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.

Trails We Hiked During 2011

We managed to get out on some national park trails during 2011 -- not as many as we'd like, but still a few that brought smiles to our faces. Here's a look back at those trails.

Trails I've Hiked: Bechler River Trail In Yellowstone National Park

Thigh-deep in the strong, bracing currents of the Bechler River was not exactly what I expected when I set out to explore Yellowstone National Park's "Cascade Corner." But at least it was mid-September, and not mid-July, when the torrent surely would have been colder, deeper, and stronger.

Trails I've Hiked: Little Cataloochee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cook Cabin
A walk on Little Cataloochee Trail offers a glimpse into life in this remote mountain community before it became part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This in-and-out hike, with a couple of diversions, takes you to two cabins, two cemeteries and a chapel.

Easy Park Hikes – Bass Lake Trail Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

The busiest weeks for the Blue Ridge Parkway—fall color season—are almost here. If a drive along the scenic roadway is on your calendar, here's a fine stop for an easy walk to stretch your legs and enjoy the view at a slower pace.

Statewide North Carolina Trail Nearly Completed on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Video

Despite a very rainy Saturday that could have changed the BIG DIG into the BIG DELUGE, the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail attracted volunteers from across North Carolina and came very close to finishing the Blue Ridge Parkway portion of the trail from the Great Smokies to the Outer Banks.

Trails I've hiked - The Appalachian Trail in Southwest Virginia

Open area near Massey Gap
The Appalachian Trail in southwest Virginia is a spectacular section, with open meadows and feral ponies. Meeting thru-hikers is a bonus.

Trails I've Hiked: Spend the Night At LeConte Lodge In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The payoff in hiking to LeConte Lodge in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is, in large part, the journey itself. Let Contributing Writer Randy Johnson lead the way with this video.

Walking Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Part 2

CAHA - on the beach
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina travels the length of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Danny Bernstein, the author, walked the beach and reports on her experience. This is part two.

Walking Cape Hatteras National Seashore - Part 1

On the Dunes
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina travels the length of Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Danny Bernstein, the author, walked the beach and reports on her experience. This is part one.

Easy Park Hikes -- The Cholla Cactus Garden In Joshua Tree National Park

While there are many long-distance hikes you can take in Joshua Tree National Park, sometimes the heat can just be too much. But even if it's the middle of the day, a stroll down the Cholla Cactus Garden path is well-worth your time to learn about these curious cacti.

Trails I've Hiked: Spruce Flat Falls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Spruce Flat Falls is one of the hidden gems of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The hike is about a mile each way, not too rugged, but with a bit of a climb. The trail passes through a thicket of Mountain Laurel, which will be in bloom the first week or two in May. It's also a wonderful spot for photography.

Summer Special: Five Favorite Summer Hikes At Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park might look small compared to the expansive Western parks, but that doesn't mean you can find some great hiking in the park.
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Off The Well-Trod Path: The Mayna Avent Cabin In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

While much is known and obvious to national park visitors, there are somethings that are not well-known and often remain secret unless you either stumble upon them or learn of them from a local. Such just might be the case with the Mayna Avent cabin in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Hiking all the Trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Grapeyard Trail
The Smokies 900M Club recognizes those who have hiked all the trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But are there similar clubs for other parks?
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Trails I've Hiked: The Smokemont Loop Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bradley Fork on the Smokemont Loop
Hike the Smokemont Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the winter. The hike offers streams, a cascade, and plenty of history.

A Year's Worth of Trails to Hike in the National Parks

Hiking trails are one of the best ways to enjoy national parks. They lead you out into nature, get you some exercise, and quite often showcase some gorgeous vistas. Here's a look back at some of the great trails we've mentioned on the Traveler during the past 12 months.

Trails I've Hiked: Queen's Garden-Navajo Loop At Bryce Canyon National Park

If you visit Bryce Canyon National Park in winter, and there is snow on the ground and blue sky overhead, the one hike you must take is the Queen's Garden-Navajo Loop Trail.

Trails I've Hiked: The Bloody Angle at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

From his cabin, Willis Landram had a front-row perch to one of the bloodiest days of the Civil War. Today, a trail leads you across the landscape now recalled as the "Bloody Angle" at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

Mennonite Women Backpacking and Bears Falling in Shenandoah National Park

Fall is a spectacular season to hike in Shenandoah National Park. Reds, golds, greens and browns are dappling the hillsides, deer are on the move, and, if your timing is excellent, bears are falling from the trees and Mennonite women are backpacking along the Appalachian Trail.

Easy Park Hikes – Big Thicket National Preserve

The Big Thicket National Preserve in southeast Texas has been called the "Biological Crossroads of North America," and some easy hikes in the park offer plenty of interesting sights. Just watch your step—it's a place where carnivorous plants catch their own lunch

Trails I've Hiked: Deep Creek/Martins Gap/Indian Creek Loop In Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This low-altitude hike in the Deep Creek section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be done any time of the year, but it shines in the fall when trees change color along the creek. The loop is also popular in winter once snow and ice close sections of the park that are much higher.