Top Ten Lists

Hiking trails with amazing overlooks

Hiking is one of the best ways to explore a new area and enjoy beautiful landscapes, while also getting in a energizing, healthy workout.

Every new trip brings forth new opportunities enjoying new hikes. Hiking is a free, enjoyable, scenic experience which will make any vacation even more memorable.
  • 1. Emerald Bay State Park
    Emerald Bay State Park
    11001 California 89, , 96150
    Unending opportunities for recreation await you in beautiful Lake Tahoe, one of the most popular tourist destinations in both Nevada and California. By far, the most gorgeous area is South Lake Tahoe's Emerald Bay State Park.

    The picturesque Rubicon Trail offers scenic views of the lake at every turn. Other notable park features include Vikingsholm (one of the best examples of Scandinavian architecture) and Eagle Falls (lower Eagle Falls can be spotted from the Emerald Bay/Vikingsholm parking lot while a short hike is required to view the Upper Falls.
  • 2. Camden Hills State Park
    Camden Hills State Park
    280 Belfast Rd, , 04843
    Camden Hills is a 5500 acre state park in Camden, a quaint coastal town in Waldo County, Maine. There are numerous hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels (30 miles total).

    The most memorable path is the Mt. Battie trail, a short but steep climb up the mountain. Be well assured that your effort has not gone to waste: the
    views of Camden and Penobscot Bay are breathtaking.
  • 3. Runyon Canyon
    Runyon Canyon
    2000 N Fuller Ave, , 90046
    Runyon Canyon is the top hike in the LA area and one of the best in Southern California. The scenic overlooks provide grand views of the city, mountains, Hollywood sign, and Griffith Observatory.

    On a clear day, the Pacific Coast is visible. This 130 acre urban park encompasses several miles of hilly trails, all which provide a decent workout and fabulous photo opportunities.

    Spend a day away from the traffic, crowds, and strip malls; you will be surprised at how much beauty you can find in Los Angeles if you just know where to look.
  • 4. Blue Hills Reservation
    Blue Hills Reservation
    695 Hillside St, , 02186
    Blue Hills Reservation, a 6000 acre suburban Boston park, is the one of the top places to hike in the state. Beginners and advanced hikers alike will enjoy the various trails and terrain offered throughout the park (over 125 miles of trails).

    One of the most notable hikes is the Skyline Loop, a 3 mile semi-challenging uphill climb to the top of Great Blue Hill. Here you will be rewarded with panoramic views, including Boston's skyline.
  • 5. Crystal Cove State Park
    Crystal Cove State Park
    8471 N Coast Hwy, , 92651
    Crystal Cove is one of the hidden gems of Orange County, which unfortunately is often overlooked due to the more popular beaches and theme parks of the area. 17 miles of hiking through the desert gives you the opportunity to explore the serene native lands.

    On a clear day you can enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean. The hills are pretty steep, however, the scenic mountain and ocean vistas are well worth the uphill climb.
  • 6. Myles Standish State Forest
    Myles Standish State Forest
    194 Cranberry Rd, , 02366
    This enormous 12,000+ acre state forest spreads out across sections of both Plymouth and Carver counties, both located in Southeastern Massachusetts. 13 miles of hiking trails take you through beautiful pine forest land.

    The East Head Reservoir Trail is an easy, enjoyable 2.5 mile loop, which offers breathtaking views of the water. Myles Standish is open year round. The fall and spring months are the best times to hike, although snowshoeing in the winter is also a fun experience.
  • 7. North Menan Butte
    North Menan Butte
    Twin Butte Road, , 83434
    Don't overlook this great hike in Southeastern Idaho. North and South Menan Buttes are 2 of the world's largest tuff cones, and the only formed from fresh water in the US.

    These buttes formed from now extinct volcanoes, which dated back over 10,000 years ago. North Menan Butte is a registered National Natural Landmark.

    The trail to the volcano's summit is short, although very steep. The views at the top are very rewarding. Be sure to bring your camera as there are amazing panoramic views of the Snake River region.

    Just watch your step on the way down - it's a steep, rocky downhill journey. You will notice an R on the side of the mountain. This hike is commonly referred to as the "R" mountain hike by locals.
  • 8. Griffith Park Observatory
    Griffith Park Observatory
    2800 E Observatory Ave, , 90027
    The hiking trails of Griffith Observatory are one of the top places in the city to get as close as possible to the iconic Hollywood sign. Although there are only several miles of hiking trails, these few miles are packed with scenic views of both the famous sign and Los Angeles.
  • 9. Camelback Mountain
    Camelback Mountain
    5701 N Echo Canyon Pkwy, , 85073
    There is more to Phoenix than strip malls and endless suburban sprawl. If you like the mountains and dessert, you will enjoy the numerous pockets of beautiful recreation areas scattered around the metro area.

    One of these areas is Camelback Mountain Recreation area, which includes 2 short, but steep journeys to the top of 2680 foot summit. The panoramic views of the mountains, city, and desert allow you to see the city in a whole new light.

    The more popular trail of the 2, Echo Canyon, is fun, challenging, and provides stunning vistas. Be aware that this is a rough hike only suitable for regular hikers who are prepared to hike in the desert.
  • 10. Castle Rock State Park
    Castle Rock State Park
    RR 2, , 61061
    This scenic park located along the Rock River in Oregon, Illinois is one of the best places for recreation in northern Illinois.

    The 6 miles of hiking trails through wooden terrain provide a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of city and suburban life. A wooden staircase to the top of Castle Rock gives you outstanding panoramic views of the river.