Top 10 Hiking Trails
Trails Around the World
If there is one thing that refreshes the mind, body and soul it’s getting outdoors. Going a hike along a local trail is the best way to recharge your batteries, calm you down and literally make you happier! With depression and anxiety at a staggering increase across the globe it is more imperative than ever to get outdoors and take a hike! It’s proven that hiking will help reduce stress, depression and anxiety – so if you do one good thing for yourself today – go hiking!
And so, with my passion for hiking I hope to help not only stir your wanderlust but to help inspire you to get happier and get outdoors I’ve decided to start a new series – Trails Around the World, where various guest bloggers will help to encourage you to either seek out your local trail or plan an adventure around a hike in a new country. This new series will take you from my own backyard, here in Ontario, to the other side of the globe and will introduce you to popular hikes like Machu Picchu in Peru to lesser known ones like Bushkill Falls in Poconos.
Top 10 Hiking Trails Across the Globe
Hiking the Camino has been on my dream list for over 10 years. The Camino, also called The Way of Saint James, is a pilgrimage that has been walked by pilgrimages since the 9th century. Though many still walk it for religious reasons there is now an influx of those who walk it for their own spirituality, personal reasons, or merely the challenge and experience.
WHERE: Varying routes across Europe through Spain, to the tomb of St. James de Compostela
DISTANCE: Depends on which route you choose and where you start
INTERESTING INFO: The symbol of The Camino is the scallop shell – used as markers along the trails, on pilgrim hostels and often sewn on a pilgrim’s gear or clothing
With the spirit of Africa beating in my heart, hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro has always been a dream of mine. The hike takes you through lush rainforests, alpine deserts and across glaciers. For wildlife enthusiasts this is a great hike for viewing a plethora of wildlife.
DISTANCE: Depends on which route you choose
INTERESTING INFO: Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest peak with an altitude of 19,341′ / 5895m
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Probably one of the most iconic hikes in the world, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu will lead you to the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. The Inca Trail will take you to gasping heights up into the Andes Mountains and through stunning scenery, from cloud forests to alpine tundra and then to Incan ruins.
DISTANCE: 42km / 26m
INTERESTING INFO: The highest point is km / 4200m
Trans Canada Trail
Spanning across Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, the Trans Canada Trail is of epic proportions! As of now (April 2015) approximately 75% of the trail has been done and they are hoping for a completion date of 2017, in time for Canada’s 125th anniversary. Strangely enough 4 out of 5 Canadian live within 30 minutes of the trail.
DISTANCE: 24,000km / 14913m (when complete)
INTERESTING INFO: When complete it will be the longest network of recreational trails in the world
Pacific Crest Trail
People have been hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (AKA PCT) for almost 100 years but with the 2012 publication, and later movie, of Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”, there has been a resurgence of hikers on the trails. Many do day hikes along the trails but for the thru-hiker the trail starts near the Mexican border and continues up through California, Oregon and Washington to the Canadian Border.
WHERE: USA West Coast
DISTANCE: 4265km / 2650m
INTERESTING INFO: The Pacific Crest Trail crosses 26 National Forests, 7 National Parks, 5 State Parks and 3 National Monuments
Hike to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest)
Built in 1692, the Taktsang Monastery (otherwise knows as Tiger’s Nest) is the most sacred monastery in Bhutan and known as the birthplace of Buddhism in Bhutan. Perched atop a sheer cliff, the hike to the monastery is not an easy one, but very worth while for the epic views and serene locale.
DISTANCE: 4km / 2.6m
INTERESTING INFO: The Taktsang Monastery is 10,000′ / 3,048m above sea level
The Cinque Terre region is located on Italy’s north-western coast and known as the Italian Riviera. This stretch of rugged coastline connects the five main villages and hiking between its villages offers postcard worthy views.
DISTANCE: 13km / 8m
INTERESTING INFO: The main route, Sentierro Azzurro (Blue path) connects all 5 villages
West Coast Trail
Located along Canada’s picturesque west coast, the West Coast Trail takes you through a variety of landscapes from old growth forests to beaches and bogs to waterfalls.
WHERE: British Columbia, Canada
DISTANCE: 75km / 47m
INTERESTING INFO: Trail open from May 1 – September 30 (though certain sections are always open)
The W Trek is a hike through Chile’s Torre del Paine National Park. If it’s awe-inspiring vistas and landscapes then this is your hike. The W Trek takes you through forests, glaciers, by crystal blue lakes and through astounding mountains.
DISTANCE: 55km / 34m
INTERESTING INFO: The W Trek was literally named for the shape of the trail
The Lycian Way is a fairly recent hiking trail that takes you along Turkey’s southern coast, with the trail between the coast and mountains for a scenic hike. The trails also lead you through and past many ancient ruins.
WHERE: Turkey – from Fethiye to Antalya
DISTANCE: 540km / 335m
INTERESTING INFO: The trail follows many old Roman roads
To follow the Trails Around the World series check for the hashtag #ihearthiking!!!
Do you enjoy hiking? If so, where is your #1 hike?