The smell of the forest, the enjoyment of exercise, and the satisfaction of completing a challenge! Hiking is a favorite outdoor pastime of campers young and old. And there are amazing trails around the country, especially near our resorts. We’ve rounded up five of the best short hikes in the U.S., perfect for day trips.
Keep reading to find the perfect hike for your next vacation!
Best Day Hikes in America
1. Manitou Incline
Manitou Springs, Colorado
What was once a cable car track is now a tough climb attracting those from all walks of life. The Manitou Incline is short, barely hitting one mile in length. But in that mile, the trail gains almost 2,000 feet of elevation!
There are 2,744 steps on the way up, making it a real challenge. Once you make it, you’re rewarded with sweeping views of the mountains, along with the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made it. To get down, use the Barr Trail, which intersects the incline near the top. The Barr Trail offers an easy, downhill hike, a much-needed respite after the Manitou Incline!
2. Dune Ridge Trail on Little Talbot Island
Lined with wildflowers, the Dune Ridge Trail is a 4.1-mile loop on Little Talbot Island in Jacksonville. The sandy paths cross through coastal forest draped with Spanish moss before emerging onto rolling dunes. Be sure to look for shells and spot the seabirds flying along the beach!
3. Landscape Arch
Arches National Park, Utah
Arches National Park is filled with natural sights, but one of the best short hikes is Landscape Arch. The trail to this rock formation is just 1.6 miles, making it a quick hike. But you’ll get plenty of exercise in that time as you traverse the red rocks of Utah.
- Archview RV Resort & Campground
- Moab Valley RV Resort & Campground
- Canyonlands RV Resort & Campground
4. Avalanche Mountain Preserve
Boyne City, Michigan
Situated in Boyne City, Avalanche Mountain Preserve is a sloping forest leading to views of Lake Charlevoix. The dirt hiking trail winds through the forest and crisscrosses multiple mountain bike trails. Once you reach the top, you’ll have a great vantage point over the hills and lakes of Northern Michigan. On the way down, you can use a combination of trails and staircases to make it back to the parking lot.
5. Clingman’s Dome to Andrew’s Bald
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
No spot in the eastern U.S. features as many amazing trails as Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Spanning the highest points of the Appalachian range, the park extends from Tennessee to North Carolina.
If you’re seeking amazing views with a moderate hike, head to Clingman’s Dome, the highest point in the park. From here, you can visit the observation tower or hit the Forney Ridge Trail for one of the park’s best short hikes. This trail will take you to Andrew’s Bald, a high mountain meadow with panoramic views for miles.
Are you ready to hit the trails? Lace up your boots and get ready for some of the best short hikes in the U.S. Afterward, relax at one of our great RV resorts, packed with amenities!
If you’re ready to head out and explore, share this post with your favorite hiking buddies!