Most day-long “hikes” are actually just long walks in disguise. Add some loose rocks and maybe a view or two of some nice trees and people starting throwing out the H word. The following hikes are not pretenders. We surveyed the northeastern U.S. to find the best 15 day hikes spread out across nine states. If you have a car (in some cases you don’t even need one), you can find an accessible 10 miler with manageable distances, notable views and unique trails for a long, fulfilling Saturday. Get out there now and thank us later.
MORE HIKES The Mountain Series | 5 Best American Peaks | Hiking The White Mountains
Boats and I-95
Lion’s Head to Bear Mountain
How Long: 13 miles
Found In: Salisbury, Connecticut
Which Is: 90 minutes north of Bridgeport; 75 minutes southeast of Albany
The Draw: Bear Mountain is the highest peak in Connecticut, and hiking to it from Lion’s Head — along the Appalachian Trail — is the best way to get to the summit.
Don’t Miss: The 22-foot stone pyramid at the summit and views of the Catskills in New York and Mt. Everett in Massachusetts.
Basically a Visit to Canada
Summit Mt. Katahdin via Knife Edge
How Long: 9.5 miles
Found In: Baxter State Park, Maine
Which Is: 4 hours north of Portland
The Draw: Running from Pamola Peak to Baxter Peak, the actual Edge is only about a mile, but the views of the 100-Mile Maine Wilderness as you walk along its spine make it well worth the trek.
Don’t Miss: Your footing. This hike isn’t for windy days or hikers with vertigo. Exercise extreme caution along the edge and don’t roll off the cliff.
Gulf Hagas Trail
How Long: 8 miles
Found In: Northeast Piscataquis, Maine
Which Is: 3.5 hours north of Portland
The Draw: The “Grand Canyon of the East”, Gulf Hagas Trail is accessible from one of the most remote sections of the Appalachian Trail and passes cascading waterfalls and deep gorges.
Don’t Miss: The part where we said this is remote. Bring a friend, a plan, well-draining shoes for river crossing and cash to pay the gate fee for access via Katahdin Iron Works Road.
Ocean Path and Precipice Trail
How Long: 4 miles and 2.5 miles
Found In: Acadia National Park, Maine
Which Is: 3 hours northeast of Portland
The Draw: On the eastern coast of Acadia National Park (a treasure in its own right) lies Sand Beach. The Ocean Path, an easy walking trail, runs south from Sand Beach, running along cliffs that drop into the crashing waves of the north Atlantic. A mile north of the beach is Precipice Trail (closed during early summer), which is essentially a ladder fastened into the side of a cliff overlooking the park and open ocean.
Don’t Miss: Bringing a camera. These hikes are relatively painless and provide disproportionately stunning views.