The 10 best walks in the park from coast to coast

By: Life is Good

For National Walk in the Park Day, our social community weighed in on their favorite locally-loved walks in the park – and (spoiler) the pictures say it all.

One of the most relaxing places to be is in nature, and there’s no better way to enjoy it than by taking a walk and taking in the sights. For National Walk in the Park Day, we asked where our social community’s favorite walks in the park are. Here are the top 10, according to optimists like you: 

1. Rose Island Amusement Park, IN

“In 1923 this place was called Rose Island Amusement Park in Indiana; beautiful place to hike. A few things remain, like these arch walkways." – Laura A.

Who knew that an amusement park could be even more fun when it’s abandoned? In its heyday, Rose Island was accessible by steamboat and featured a rollercoaster, Ferris wheel, ice rink—even a zoo. Today, visitors can access the island by boat or bridge, and wander along the brick formations that remain.

2. The Hike Inn, GA

The Hike Inn, in North, Ga is a great honeymoon spot for hiking sister hiked the Appalachian trail for 5 months, as her honeymoon trip...from Maine to Ga, and stayed there." –Laura B.

Nestled in Georgia’s Amicalola Falls State Park, the Len Foote Hike Inn is an eco-friendly lodge that’s reached after a five-mile hike through lush, fern-filled creek valleys. Along the trail, hikers can wonder at spectacular views and the stunning Amicalola Falls. Should you decide to make the trek and stay a night, be sure to make reservations ahead of time.

Chena River Hot Springs, AK

“The hills around Chena Hot Springs are nice. Chandalar Lake Area in the Brooks’ range is an amazing journey 🤗." –Terry S

Heading up to the great white north? Alaska’s Chena River State Recreation Area features everything from mild, developed trails to awe-inspiring 30-mile hikes to the top of Chena Dome. Pack your camera—you’ll want to snap more than a few photos of the Granite Tors, which tower up to 100 feet high.

Nantahala National Forest, NC

“Nantahala National Forest near Highlands, NC. Easily accessible from upstate SC." –Mary W

Cherokee for “Land of the noon day sun,” Nantahala is the largest of North Carolina’s national forests. As its name suggests, sunlight doesn’t reach the thickly wooded forest floor until midday. Visitors can relish being off the grid, or enjoy one of the many camping, rafting, and hiking areas in over 530,000 acres of land.

Goat Bluff Trail, AR

“Every day is a great day to hike. Taken on the Goat Bluff above the Buffalo National River." – Lee Ann D.

If you aren’t interested in geology before visiting Buffalo River, you will be afterwards. At 550 feet tall, Big Bluff is the tallest sheer bluff face between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. Fun fact: The narrow Goat Trail is named for domesticated goats that were originally brought by pioneers, and later became wild to the area.

Mount Rainer National Park, WA

Mt Rainier National Parks has many trails that are reportedly awesome!!" – Nancy T.

It’s almost impossible not to lose an afternoon among Mount Rainier National Park’s forests, lakes, fields, and streams. Great for the whole family, there’s a wide range of hiking difficulty among the 260 miles of trails. From short strolls to entire excursions, there’s always something new to discover.

Eagle Falls, KY

“We wandered at Eagle Falls and Cumberland Falls in Corbin, KY." – Jennifer P.

One of the best views of Kentucky’s Cumberland Falls is only seen by taking the 1.5-mile hike to Eagle Falls. Depending on the time of year, parts of the trail can be covered by water, so be sure to pack an extra pair of socks!

Mount Washington, NH

Mount Washington in New Hampshire ...The best hike!" – Alec B.

Judging by the number of stickers that grace the bumpers of New Englander’s cars, Alec isn’t the only person who thinks hiking to the top of Mount Washington is the best. It’s no feat either—Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast and the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi.

Mount Seneca, WV

“I love hiking. My last hike was last October at Seneca in West Virginia." – Cindy

One of the best-known landmarks in West Virginia is Mount Seneca. Seneca Rocks sit nearly a thousand feet above the North Fork River and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the area. Even better—there’s a campground across the street.

Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge, KY

KY Wildlife Refuge...♡the Ridge Trail. KY is so Beautiful ♡." - Lisa S.

Sometimes you just need to stop and smell the wildflowers. The 500-acre Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge began as an idea during a dinner party and is now a sanctuary for local flora and fauna. Visitors can escape the city, wander the grounds, and watch the changing seasons for generations to come.

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