miles in Pennsylvania. It is maintained, in part, by volunteers from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.
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