Last Updated on May 2, 2023
The folks at LeapLocal.org, a leading travel platform, put together an interesting list ranking what it thinks is America’s most scenic walk. We’ll see. When I travel, my favorite activity is walking – getting out there and experiencing a place at street or path level.
Below you’ll find the LeapLocal list of America’s most scenic walk with their comments and mine in italics.
Angel’s Landing, Zion National Park, Utah
- Angel’s Landing is a breathtaking hike in Zion National Park, featuring dramatic cliffs and panoramic views of the park. The trail is famous for its steep switchbacks and narrow ridges, offering an adrenaline-pumping experience for thrill-seekers. Despite the challenging terrain, reaching the summit provides a rewarding view that showcases the park’s natural beauty.
Zion National Park in southwest Utah is damn hard to get to, especially for an Easterner like myself. Yes, it’s not far from I-15 which connects Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, but I’ve never found myself out that way. I’ll take their word for it.
Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia and North Carolina
- The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic drive stretching over 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, offering numerous picturesque trails and vistas along the way. With its lush forests, rolling hills, and diverse wildlife, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a perfect way to appreciate the serenity of nature. The parkway also features historical sites and cultural attractions, providing an enriching experience for families.
Hey, I thought this list was for America’s most scenic walk! This is a road and I prefer Maine’s scenery to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Maroon Bells, Aspen, Colorado
- Maroon Bells, nestled in the Elk Mountains of Aspen, Colorado, is known for its iconic maroon-colored peaks and crystal-clear lakes. The area offers various trails suitable for all skill levels, making it an ideal destination for mothers and families of all ages. Surrounded by vibrant wildflowers and colorful foliage, Maroon Bells provides a stunning backdrop for a spring hike.
I’ve hiked Maroon Bells and enjoyed it. If you’re in the area, Hanging Lake is another great one. You really can’t go wrong with hikes in Colorado. My favorite location is Breckenridge.
The High Line, New York City, New York
- For anyone who prefers an urban escape, the High Line in New York City offers a unique elevated park experience. This 1.45-mile-long linear park is built on a historic freight rail line and features beautifully landscaped gardens, public art installations, and stunning views of the city skyline. The High Line is an excellent choice for moms who appreciate art, architecture, and cityscapes.
I made my first visit to the High Line in 2022 and LOVED IT! Native plants meet Manhattan meets adaptive reuse meets arts. So many of my favorite things. Clever adding an urban location. Along those lines, Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco needs to be here as well.
Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
- Located along the rugged Central California coastline, Point Lobos State Reserve boasts dramatic ocean views, rocky shores, and diverse marine life. The reserve offers a variety of easy to moderate trails, making it accessible for families of all ages. Anyone who loves the ocean will be enchanted by the picturesque views, tide pools, and the chance to spot sea otters, seals, and migrating whales.
I’ve yet to visit Carmel-by-the-Sea, but I’ve been to Monterey just up the road. California’s coast, the entirety of it, all 500 miles or so are jaw-droppingly gorgeous. No complaints with this one.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
- Grand Teton National Park is famous for its towering mountain peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife. With over 200 miles of trails, the park offers hiking options for all skill levels. If you enjoy wildlife spotting will have the opportunity to see elk, moose, and even bears in their natural habitat.
One of my favorite travel stories is a near-miss encounter with a mother grizzly bear and cub in Grand Teton National Park. This is one of my favorite places in the world, but if you go, do be “bear aware” and carry bells and make noise if you want to avoid encounters all together. Moose are EVERYWHERE in the spring.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
- Shenandoah National Park in Virginia is known for its picturesque Skyline Drive and over 500 miles of hiking trails. The park’s diverse terrain includes waterfalls, wildflower-filled meadows, and lush forests, offering a tranquil escape for mothers seeking a peaceful retreat. The park is also home to various bird species, making it a popular destination for birdwatching enthusiasts.
As with Blue Ridge Parkway, I prefer Maine.
Glacier National Park, Montana
- Glacier National Park, often referred to as the “Crown of the Continent,” features over 700 miles of trails, breathtaking mountain vistas, and more than 130 named lakes. The park’s diverse ecosystem provides a unique opportunity for mothers and families to explore alpine meadows, dense forests, and pristine waterways. With a plethora of hiking options, Glacier National Park is perfect for creating unforgettable memories.
I’ve made a couple visits to Glacier National Park and have loved it. Yellowstone is the “wildlife” national park and Glacier is the “hiking” park. None of the hundreds of national park units I’ve visited caters to hikers the way Glacier does.
The Florida National Scenic Trail, Florida
- The Florida National Scenic Trail covers over 1,300 miles, traversing a variety of ecosystems, including swamps, forests, and beaches. The trail offers numerous opportunities for exploration and wildlife observation. Families can choose from a variety of trail sections, ranging from short, easy walks to longer, more challenging hikes.
I live in Florida, I love Florida, I host a podcast celebrating Florida, but I have a warning about Florida hiking: it can be swelteringly hot, maniacally buggy and wet. This is a miss for a ranking of America’s most scenic walk.
Columbia River Gorge, Oregon and Washington
10. The Columbia River Gorge is a stunning canyon where the Columbia River cuts through the Cascade Mountains, creating a natural border between Oregon and Washington. This area is home to over 90 waterfalls, including the famous Multnomah Falls, as well as numerous hiking trails with varying difficulty levels.
No complaints on this one.