Best Places to Live

2011 10 Best Hiking Trails

Finding a good hiking trail is a lot like finding a good Mexican restaurant. There are many out there. All of them offer something good, but they don't always leave you satisfied. The good ones keep you coming back, craving more. You can't help but think about them. You may even conisder keeping them a secret in the hopes that it won't be too crowded next time you go.

Spring is a great time to give a new trail a try, and we've got some recommendations. Whether you want to keep them to yourselves is up to you, but we like to share. We've singled out 10 great hikes across all ability levels. Some let you simply take in the scenery, while others (like a hot salsa) will put your stamina to the test. Regardless of the route, it's a sure way to fully take advantage of the spring season.

Ranking Criteria
Terrific scenery
Varied difficulty levels
Open access in all weather
  • 10

    Chattanooga, TN

    Population: 174,483
    Ian Curcio

    Lookout Mountain's Guild-Hardy Trail

    Who says mountain climbing has to be grueling? If you want a way to the top without the added difficulty, try Lookout Mountain's Guild-Hardy Trail, located just minutes from downtown Chattanooga, TN.

    The Hype: The trail runs up the scenic Lookout Mountain, and past numerous historic ruins including two train trestles

    Distance: 5 miles

    Difficulty: 2/5

    Terrain: Dirt and gravel

    Wild Encounters: You'll find the usual birds, and if you're lucky, maybe some bighorn sheep

    Don’t Forget: Your camera. The scenery and historic sites are certainly worthy of photos

    Get some Chattanooga day trip ideas.