Traces Of Gold Along Chesapeake And Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Gold deposits, many of us assume, are found in the Rocky Mountains or Sierra Range, not along the Eastern Seaboard. But there was a time when gold fever reigned along the Chesapeake and Ohio towpath.

Traversing The Range Of Light: 24 Days On The John Muir Trail

High among the pinnacles of Mt. Whitney’s sheer western face, we hiked upward with measured breath and watched from our shifting, precarious vantage as the sun’s first light peeled back the long gown of night, revealing the contours of so many miles we’d recently walked, cragged mountain faces and clear sky aglow in lakes like mirrors, far below.

Trails I've Hiked: Alberta Falls At Rocky Mountain National Park

You hear it long before you see it, and once you see it, you understand why Alberta Falls casts such a presence in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Trails I've Hiked: Cub Lake Trail At Rocky Mountain National Park

A few hours spent enjoying the Cub Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park shows off both the calamity of careless campers, and the rebirth of a landscape.

Trails I've Hiked: A Trio Of Watery Jewels At Rocky Mountain National Park

While Bear Lake is a potent draw at Rocky Mountain National Park, and justifiably so, there lies a trio of watery delights beyond this attraction that are more than worthy of your attention...before visiting Bear Lake.

Trails I've Hiked: Tundra Communities Trail At Rocky Mountain National Park

It's only a mile roundtrip, and the trailhead is easy to reach, but it almost surely is the highest elevation hike most folks will do in their lives, topping out at over 12,000 feet -- if you climb atop a rock outcrop.

Trails I've Hiked: Giant Logs Trail At Petrified Forest National Park

It's summer, shade is not something you find in abundance at Petrified Forest National Park, and you don't want to head out on a long hike with the mercury peaking above 100 degrees. So where do you go? To the Giant Logs Trail.

Trails I've Hiked: The Great Gallery At Horseshoe Canyon In Canyonlands National Park

Dinosaur tracks millions of years old can be tough to discern from ripples in sandstone, so it seems only natural to ask how to tell the real thing from fickle currents in the floor of Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park.

Trails We Can Still Hike: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Historic wheel on the Boogerman Trail, Danny Bernstein photo
The landslide on Newfound Gap Road (US 441) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park has closed the North Carolina side of the road indefinitely. This is the time to explore other entrances into the park to find good winter hikes.

Trails I've Hiked: Old Settlers Trail In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Old Settlers Trail wall
The Old Settlers Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a quiet, solitary experience. The trail is full of historic artifacts and is perfect for a winter ramble, even if there's not much winter in the southern Appalachians this year.

Trails We Hiked in 2012 That We Think You'll Like

Few national park visits are complete without a hike of some distance and duration. We made the following hikes in the parks the past year, and think you'll find them interesting possibilities for 2013.

Florida National Scenic Trail To Turn 30 In 2013

The Florida National Scenic Trail will mark its 30th anniversary during 2013, and a special event is scheduled for January 4 to dedicate the trail's Southern Terminus with a monument at the Oasis Visitor Center in Big Cypress National Preserve.

Exploring Crabtree Falls In The Blue Ridge Parkway

What are you looking for on your Blue Ridge Parkway visit—camping, a picnic area, a gift shop, a restaurant, waterfalls, great hiking, or ranger programs? Crabtree Falls has it all!

Trails I've Hiked: Dark Hollow Falls And Beyond At Shenandoah National Park

There are many nice hikes in Shenandoah National Park, some that ramble on for miles, some that run just a short way to a wonderful payoff. Dark Hollow Falls is one such payoff, but the hike is just a mile-and-a-half roundup, rather short if you were looking for a good leg stretcher. You can, however, easily extend that hike by more than a few miles.

Trails I've Hiked: Lewis Falls Trail In Shenandoah National Park

Fall might not be everyone's preferred season for hiking, but in Shenandoah National Park it can be one of the best seasons. Not only are crowds down to a small trickle, but the naked forests can make it easier to spot remnants of old homesteads.

Trails I've Hiked: The Ridgeline Nature Trail At Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Badlands sprawled out in every direction I looked. East, west, south, or north, from the Ridgeline Trail in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park it was easy to understand how the "badlands" term was coined.

Trails I've Hiked: Imperial And Spray Geysers Via Fairy Falls In Yellowstone National Park

A towering, wispy waterfall, one of Yellowstone National Park's tallest, and two backcountry geysers via the same trail? That's what you get when you leave the Fairy Falls Trailhead.

Trails I've Hiked: Monument Geyser Basin In Yellowstone National Park

Most visitors to Yellowstone National Park are familiar with the Upper, Lower, and Midway geyser basins, but how many these days have made the trek to a basin that once, thanks to its oddly shaped spires and acidic hot springs, was another must-see attraction for park visitors?

Trails I've Hiked/Video: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

September 4th, the popular National Park Exploration Video Series releases "The Great Smoky Mountains: Crown Jewel of the Appalachians." The video's on-camera guide is Randy Johnson, Traveler's travel editor and author of "Best Easy Day Hikes of Great Smokies." Our 10-minute video preview showcases why the Smokies is such a great place to hike.

Trails I've Hiked: The Great Smokies' Mountain Farm and Oconaluftee River Trails

Summer flowers on Oconaluftee River Trail
The Smokies’ stellar Mountain Farm Museum at the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center may just be a stroll, but combine it with one of the Smokies best kept secret easy walks, the Oconaluftee River Trail, and you have one of the park’s best combinations of scenery and interpretation.

Trails I've Hiked: Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Black Lake at ROMO
A hike to Black Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park shows off several lakes and waterfall, including Alberta Falls and Mills Lake. Hikers can choose how far they want to go and get a wonderful Rocky Mountain experience.

Trails I've Hiked: The Long Logs And Agate House Trails At Petrified Forest National Park

It's the heart of summer, the hottest time to visit Petrified Forest National Park, but that doesn't mean you still can't enjoy the Long Logs and Agate House trails near the park's south entrance. You just have to be strategic in planning when to do these companion hikes.

Trails I've Hiked: Upper Caprock Coulee Trail At Theodore Roosevelt National Park

River Bend Overlook, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, copyright Kurt Repanshek
The best vantage points to take in the grandeur of Theodore Roosevelt National Park are, quite understandably, up high. The Upper Caprock Coulee Trail takes you there, and along the way shows off some incredible badlands that so captivated Theodore Roosevelt.

When You're Done Paddling In The Buffalo National River, Take A Hike

Though it's a "national river," the forests surrounding the Buffalo National River have quite a few options for getting out and stretching the legs. Indeed, hiking in the upper Buffalo National River can be your Arkansas ‘Walk in the Woods."

Trails I've Hiked: Hammock Hills Nature Trail, Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Pamlico Sound from Hammock Hills Nature Trail Ocracoke Island
The Hammock Hills Nature Trail is an 0.8-mile meander through a young maritime forest with great views of Pamlico Sound.

Trails I've Hiked: The Crystal Forest At Petrified Forest National Park

Though it's called the "Crystal Forest," it could just as easily have been dubbed "the wood lot" for all the slabs and trunks of petrified wood you'll find along this easy hike in Petrified Forest National Park.

Trails I've Hiked: The Blue Mesa Trail At Petrified Forest National Park

There are, relative to other parks, only a handful of hikes for you to consider when you visit Petrified Forest National Park, but you still should come up with a pecking order, if only to plan your day. And if you like to hike first thing in the morning, then the Blue Mesa Trail should rise to the very top of your list.

Walking to Rattlesnake Lodge on the Blue Ridge Parkway

BLRI - Cistern at Rattlesnake Lodge
At the time when most of the Blue Ridge Parkway seems closed in North Carolina, you can take a delightful, short hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to Rattlesnake Lodge. You'll see the many remains of the summer home of Chase Ambler.

Glacier National Park: A Day Hiker's Overview

With more than 740 miles of trails that lead to some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, Glacier National Park is a hiker's paradise. Here's an introductory overview of some of those wonderful hiking options.

Trails I've Hiked: Lake Shore Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Road to Nowhere tunnel
Lake Shore Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great winter hike. It offers history, a visit to a cemetery and reminders that the area still makes news today.