Trying to find new trails can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve tried to go somewhere that was a bust and are looking for a quick way to recover your day. We have used all of these at one time or another either for a quick way to find a trail or during our preplanning to find the path with the most trails.
We have found that sometimes the best route is just to find a group of hikes within 30 miles and attempt to do them all within a day. This works well for us when we are in a fast-paced mood or find ourselves without the kids for a day.
These apps have been a lifesaver when we are on the road and thanks to these apps and websites we still find some trails that are off the beaten path. Of all the apps we have tried, by far these have been our favorites.
Hands down, this is one of the best apps in the marketplace. This app features everything you need from driving directions to updated paths of each trail. My personal favorite part is that the app itself lets you review the trails and let others know about highlights. The paths are updated and you can follow the paths using your phone’s GPS to know how far you have hiked on one trail. This app can be found at alltrails.com.
American Hiking Society
The American Hiking Society has created a website that shows off featured hikes, ratings by difficulty, and a simple interactive map that makes it all possible. This website is great simply due to its easy to use design. It’s not an app, but once you get on the website at americanhiking.org, you move the map to your location and it shows any trails near your area.
Trails or Trails.com
This is another website that you can access thousands of trails through. This one is simple to use as well, once you’ve clicked on your state you will see a heat map of all the trails in your state. Once you click on the area closest to you the map will give you a breakdown of single trails in your area. This one is also complete with reviews and you can add trails to your wish list, making them accessible every time you access their website.
This site hosts what they claim to be the largest resource of trails online. They break down everything by states, historic value, scenic, recreation, and even national trail systems. American Trails offers advice, training, and resources on hiking everything from day hikes to longer overnights. It is very easy to use and navigate, but the fact that they offer news and updates keeps this one as one of my favorites.
This is one of my overall favorites over all. The hiking project is fast growing and has everything that the above apps and websites offer and more. You can navigate hikes directly from the map or update your favorites from home while you are sitting on your couch. There are parts of this website that are a little bit of a work in progress, but overall it is quickly updating and is at the top of my favorites list. One of the more unique features is that the hiking project offers a virtual hike feature. I’ve already found several trails on this site that I haven’t seen anywhere else. If you’re looking to find something unique, this is the place to look.
If all else fails Google Maps can be your savior. Sometimes just looking up trail on your phone can bring out some interesting spots that may have been overlooked elsewhere.
No matter where you are, or how big or small of a hike you are looking for, one of these sites will certainly help you to find a place that offers a unique walk through the wild. Next time you are in a pinch and looking for somewhere to hike for the day, we hope that you will find these apps and websites helpful.