11 National Scenic Trails in the United States

Ready to put your day pack down and break out your new ‘big boy’ backpack for a week-long trek through the wilderness? I suggest you start out on one of the National Scenic Trails designated and protected by the US Forest Service and other government agencies. Some of these trails are very long and treacherous … thru hiking them would take months to do and years of preparation. But all the National Scenic Trails are well maintained, highly traveled (so you’re not alone) and can be broken up into short section hikes.

Here are the 11 National Scenic Trails in the United States … I wonder if anyone has ever hiked them all?

Appalachian National Scenic Trail – 2,174 miles
Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail – 2,638 miles
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail – 3,100 miles
North Country National Scenic Trail – 4,600 miles
Ice Age National Scenic Trail – 1,200 miles
Florida National Scenic Trail – 1,400 miles
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail – 700 miles
Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail – 695 miles
Arizona National Scenic Trail – 807 miles
Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail – 1,200 miles
New England National Scenic Trail – 220 miles

I could not find a map showing all the trails – but I did find this one (probably old… before the 2009 trails were added) on the US Forest Service website.

national scenic trails map

Of all the National Scenic Trails – I think the Pacific Crest Trail would be my ideal thru-hike, but after doing a little research the North Country Trail looks amazing too. Check out the photo slideshow on their website.

Of all the National Scenic Trails, which ones have you hiked on? Which ones do you plan on hiking in the future? Post a comment and let us know.