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Best Recreational Trail (2022)

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Over the course of the last two years, many people have looked for more ways to get active in the great outdoors. Thanks to an ever-growing network of recreational trails across the country, staying active is easier than ever. 

  • Chuck Huckelberry Loop

    Chuck Huckelberry Loop
    Tucson, Arizona

    The Chuck Huckelberry Loop in Tucson comprises 130 miles of paved paths and bike lanes (with more on the way). The path is open to cyclists, walkers, runners, horseback riders or skaters and connects parks and trailheads throughout the city.
    Photo courtesy of Pima County

  • Katy Trail

    Katy Trail
    Missouri

    Katy Trail State Park represents the longest rails-to-trails conversion project in the nation. The largely flat 240-mile trail passes through the Missouri countryside – a popular option for runners, walkers and cyclists. The path has 26 trailheads and four fully-restored railroad depots along the way.
    Photo courtesy of Lokibaho / iStock

  • Virginia Creeper Trail

    Virginia Creeper Trail
    Virginia and North Carolina

    Extended for 34.3 miles, the Virginia Creeper Trail follows the path of the historic steam engine that once wound into the Iron Mountains. The rail-to-trail path winds through two counties – a favorite among hikers and bikers.
    Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service

  • Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System

    Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System
    Greenville County, South Carolina

    This trail in South Carolina is named after a railroad that was named after a type of rabbit, and now that the railroad no longer runs, this trail follows its path, along the Reedy River. The Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System snakes 22 miles across Greenville County, from picnic areas and parks to schools and businesses. It’s a popular geocaching hotspot, too. 
    Photo courtesy of Firewater Photography/Kris Decker

  • Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes

    Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes
    Idaho

    The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes runs for 73 miles across the Idaho panhandle through the Silver Valley and along the Coeur d’Alene River. The paved trail attracts walkers, cyclists and skaters in summer, as well as snowshoers and cross-country skiers in winter.
    Photo courtesy of Idaho Tourism

  • Great Allegheny Passage

    Great Allegheny Passage
    Maryland and Pennsylvania

    The gorgeous Great Allegheny Passage provides more than 150 miles of almost flat hiking and biking trail connecting Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Maryland. It was the first trail to earn a spot in the National Rail-Trail Hall of Fame.
    Photo courtesy of Allegheny Trail Alliance

  • C&O Canal Towpath

    C&O Canal Towpath
    Washington, DC and Maryland

    The C&O Canal Towpath runs for 184.5 miles along the historic C&O Canal, once used by canal mules to tow boats along the waterway. This dirt and stone path makes it possible to walk, run or bike between Georgetown and Cumberland, Maryland.
    Photo courtesy of NPS photo

  • Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail

    Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail
    Austin, Texas

    This 10-mile hike-and-bike trail meanders along the banks of Lady Bird Lake in the middle of Austin. The trail sees some 4.4 million visits a year, a mix of travelers who come to take in the views and locals who love the space as a place to recreate in the fresh air.
    Photo courtesy of The Trail Foundation

  • High Line Canal Trail

    High Line Canal Trail
    Denver, Colorado

    The High Line Canal connects communities and nature “from the foothills to the plains,” crossing through the most populated part of Colorado and including a montage of nature and communities. The southern half of the course features foothills and panoramic range views through rural and suburban areas. In contrast, the northern half takes visitors through older neighborhoods and new communities with its prairies and vast grassy views. This 71-mile long urban trail is open year-round and is perfect for walking, bicycling, hiking, horseback riding, nature viewing, and picnicking.
    Photo courtesy of Faina Gurevich // Getty Images

  • Colorado Riverfront Trail

    Colorado Riverfront Trail
    Palisade, Grand Junction, and Fruita, Colorado

    This 22-mile Colorado recreational trail travels along the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers, creating a great outdoor experience from the city of Fruita to the town of Palisade. It also includes parts of Mesa County and the city of Grand Junction and connects several parks and lakes. The trail is perfect for walking, jogging, running, biking, and rollerblading. Or, enjoy some quiet time sitting on the riverbank fishing or bird watching.
    Photo courtesy of Richard McCracken // Getty Images

  1. Chuck Huckelberry Loop - Tucson, Arizona
  2. Katy Trail - Missouri
  3. Virginia Creeper Trail - Virginia and North Carolina
  4. Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail System - Greenville County, South Carolina
  5. Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes - Idaho
  6. Great Allegheny Passage - Maryland and Pennsylvania
  7. C&O Canal Towpath - Washington, DC and Maryland
  8. Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail - Austin, Texas
  9. High Line Canal Trail - Denver, Colorado
  10. Colorado Riverfront Trail - Palisade, Grand Junction, and Fruita, Colorado

 

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