5 Long Distance Trails You've Never Heard Of
Long distance hiking is getting ever more popular by the year, and new trails are popping up around the country and world. If you don’t feel like fighting the crowds on the Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail, check out these five long distance trails you’ve never heard of!
The Arizona Trail
Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of the Interior
If you missed the summer hiking season, why not hit the desert instead? The Arizona Trail, which crosses 800 miles across the state from Mexico border to the Utah, is best hiked in either the Fall or Spring. If you’ve been looking for something epic to add to your resume, this is it. The Arizona Trail crosses the Grand Canyon, winds through the Sonoran Desert, and climbs through the Superstition Mountains and San Francisco Peaks. If you’ve ever really wanted to experience Arizona’s great geological and ecological diversity, here’s your chance!
Land’s End to John O’ Groats
Duncansby Stacks in the sunset light by @marco
Fancy walking in the United Kingdom? How about all of it? Land’s End to John O’Groats covers the length of the island, from the bottom of England to the top of Scotland. It isn’t a set trail, so you can pretty much make up your own, which means the distance may vary between 850 to over 1,000 miles. Most walkers will piece together existing long distance trails with a bit of road walking. Talk about a great way to see the UK!
The Pacific Northwest Trail
The Pacific Northwest Trail along Swift Creek courtesy of the Forest Service
Linking some of the most spectacular countryside in America together, the Pacific Northwest Trail journeys from the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park to the Pacific Coast. Twelve-hundred miles long, this epic hike crosses the Rocky Mountains, Selkirk Mountains, the Pasayten Wilderness, North Cascades, Olympic Mountains, and the Wilderness Coast. What an incredible mix of scenery! Most thru-hikers begin in late June or early July, so start planning!
The Great Trail
Overlook of Sea to Sky Trail by daveynin
This could be the trail to end all trails. Canada has just officially opened a 20,770 km trail across the ENTIRE country. That’s 12,905 miles. While it’s unlikely many people will attempt an thru-hike of The Great Trail, we’re certain someone will likely try. The trail, which is a connection of new and existing tracks, is for hikers, bikers, paddlers, and even skiers. This exciting project is 87% complete, so get out there and check it out!
Hiking to Waiau Pass on Te Araroa, photo by Margaret Hedderman
If you’re really (and we mean really) looking to get off the beaten path, look up Te Araroa. This new long distance trail, which connects the top of New Zealand to the bottom, isn’t just long it’s also more challenging than most trails you’ll find in America. Eighteen-hundred miles long, Te Araroa crosses mountains, beaches, rainforests, cityscapes, and everything in between. Trampers, as they’re known in New Zealand, will experience some seriously challenging landscape. Check out this thru-hike eNZees helped sponsor a few years ago.
Whether you’re hitting the trail for several days, a few months, or just a couple of hours, don’t let blisters ruin your trip! Try out eNZees Foot Soother, an all-natural method of preventing blisters and hot-spots.