A Handful of Multi-State Trails

There are only a handful of multi-state trails, or trails that span more than one state, in the United States. Hiking across a state line can be very exciting, and these trails tend to be epic adventures. Start planning now to hike one of these over Spring Break!

Here’s a roundup of some of the best multi-state trails in the US:

  • Tuscarora Trail

welcome to vermont by mcdowellWhile the Appalachian trail is likely the best known multi-state trail in the country, there’s an alternative that runs parallel to the major trail that was established before the trail became a protected area. Because of fear that the main trail would succumb to development, a group of hikers and outdoor lovers banded together to make a new trail. The trail was relatively unused for years and many parts are overgrown but the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club is on a mission to maintain it. This trail cross through Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland.

  • Bartram Trail

Exploring the adventures of William Bartram, naturalist and explorer who roamed the country 200 years ago. The trail cross through portions of North Carolina and Georgia and includes a number of interesting topographical oddities. There’s also great fishing at trout river and stream headwaters in the Georgia section of the trail.

  • Continental Divide Trail

This trail is one of epic proportions crossing Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. In Montana it goes along the Triple Divide Peak, which separates the three major drainages in the United States: the Hudson Bay, Atlantic Ocean, and Pacific Ocean drainages. This trail goes from cool mountains to desert and countless habitat areas and provides a look at that part of the country that’s not possible any other way. It also hooks up with other long-distance trails, including the Great Divide trail in Canada. It’s one of three trails that make up the Triple Crown of Hiking.

  • East Coast Greenway

Crossing every state along the eastern seaboard, the East Coast Greenway runs from Calais, Maine to Key West. It’s technically a number of trails hooked up together that connects up urban areas. The trail goes through cities like Boston and Manhattan but also ventures through wilderness in Maine. It’s a different kind of trail than you’ll find elsewhere!

  • Grand Enchantment Trail

Exploring the American Southwest is the point of hiking this trail that crosses Arizona and New Mexico for a 730 mile hike. From desert nights and slot canyons to ghost towns and interesting water sources, this trail puts you to the test as you live out dreams of life on the trail.

  • Natchez Trace Trail

An important part of American history, the Natchez Trace was a major byway for travel. Today a route mirrors the original route crossing Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi through a nationally protected area. You’ll see one ghost town and lots and lots of wilderness.

  • Ouachita National Recreation Trail

A multi-state trail close to home, this trail is mostly in Arkansas but also includes a long section in Oklahoma. It’s known for challenging climbs as it winds from Pinnacle Mountain in Arkansas to Talimena State Park in Oklahoma.

  • Pacific Crest Trail

From Canada to Mexico, this trail runs through Washington, Oregon, and California and crosses through mountainous terrain along the crest. It’s beautiful scenery and is part of the Triple Crown of Hiking. There are a lot of different types of people on this trail, from equestrian folks to young hikers (the youngest to thru-hike was 9!).

  • Tahoe Rim Trail

Usually state borders are made with topographical features of the land but in this case they cut straight through it. Lake Tahoe sits between Nevada and California and this trail circumnavigates the entire thing. It’s best to go in warmer months because it’s absolutely buried in snow in winter. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association has a guided thru-hike every year if you’re looking for an easy way to get out there and go with other hikers, especially if you’re hiking alone.

If you decide to take on one of these multi-state beasts, be sure to stop in to stock up at Uncle Sam’s!

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