Grab your hiking boots, a light snack, and some water because today, Nov. 17 is National Take a Hike Day! The annual event encourages people to get active while enjoying the scenery by tackling the world’s best hiking trails.
Hiking became a major part of culture over the years. The idea of getting outside and taking a breath of air found its resurgence as a result of the Industrial Revolution, which forced many people to train schedules and 90 hour work weeks. The phrase “take a hike” became romantic and peaceful for many across the states.
Since the 1800s, hiking grew to be the hobby it is today. It is said to be especially true in the early 1900s to mid-century as technological advances allowed for humans to push ourselves farther and accomplish more in the fields of mountaineering and hiking than it was once perceived.
The growing trend of rock climbing helped catapult hiking into the cultural activity it is today as many climbing areas require a small hike to reach. Hiking is the mere beginning of many other more difficult outdoor activities such as skiing, rock climbing and cayoneering. All activities which are done along the trail.
There are a million trails all over the world but a hiker’s favorite trail begins with a scenic view and a path well kept. Though the day has probably already escaped you, put some of the world’s best hiking trails on your bucket list for next year. Check out 10 of the most scenic hikes in the world to celebrate National Take A Hike Day sourced from PlanetWare:
1. Inca Trail, Peru
The trail descends from the Inca Trail into Machu Pichu at sunrise and it is said to be one of life’s great experiences. The trail goes high and it is a 42-kilometer (26-mile) trek that takes you up over two 13,000-foot passes.
The trail follows the route the ancient Incas took over 650 years ago, and much of the original stonework is still in place. Along the way, you’ll pass through two tunnels created by the Incas, the ancient ruin of Winay wayna, and many waterfalls.
2. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
The Annapurna Circuit trail is a 17-day, 205-kilometer, (108-mile) journey through some of the tallest peaks on the planet. The trail starts down in a steamy jungle and ascends well above the tree line.
You’ll top out at 5,394 meters (17,770 feet) on the Thorung Pass, where the trail is surrounded by a dazzling panorama of mountains, all over 6,096 meters (20,000 feet).
3. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Kilimanjaro is one of the most iconic sites in all of Africa, and the hike to the top is on many people’s bucket list. In fact, around 30,000 people attempt this hike each year. Depending on the route, your chances of completing the trek are pretty good.
4. Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Up and down are probably the two best words to describe the Everest Base Camp hike (EBC). This 65-kilometer, one-way trail literally climbs a mountain ridge then drops down to a river, then climbs another mountain ridge as it makes its way to base camp.
5. W Circuit, Torres Del Paine NP, Chile
Located down at the southernmost region of Chile, the W Circuit in Torres Del Paine National Park, is one of the world’s most famous hikes. Easily identifiable by the jagged towers of rock and glacial lakes, this rugged and remote region draws hikers from around the world.
6. Samaria Gorge, Greece
The Samaria Gorge hike is the best hike on the island of Crete and one of Crete’s top attractions. Starting in pine forests, this one-way hike descends through a narrow valley, eventually ending at the Libyan Sea. The hike is just over 16 kilometers in length, and you’ll drop over 1,500 meters.
7. Cinque Terre Hike, Italy
Long regarded as one of the most beautiful hikes in Italy, the Cinque Terre hike is an easy day hike between villages perched on the rugged seashore mountains. Strolling along this ancient route with the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea below will make you forget about the effort expended.
8. Milford Track, New Zealand
The Milford Track is a 53-kilometer (33-mile) epic trek on New Zealand’s South Island that takes in some of the finest scenery the country has to offer. Over five days, you’ll pass by innumerable waterfalls, including Sutherland Falls, New Zealand’s highest.
9. Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon NP, USA
As you peer over the Grand Canyon rim, you’ll see a hiking trail snaking its way down the cliffside across a wide plain and then dropping off again towards the Colorado River. What you are viewing is the world-famous Bright Angel Trail.
This trail is 25 kilometers (15.6 miles) long and drops 1,340 meters (4,380 feet) from the south canyon rim to the water’s edge at the Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground.
10. West Coast Trail, Canada
Located along Vancouver Island’s wild Pacific Coast, the West Coast Trail is one of the most spectacular maritime hikes in Canada. The trail is 75 kilometers (46 miles) long and was originally designed as a lifesaving trail for ships that foundered in the treacherous seas just offshore.