Explore Appalachian Trail: Best Day Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This month marks the 80th anniversary of the Appalachian Trail, which passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia. With so many access points along its approximate 2,190-mile route, this trail is not only an excellent option for thru-hikers and section-hikers, but also day-hikers and those looking to escape into nature for a few hours. To honor the Appalachian Trail, we have compiled a list of our favorite day hikes along the AT. Check out this list and help us celebrate the legacy and natural wonder of this trail!

Appalachian Trail: Best Day Hikes  Map
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Reviews (13541)
Photos (21196)
Meg Martino
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Hiking

Wonderful easy trails with spectacular view!

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Kevin B
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Hiking

If you want a more gradual ascent to the peak, then do the loop counterclockwise (from the parking lot, go to the right to link up with the Appalachian Trail and take a left up to the Salamander Trail). This path is twice as long to the top but much more gradual. We actually came down from the summit this way but wished we had known differently. We went straight up the Lower Hawksbill Trail which is a straight incline. No switchbacks. Great workout, but a bit tiring considering we did two other hikes prior to this one. However, we thoroughly enjoyed the summit. Great views, and plenty of rocks for me to scramble on like a little kid on a playground. Two other great hikes we did this afternoon were Bearfence (short fun scramble with beautiful views) and Dark Hollow (beautiful waterfalls).

Kia Murray
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Hiking

Trail clearly marked all along. Tough towards the top at the last mile marker. Clean and shaded. Parking becomes scarce early. We started at 4:30am to catch the sunrise. Well worth every step! This trail is rated moderate. I’m a newbie hiker and I can agree with that. I was able to complete the hike in about 4 hours, excluding time spent at the top.

Jessica Williams
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HikingRocky

The day was beautiful, overcast but clear at Charlie’s Bunion. The trail was nice for the most part. We tracked the trail at just about 10.5 miles round trip. We started the trail at 10am and returned at 4pm. We hiked it with a 6 year old, she surprising had way more energy than all the adults combined. One of us hiked the whole thing in Crocs since she forgot her shoes at home, just to show you that it was a decent hike and not overly treacherous. It wasn’t my favorite hike as you go and come back the same way and it is hard to see the scenery with all of the trees along the way. It was very serene though and a joy to get out in nature. We did see two deer and a fawn so that was nice! Coming back is mostly downhill and it isn’t steep. It took roughly 2.5 hours. Felt good once we finished it, but I maybe would have picked a better trail.

Jon Congleton
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HikingRocky

Very enjoyable five mile hike. Rocky path on the approach to Mt Minsi was manageable and at times felt like giant, rock steps. Rhododendrons made several parts of the trail feel like a tropical rain forest. Nice scenic views. Occasional highway sound but not terribly distracting. Bonus - stopped for hot dog and pies at Village Farmer and Bakery.

Benjamin Krymis
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Hiking

Awesome trail. Much more scenic than the nj side and way less crowded!

Chris McKeown
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Hiking

Hiked this today (Sun, 7/12). Make no mistake, this is a physically tough hike. Anthony’s Nose is the best viewpoint followed closely by another of the entire southern Hudson about 2.5 miles in. You could alternatively begin this hike at the Toll House, which is the halfway point. Recommend wearing boots as there are plenty of loose rocks and bringing lots of water. I’d say one of the best hikes in the area!

Fiona Rutka
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Hiking

Nice trail, but pretty busy, and not my personal favorite viewpoint in Shenandoah. Still good tho and challenging for its length

Keely McCoy
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Hiking

Easy hike, cool spots to camp. Beautiful at the top

Matthew Ferguson
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HikingBugsRocky
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Clifford Slater
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Hiking

Great hike, awesome views from the top. Well marked white rectangle trail. Fresh streams, diverse wilderness. Highly recommended. P.S. my recording started late so add another 0.75 miles and 15 minutes for total time and dostance.

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Katharina Miguel
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HikingRocky

A good amount of the trail is uphill so it’s definitely challenging. There’s a good amount of shade though and the trail itself is beautiful. View at the peak is definitely worth it.

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Joel Z.
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Took 2.5 hours. Grade isn't too steep for most of it. great views. nicely cleared.

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Tina W.
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Hiking

Beautiful trail and beautiful views! They do offer a more moderate trail just above the Appalachian Trail call the fire trail. It seems to have been plowed through so it’s a much smoother walk and follows the Appalachian Trail and they meet up again just before the Vista. We did one trail in any other trail out. Most definitely the Appalachian Trail is more strenuous. Pack a picnic and water with stopping and resting time we did about five hours round-trip.

Marcelo Geronimo
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HikingRockyScramble

Nice views , scrambled rocks , very traffic ! But nice and short ! I would recommended for someone that are not used to hiking as it’s easy and short !

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Michael Cornea
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HikingOver grownRockyScramble

If I only had one day left to live, I would spend it hiking this trail, because it feels like an eternity. Honestly one of the most tedious hikes I've done in the past year. Going up took me a little under 2 hours, going down was 1.5 hours, but it felt at least twice as long. Its saving graces were the ludicrous amount of mountain blueberries (which are perfectly ripe right now!), and some neat critters I was able to spot along the way (especially some cool snakes). The view from the summit was mediocre, nothing special that other hikes don't have. The trail becomes a little difficult to follow on the way down, but just look out for the cairns and you should be set.

Jason Reiling “cricket”
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Hiking

beautiful place

Tim Kile
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HikingRocky
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Lea Fawbush
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Hiking

Nice trail - great views- very easy and takes longer to drive to parking area than to “hike”

Ken Helsby
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Hiking

Excellent an challenging trip up with rewarding views, and a less challenging option down which was pleasant.

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Bryan Dorsey
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HikingBugsRocky
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David J
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great hike! different terrain and elevation. highly recommend.

Ronielle Cole
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Hiking

We started this trail at 6:15am and got back to the Jeep at 11am. The parking lot was absolutely full when we got back down; we were blocked in but managed to squeeze out. As for the trail itself, moderate. You can take the easy hike and travel the fire road if you wish. The view at the top is gorgeous. However, be prepared to wait in line for a photo op.

Kristopher Kleine
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Hiking

Went up from max patch lake and circled around buckeye ridge. 3.9mi

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Showing results 1 - 24 of 13541