Great Long-Distance Walks Of The World

Long-distance hiking
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Long-distance hiking
Source: Public domain

See The World On Foot

As a long-distance backpacker with an Appalachian Trail thru-hike under my feet and many other treks on my ever-growing bucket list, I love reading about the footpaths of the world, especially those that ramble on for hundreds, even thousands, of miles.

Seeing and experiencing life on foot is a passion of mine that percolated during my college years while hiking New Hampshire's White Mountains and bubbled to the surface with a vengeance about a decade later. To me, there's nothing better than wearing out the soles of my hiking boots on long and sometimes rugged paths.

Are you like that, too?

Given that I'm always interested in learning and daydreaming about long-distance walks (a.k.a hikes, backpacking trips, treks, tramps and journeys), I thought I'd put together a compilation of some of the world's premier footpaths, with a website or two for gathering additional information about each trail. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, so if you have a favorite walk not included here, be sure to add it to the list near the bottom of the page, as well as your comments in the guestbook.

These long-distance walking trails are grouped by continent.

GREAT WALKS OF NORTH AMERICA

A Great Long-Distance Walk: The American Discovery Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The American Discovery Trail

American Discovery Trail

Coast to coast across the United States

The "ADT" spans more than 6,800 miles across 15 states from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific--from Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware to Point Reyes, California. The trail passes through 14 national parks and 16 national forests, making use of and connecting five National Scenic trails, ten National Historic trails, and twenty-three National Recreation trails. There are two parallel sections of trail from western Ohio to northern Colorado, so hikers and bikers travelling coast to coast can choose their route through the mid-section of the country.

The first hikers to complete the ADT in one continuous journey from February 27, 2005 to October 15, 2005, were Marcia and Ken Powers from Pleasanton, California. You can read their journal on TrailJournals.com

A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Appalachian Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

Eastern United States

Beginning (or ending) on Springer Mountain in Georgia and ending (or beginning) 2,175 miles later on Maine's Mt. Katahdin, the "A.T." was America's first National Scenic Trail, designated in 1968. It is also one of the most popular long-distance footpaths in the country, with more than 10,000 people reporting they've hiked the entire trail and millions more enjoying sections of the A.T. each year.

I'm one of those folks who hiked the whole trail in a single season. Those were THE best six months of my life, and this is, therefore, a footpath near and dear to my heart.

For more information on the A.T., visit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website.

Other Appalachian Trail resources on the web include:

A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Arizona Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Arizona Trail

Arizona Trail

A border-to-border trail through the Grand Canyon State

I've hiked bits and pieces of this 817-mile trail that stretches from the Mexican border to the Utah state line, including rim-to-rim in Grand Canyon. This primitive trail traverses deserts and mountain ranges as well as populated communities, showcasing the diversity of Arizona. The AZT received National Scenic Trail designation on March 30, 2009.

Visit the Arizona Trail Association's website for more information, trail updates, maps and guidebooks.

Other Arizona Trail reading on the web:

Benton MacKaye Trail

Southeastern United States

At a length of nearly 300 miles, the "BMT" passes through portions of Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. This trail intersects the Appalachian Trail at both ends and at its middle, creating three large loop hikes as well. The BMT was named after the man who originated the idea of the Appalachian Trail, which he presented in his 1921 article, An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning.

Visit the website of the Benton MacKaye Trail Association for more information.

More about the Benton MacKaye Trail:

A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Bruce Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Bruce Trail
Source: FreeImages

Bruce Trail

Canada

At 885 kilometers (or 550 miles), the Bruce Trail is Canada's oldest and longest footpath, spanning the entire Niagra Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. There are many waterfalls along the route, which runs through some of the most populated areas in Ontario.

Visit the Bruce Trail Conservancy website for more information.

Additional reading on the Bruce Trail can be found at:

Buckeye Trail

Ohio

The "BT" is a 1,444-mile loop trail that shows the long-distance hiker every corner of the state, from Lake Erie near Cleveland to the Ohio River in Cincinnati. This is one of the longest trails in the U.S. to go in a circle. And it's a good one for those interested in history, as it passes near sites like the Erie Canal, covered bridges, and monuments commemorating both prehistoric Indian cultures and more recent settlements. The Buckeye Trail wanders through and past a number of waterfalls, huge caves, sandstone cliffs, hardwood oak and hickory forests, and cedar and pine groves, though it's never very far from populated areas.

Visit the Buckeye Trail Association's website to learn more.

Cohos Trail

New Hampshire

The 162-mile, remote Cohos Trail is located in northernmost New Hampshire in a million acres of forests and mountains--a perfect footpath for those who really want a wilderness experience. In fact, it's possible to hike 120 miles straight without encountering a town. Those pockets of civilization that are near the trail have no more than 900 residents, so the small-town New England experience is what you'll find when you stop in for supplies and a hot shower perhaps.

The Cohos Trail Association maintains a website with lots of information about the trail.

Also read:

A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Colorado Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Colorado Trail

Colorado Trail

From Denver to Durango, Colorado

I've hiked one section of the "CT" from Durango to Silverton, a 75-mile portion of this 483-mile trail. The Colorado Trail travels through the Rocky Mountains, six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges with elevations up to 13,334 feet. I could say so much about this trail, but "gorgeous" and "breathtaking" are two words that keep coming to mind.

Visit the Colorado Trail Foundation's website for more information, maps and guidebooks.

More Colorado Trail information on the web:

A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Continental Divide Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Continental Divide Trail

Continental Divide Trail

Hiking border to border where the waters divide

The most rugged and remote of America's "Triple Crown," north/south trails, the CDT passes through five big states on its way from the Mexican border to Canada, a route spanning roughly 3,100 miles. I say "roughly" because parts of this trek are open to interpretation and choice. Highlights of the trail include New Mexico's Zuni Mountains, the San Juan Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Wind River Range and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Idaho's Bitterroot Range, and the Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park in Montana.

Learn more about the CDT on the website of the Continental Divide Trail Alliance.

Other online resources include:

A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Florida Trail
A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Florida Trail

Florida Trail

A north-south trail through the Sunshine State

This is another of America's National Scenic Trails, spanning 1,300 miles across the Sunshine State, including 360 miles of road-walking. The trail runs from Big Cypress National Park to the Panhandle and Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Visit the Florida Trail Association website for more information.

More about the Florida Trail can be found at:

A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Grand Enchantment Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Grand Enchantment Trail

Grand Enchantment Trail

A rugged route in Arizona and New Mexico

The Grand Enchantment Trail is a 730-mile route across the Southwest, beginning in the Sonoran desert near Phoenix, Arizona and continuing eastward, crossing the Sky Island mountain ranges, desert canyons, the Continental Divide, and toward the southernmost Rocky Mountains, terminating on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The route is occasionally marked by flagging tape and cairns but, for the most part, is described by map and guidebook, linking existing trails, dirt roads and drainages, and sometimes running cross-country. The "GET" shares a route with the Arizona Trail across the Sonoran desert for about 70 miles, and is one and the same with the CDT for 45 miles in New Mexico's remote Black Range.

Find out more about this route at GrandEnchantmentTrail.org.

Read more about the GET on the web:


Hayduke Trail

Southern Utah and Northern Arizona

The challenging, rugged and remote Hayduke Trail covers more than 800 miles, linking six of National Parks on the Colorado Plateau in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. Included along the route are Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks as well as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and many National Forests, BLM Districts,Primitive Areas, Wilderness Areas and Wilderness Study Areas.

For more information on the Hayduke Trail, visit the Hayduke Trail Home Page.


Ice Age Trail

Wisconsin

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a 1000-mile footpath entirely within the state of Wisconsin, passing through 30 counties and showcasing some of the best examples of continental glaciation anywhere in the world.

See the Ice Age Park & Trail Foundation's website for more information.

Other Ice Age Trail information can be found at:

A Great Long-Distance Walk: The International Appalachian Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The International Appalachian Trail

International Appalachian Trail

United States and Canada

If the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail isn't enough walking for you, you can keep going north.

The International Appalachian Trail (or IAT) picks up where the A.T. leaves off at Baxter State Park's Mt. Katahdin in Maine (pictured here). From there, the IAT heads northeast to Mars Hill and then to the international border at Fort Fairfield, a distance of about 100 miles. After crossing into Canada, the trail continues another 420 miles to Quebec's Cape Gaspe, for a total of 530 miles.

Visit the official website of the International Appalachian Trail at InternationalAT.org.

Information on the IAT can also be found on the following websites:


A Great Long-Distance Walk: The John Muir Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The John Muir Trail

John Muir Trail

California

The JMT is considered to be the premier hiking trail in the United States.The trail begins in Yosemite National Park and continues 215 miles through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, and King's Canyon National Park, ending at Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States at 14,496 feet.

I've hiked a portion of the John Muir in Yosemite, where it follows alongside stunning waterfalls. This is one fairly easily accessible section if you want to get a taste of it for a dayhike.

Find lots of information about this trail at JohnMuirTrail.org.

More JMT resources can be found on the web at:

Lone Star Hiking Trail

Texas

The 128-mile Lone Star Trail is the only long-distance National Recreation Trail in the state of Texas. It's also the state's longest continuously marked and maintained footpath. The western end of the Lone Star Hiking Trail is located just east of the town of Richards.

Visit the Lone Star Hiking Trail Club website.

See photos from the trail and read log entries on TexasHiking.com.

Long Path
Long Path

Long Path

New York and New Jersey

The Long Path begins in Fort Lee, New Jersey near the George Washington Bridge, continuing twelve miles to the New York State line and following along the Palisades. After crossing into New York, the Long Path turns away from the Hudson River but continues to follow the Palisades Escarpment to its end in Mt. Ivy. Total trail length is 347 miles.

Visit the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference website for more information.

You can read more about the Long Path on:

A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Long Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Long Trail

Long Trail

Vermont

Not to be confused with the Long Path above, the Long Trail is Vermont's long-distance footpath, extending 270 miles from its border with Massachusetts to Canada. The LT is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States, built by the Green Mountain Club from 1910 to 1930. There are more than 70 primitive shelters--or lean-tos--evenly spaced along this wilderness trail.

For more information on the LT, visit the Green Mountain Club's website.

Other Long Trail reading on the web:


Mountains To Sea Trail

North Carolina

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail stretches 935 miles from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey's Ridge on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Along the way, the trail passes through three national parks--Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Visit the Friends of the Mountains To Sea Trail website for more information.

More reading material can be found at:


North Country Trail

New York to North Dakota

The North Country Trail stretches 4,600 miles across seven states from New York to North Dakota's Lake Sakakawea State Park, where it joins the route of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

See the North Country Trail Association's website for additional information.

More resources on the web:


Ouachita Trail

Arkansas and Oklahoma

The Ouachita Trail runs 223 miles through the Ouachita (wash-uh-taw) Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma, primarily within the Ouachita National Forest. It traverses the Flatside Wilderness, the Upper Kiamichi Wilderness and several wildlife management areas, with shelters located along the trail. Backpacker.com says this trail ranks third among the U.S. long trails for solitude.

For information and guides on the Ouachita Trail, visit the Friends of the Ouachita Trail website.

Read more about the Ouachita Trail on:


A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Pacific Crest Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail

Western United States, border to border

Winding its way 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington, the PCT has the greatest elevation changes of any of America's National Scenic Trails, passing through high and low desert, old-growth forest and arctic-alpine country. Each year, an average of 300 hikers attempt to cover the full length of the PCT, roughly about one-tenth of the number of those attempting AT thru-hikes.

Visit the Pacific Crest Trail Association's website for more information on the trail.

More PCT reading can be found at:


Pacific Northwest Trail

The Divide to the Pacific

The 1200-mile Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT), runs from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean and includes the Rocky Mountains, Selkirk Mountains, Pasayten Wilderness, North Cascades, Olympic Mountains, and Wilderness Coast. The trail crosses 3 National Parks and 7 National Forests.

For trail information and maps, visit the Pacific Northwest Trail Association website.

Read more about the PNT on:


A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Superior Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Superior Trail

Superior Trail

Minnesota

Considered one of the best hiking trails in the country, the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) is a 205-mile footpath that follows the ridgeline above Lake Superior from Two Harbors, Minnesota to the Canadian border. There are an additional 39 miles of trail through the City of Duluth. In 2003, I hiked a portion of this fairly easy to moderate trail and, other than the voracious mosquitos I reluctantly shared the trail with in mid-June, I can vouch for its appeal.

Visit the Superior Hiking Trail Association website for more information, guidebooks and maps.

Additional SHT resources on the web:


A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Trans-Canada Trail
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: The Trans-Canada Trail

Trans-Canada Trail

The Trans Canada Trail is a 21,500-kilometer (10,000-mile) trail, winding its way through every province and territory from the Atlantic to Pacific to Arctic Oceans. When completed, it will be the world's longest recreational trail. Today, almost 70 percent (14,500 kilometers) has been completed.

Most of the Trans Canada Trail is intended for walking and cycling, but cross-country skiing, horseback riding and snowmobiling will also be permitted on certain sections. Much of the trail will be on abandoned railway lines that have been resurfaced with fine gravel.

Find more information at TCTrail.com.

Additional resources can be found at:


Tuscarora Trail

Mid-Atlantic, United States

The Tuscarora Trail is the northern portion of an extensive Appalachian Trail bypass in Pennsylvania, Maryland, W. Virginia and Virginia. This route is 220 miles long and connects with the A.T. at both ends. The Tuscarora Trail parts with the Appalachian Trail at the top of Blue Mountain about 13 miles west of the Susquehanna River and reconnects in Shenandoah National Park.

Read more about the Tuscarora Trail on GORP.com.

More information can be found at:


Great Long-Distance Walk: West Coast Trail
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Great Long-Distance Walk: West Coast Trail

West Coast Trail

Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Forty-seven miles (75 kilometers) may not seem like much to some long-distance walkers, but this is a challenging sea-side hike that leads you along the shore and through thick, old-growth forest, with up to 50 huge ladders along the way and often slippery footing. Still, it's considered by many to be one of the best hikes in the world.

Some hikers take six or seven days to complete the route, though others do it faster. The trail is entirely within the Pacific Rim National Park, and an overnight permit is required for those wishing to thru-hike.

Visit WestCoastTrailBC.com for more information on the trail (and the B&B that owns the site).

Other reading about the WTC can be found at:


A Very Cool, Very Long Walk in the Wilderness - Some very long journeys are not on specific designated trails

A married couple, Bretwood Higman and Erin McKittrick, attempt to walk, paddle and ski under their own power fore more than 4,000 miles from Seattle, Washington, to the Aleutians along the wild and remote northwest coast of North America. This documentary was filmed with a tiny hand-held video camera as the pair traveled through northern Washington, British Columbia and Alaska. Experience this modern adventure through their eyes as they encounter breathtaking scenery, harsh weather, amazing wildlife, starvation and danger. This modern adventure demonstrates that the most significant aspect of a journey is not reaching the final destination but how the journey changes the trajectory of the rest of a person's life.

Learn more about Bretwood and Erin at GroundTruthTrekking.org

Scenic Walks of the World on DVD - Part 1 of a Trilogy

Scenic Walks of the World: Incredible Journeys: Parts One and Two
Scenic Walks of the World: Incredible Journeys: Parts One and Two

These types of videos really get my adventurous juices flowing -- my wanderlust. If I had enough time, enough years, I could happily go on every one of these walks.

**See Parts 2 and 3 below**

 

GREAT WALKS OF CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA

Ausangate Circuit

Peru

The Ausangate Circuit is a challenging, 70-kilometer (44-mile), high-altitude trek with optional side-trips. The entire trip is above treeline as it circles 20,905-foot Ausangate massif, making for sweeping views of the glaciers. I've read that, on this hike, you may have contact with the indigenous Quechua people, still dressed in bright, traditional costume. To these herders, Ausangate is a sacred mountain where llamas & alpacas are believed to have originated.

I found some good information on BestHike.com.


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Inca Trail

Peru

At just 26 miles in length, the Inca Trail doesn't actually qualify as a long-distance trek, but it's such a famous walk (and a challenging one), I've included it here.

The Inca Trail is a route that leads through the Andes mountains above the Urubamba river, roughly following the course of an old Inca roadway leading to the city of Machu Picchu. Most hikers take up to four days to do this mountainous jungle walk to take in all the sights. There's also a longer, seven-day option that includes more miles and breathtaking views of the Andes. (Nowadays, you must go with a guide and porters to do the Inca Trail. In June, 2012, I did this trip and highly recommend it.)

Find more information as well as guided trips at IncaTrailPeru.com.

Additional trail resources and tours at:


Paine Circuit

Chile

Chile's 60-mile Paine circuit is said to be the finest trek on earth in terms of visual impact (though I've read much the same about other trails mentioned here). Thirty-five miles of recommended side-hikes make for a 100-mile adventure in the Torres del Paine National Park.

Information and guided hikes can be found at:


GREAT WALKS OF EUROPE

Camino de Santiago

Spain

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela, also known as The Way of St. James, is a collection of old pilgrimage routes throughout Europe, all with Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain as their final destination. For more than 1000 years, pilgrims have been walking along the Camino de Santiago. Traditionally, pilgrims and other travellers set out each year from their doorsteps or various starting points across Europe to make their way to Santiago de Compostela, but certain routes have become popular, especially the French Way (or Camino Francés). Most routes take approximately 4 weeks to complete.

For a list and descriptions of various routes, see Wikipedia.com and Santiago-Compostela.net.

Additional information can be found on the following sites:

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Coast To Coast Path

Northern England

The Coast to Coast Walk is a 220-mile long-distance footpath in Northern England, which passes through three national parks--the Lake District National Park, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the North York Moors National Park.

For more information, read:


Cotswold Way Trail
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Cotswold Way Trail

Cotswold Way

Southern England

The Cotswold Way is 102-mile trail that runs between the market town of Chipping Campden and the city of Bath, with most of its length on the Cotswold Escarpment. The trail passes through picturesque villages and close to a number of historic sites. This is one of the UK's National Trails.

For more information, visit NationalTrail.co.uk.

Read more about the Cotswold Way at:


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Countrywide Blue Tour

Hungary

The Countrywide Blue Tour starts on Irottk Mountain on the Austrian-Hungarian border then cuts across Hungary, eventually ending 1,128 kilometers (700 miles) later at the village of Hollóháza by the Hungarian-Slovakian border. The name "Blue Tour" comes from the horizontal blue stripe between two white stripes that mark the route.

Information can be found on:


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Dales Way

Northern England

The Dales Way is a footpath extending about 80 miles (129 kilometers) from Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere, passing through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Lake District National Park. Situated mostly along river vallyes, this walk is shorter and less strenuous than the more well-known routes, the Pennine Way and Coast to Coast Walk.

Visit the Dales Way Association website for information and the handbook.

More about the Dales Way can be found on these websites:

Long-Distance Hiking Routes in Europe
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Long-Distance Hiking Routes in Europe
Source: Public domain

E1 - E11 Routes

European Long-Distance Paths

The European long-distance paths designated E-1 through E-11 are a network of routes that pass through many different countries, but mostly lie in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. See a map and overview of these routes on the European Rambler's Association website.

These routes are traditionally marked with white and red painted "blazes".

See a larger version of this map of European long-distance paths.

Lycian Way trail blaze
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Lycian Way trail blaze

The Lycian Way

Turkey

The Lycian way is a 509-kilometer footpath around the coast of Lycia in southern Turkey, from Fethiye to Antalya. The route is has many ascents and descents as it approaches and turns away from the sea, said to be easier at the start near Fethiye and becoming more difficult as it progresses. The recommended seasons for hiking the Lycian Way are spring or autumn -- from February through May or September through November. The route, marked by red and white blazes as pictured here, is mainly over established footpaths and mule trails, with the trail mostly over limestone and often hard and stony.

For more information on the Lycian Way (and other long-distance treks in the country), visit Trekking in Turkey.


Pennine Way
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Pennine Way
Source: Public domain

Pennine Way

Northern England

This is a 270-mile walk from the Peak District National Park along the Pennine ridge through the Yorkshire Dales, up into Northumberland, across the Cheviots, and ending in the Scottish Borders. There are a number of youth hostels along the route and many private lodging accommodations.

For more information, visit Pennine Way National Trail website.

More reading on the Pennine Way can be found at:


South West Coastal Path

England

The 630-mile South West Coast Path National Trail runs from Minehead on the edge of the Exmoor National Park to the shores of Poole Harbour in Dorset and is the longest trail in England.

Read about the trail on the South West Coastal Path Association website.

For more information, visit:


A Great Long-Distance Walk: Southern Upland Way
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: Southern Upland Way

Southern Upland Way

Scotland

This is Scotland's coast to coast route, covering 212 miles with most long-distance hikers completing the distance in 10 to 14 days. There's lots of hill-walking along the way, with no summits above 3000 feet, but more than 80 above 2000 feet, making for plenty of ups and downs.

Visit the Official Website of the Southern Upland way for detailed information.

Also see:


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Tour de Mont Blanc

The TMB is one of the most popular long-distance hikes in Europe, circling the Mont Blanc Massif in about 170 kilometers (106 miles) and passing through parts of Switzerland, Italy and France. Most hikers finish the entire route in 7 to 10 days.

For more information and help planning a trip, see:

Scenic Walks Part 2

Scenic Walks of the World: Historic Pathways/The Great Wall of China
Scenic Walks of the World: Historic Pathways/The Great Wall of China

This installment of the trio includes footage of the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu, walks to and through medieval cities surrounded by vineyards and hillsides covered in olive groves in Italy's Umbria, America's Appalachian Trail, and adventures along the Great Wall of China and the legendary Silk Road.

 

GREAT WALKS OF ASIA

Pilgrim on the 88 Temple Route in Japan
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Pilgrim on the 88 Temple Route in Japan

88 Temple Pilgrimage

This is Japan's most famous pilgrimage route, a 1200-kilometer (746-mile) loop around the island of Shikoku. While the majority of travelers (or pilgrims) who do this route travel by bus, a very small minority do this journey on foot, an adventure that takes about six weeks to complete.

Travelers often begin by visiting Mount Koya, but the route itself officially begins -- and ends -- at a place called Ryzenji. It's not necessary, though, to start at the first temple as long as you visit them all, but this is the most popular starting point because it's closest to Mt. Koya.

The signs along the route are oriented for pilgrims going clockwise, so that's the easiest way to do this trek.

For more information on the 88 Temple Pilgrimage, see:


Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
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Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit

Nepal

The Annapurna Circuit is a 300-kilometer (186-mile) trek in Nepal around the Annapurna mountain range of the Himalayas. The circuit reaches its highest point at 17,769 feet. This is called a "teahouse trek," because there are villages with lodges and restaurants along the entire route.

There's some good information on WikiTravel.com.

Other online resources include:


Great Long-Distance Walk: The Great Wall of China
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Great Long-Distance Walk: The Great Wall of China

Great Wall Of China

A long walk that can be seen from space

Crossing hundreds of mountain passes, the Great Wall of China stretches to over 6,700 kilometers (4,160 miles) in total but is no longer a connected structure. There are, however, well-defined sections that can be walked on to create adventures, long and short.

You'll find reading material about walking the Great Wall at:


Israel National Trail
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Israel National Trail

Israel National Trail

A north-south trail through the whole country

The Israel National Trail, or INT, is a footpath extending from the Red Sea in the south to the Syrian/Lebanese border in the north, crossing the Negev Desert, past three seas, and running alongside ancient ruins and through modern cities. At a distance of about 580 miles, a hiker in excellent condition might be able to finish this trail in about 30 days. Having spent a couple of months travelling around Israel as a teenager, this trail definitely appeals to me; I'd love to go back and see the country on foot.

For more information and to watch a video on the trail, visit the Israel National Trail website.

See also:


GREAT WALKS OF AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND

Alps Walking Track

New South Wales

The Australian Alps Walking Track (aka the Alps Track) is a 650-kilometer trail that winds through the high country of Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT. The entire route can be completed in about 10 weeks.

For information, visit the website of the Australian Alps National Parks.

Additional resources include:


See all 34 photos

Bibbulmun Track

Southwestern Australia

Stretching 963 kilometers from Kalamunda in the Perth Hills to Albany, the Bibbulmun Track passes through some of the most beautiful national parks of Southwestern Australia. The trail is named after an Aboriginal language group, known as the Bibbulmun.

Visit the website of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation for information, maps and guides.

See also:


Bicentennial National Trail

Australia

The Australian Bicentennial National Trail (BNT) is a 5,330-kilometer (3,311-mile) multi-use route through bush, wilderness and mountainous areas, from Cooktown in North Queensland to Healesville in Victoria. The trail connects 18 National Parks and accesses some of the most remote country in the world.

Visit NationalTrail.com.au for details.

Also read:

Great North Walk
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Great North Walk

Great North Walk

Australia

The Great North Walk runs from Sydney to Newcastle in New South Wales, with the main track spanning 250 kilometers (160 miles) between the Obelisk in Macquarie Place to Queens Wharf Tower in Bicentennial Park.

See the New South Wales Department of Lands website for details.

More information and photos can be found at:


Great Long-Distance Walk: The Milford Track
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Great Long-Distance Walk: The Milford Track
Source: Public domain

Milford Track

New Zealand

The Milford Track is one of New Zealand's most popular walks, and it's also sometimes referred to as the "finest walk in the world." (Where have I heard that before?) The trail passes through the mountains and temperate rain forest of Fiordland National Park on South Island, with a total distance of 53 kilometers, starting at Lake Te Anau and finishing at Milford Sound at Sandfly Point.

See MilfordTrack.net for further information as well as the history of this route.

Other reading on the Milford Track includes:


Te Araroa

New Zealand

This is New Zealand's newest long-distance path, from Cape Reinga to Bluff, with completion scheduled for sometime in 2010 with a finished distance of 3030 kilometers or 1882 miles. It's expected that an end-to-end walk will take about four months. Some sections of the trail are already open.

For more information, visit TeAraroa.org.nz.

Some information can also be found at:


A Great Long-Distance Walk: Tasmanis Overland Track
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A Great Long-Distance Walk: Tasmanis Overland Track
Source: Public domain

Tasmania Overland Track

Australia

Australia's most famous walking track, the Tasmania Overland Track, spans 73 kilometers, or 45 miles, across the Cradle Mountain Lake St. Clair National Park. Along the way, this track passes through dolerite mountains, near beautiful waterfalls, and close to Tasmania's highest mountain before finishing at Australia's deepest lake. The entire route takes about six days.

Visit the Parks & Wildlife Service website for more information on this walk.

See also:

GREAT WALKS OF AFRICA

See all 34 photos

Kenya Safari

This a guided walk I found, covering 110 miles in 11 days across Tsavo, Africa's largest national park. This route follows game trails along the Tsavo River past World War I forts to the place where the infamous "Man-eaters of Tsavo" halted the British Empire in 1895. You then hike the length of the Galana River, home to large elephant populations and unique maneless male lions, ending at the Indian Ocean. This trek was awarded the 2006 Outside Magazine's trip of the year.

Visit Mountain Travel Sobek to see the itinerary and pricing. (I believe the various group prices are totals, which would be split by members of the party.)

EcoAfrica is another company that guides this trek, with a 14-day itinerary.

Otter Trail

South Africa

Located in the Tsitsikamma National Park, this 42-kilometer (26-mile) trail is considered one of the finest walks in the world (yes, I know, I've said that before) and apparently takes five days to complete with nights spent in huts. The trail never strays far from the shore, but there are steep climbs and descents to and from the beach and river crossings. This trail is named for the Cape Clawless Otter found in the area.

For information, visit the South African National Parks website.

Some nice photos can be seen at www.wim.co.za.

Rim of Africa

Africa's First Long-Distance Hiking Initiave

This long-distance trail is an amazing work in progress, patterned after famous footpaths like the Appalachian Trail in the eastern United States and Spain's Camino de Santiago trek.

The Rim of Africa follows along the mountain ridges of the Western Cape, stretching from the greater Cederberg wilderness area on the Cape's West Coast to the Outeniqua Mountains in the Garden Route, covering more than 650 kilometers. There is even potential to link the Rim of Africa to the Outeniqua Trail and then the Eden to Addo Hike for Biodiversity, which would create an extended trail of 1200km ending at Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape.

For more information on Rim of Africa, visit RimofAfrica.co.za.

Scenic Walks Part 3

Scenic Walks of the World: Romance With Nature
Scenic Walks of the World: Romance With Nature

This edition includes footage of Ireland's pristine coasts and rolling green hills, Austria's incredible Alps and historic castles, and Alaska's untamed wilderness and wildlife.

 

© 2009 Deb Kingsbury Last updated on November 5, 2014

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Questions or Comments About Great Walks of the World? Have you done all or part of any of these long-distance journeys? 326 comments

NC Shepherd profile image

NC Shepherd 5 years ago

Let's see...a couple of these are short enough to do several in a year. How many can we do in a lifetime? I'm getting started just as soon as my lenses are earning enough to live on!


Ramkitten2000 profile image

Ramkitten2000 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona Hub Author

[in reply to MysticTurtle] Hey, you! Hope the biking trip is going well. And, yeah, I'm with ya! When I hit the mother load, I'm walkin' full time! In the meantime, I'm trying to work in one--or a good piece of one--a year.


jimmielanley profile image

jimmielanley 5 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

Guess you need some walking shoes lenses to complement these! :-) My favorites are Chaco sandals. I even made a lens about them!


AlisonMeacham profile image

AlisonMeacham 5 years ago

What a comprehensive guide! Squid Angel Blessings to you


mythphile profile image

mythphile 5 years ago from California

Wow! Amazing lens. I've only browsed a few of them, but I love the way you've made a "walk" out of all these 'Walks" using the skip boxes! (And I love how they hang down next to the bigger ToCs -- great idea!)


MacPharlain profile image

MacPharlain 5 years ago

Awesome job on this lens! I've only done bits of the AT, Florida Trail and Batona Trail through the NJ Pine Barrens. This is a solid resource lens.


anonymous 5 years ago

Beautiful lens ! Soooo much information. 5 stars for sure. I am going to lensroll and add it as a link with my Boy Scouting lens since they are huge, huge hikers, backpackers, bikers and campers. Scouters will love this information! Great work here! http://www.squidoo.com/boyscoutsofamerica


DougP LM profile image

DougP LM 5 years ago

This lens itself is a bit of a "long-distance walk". Very comprehensive list, and very impressive!


ElizabethJeanAl profile image

ElizabethJeanAl 5 years ago

Absolutely wonderful!

5* and lensroll to Walking for Fitness

Lizzy


anonymous 5 years ago

this page is very impresive, have fun anjoy your tours, in your next time include as well Inca Trail and you may find some new hikes to machu picchu at http.//www.inkachallengeperu.com


GoSuze profile image

GoSuze 5 years ago

Saw this on RedGage - fabulous lens and gives me great ideas for my next proper holiday!!


anonymous 5 years ago

I have a website about the Arizona Trail at www.aztrail4fms.org. that has journals, lots of pictures and videos from the trail.


Webcodes LM profile image

Webcodes LM 5 years ago

Wonderful lens. A must bookmark for the avid hiker 5*.


SusannaDuffy profile image

SusannaDuffy 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Level 4 Commenter

I am in training to hike the Australian Alps walking track in November (if all goes well) It crosses three states, four national parks and some of Australia’s highest peaks. It's a tough one. To train, I'm doing my usual 5k a day but carrying a backpack and walking up and down the steep sides of the nearby creek. The neighbours think I'm cuckoo.


GonnaFly profile image

GonnaFly 5 years ago from Australia

Wow! What a great resource! I have done the Tasmania Overland track a couple of times - absolutely spectacular.


Laura Schofield profile image

Laura Schofield 5 years ago

Fantastic lens! Hopefully I'll get to do some of those Arizona walks soon. I used to live in Tucson and loved hiking in Sabino Canyon and the Rincon mountains. Always wanted to see the Superstition Mountains. Anything outdoors in Arizona is cool. Currently in Illinois, maybe we'll try out one of those Ice Age trails you mention in Wisconsin - sounds interesting!


rubyandmahoney profile image

rubyandmahoney 5 years ago

Wow! I did not realize there were so many long distance trails. I think that walking would be a great way to really enjoy the experience, if you have the time to do so. A 5* lens!


Snozzle profile image

Snozzle 5 years ago

What an amazing lens. I'm more of a walker or hiker than a long distance walker but have done the likes of UK's South West Coastal Path. Also enjoy walking In the Austrian Alps. After reading all of this (well most of it!) must dust off my boots.

Mike.


ChrysH 5 years ago

I'd like to endorse the Great North Walk as an exhilirating experience in Australian bushwalking - it's one of the best. An additional great site for information I found is at www.thegreatnorthwalk.com. Just wanted to share that with all bushwalking friends

ChrysH


Ramkitten2000 profile image

Ramkitten2000 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona Hub Author

[in reply to ChrysH] Thank you for the link. I'd missed that website! I've now added it to the section about the Great North Walk. It's on my bucket list.


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