There are thousands of hiking trails worldwide, ranging in difficulty from kid-appropriate to downright dangerous. Indeed, once someone gets bit by the hiking bug, it’s simply a matter of time before they make plans to hit any or all of the world’s most famous hiking trails. To avoid catastrophe, however, even the most experienced of hikers needs to go out prepared with gear like appropriate footwear, a map, compass, first-aid kit, knife, water and more. There are some huge elevation and weather changes along many of these paths, and failure to prepare can spell disaster!
Hiking is all about enjoying the great outdoors and communing with nature, but there’s still plenty of effort involved. Many of these trails are pristine examples of natural beauty, so make sure to keep it that way by taking all of your trash (even biodegradable food and other items) with you on your way out. This is called “packing out” and it’s very important to maintaining the area’s ecosystem.
Also take care to practice good hiking etiquette. When you have to use the outdoor bathroom make sure to do so a minimum of 200 feet from water sources and trails (no one wants to walk up on that). Keep all pets on a leash and be mindful of other hikers and their experience — don’t be super loud, don’t take up the entire trail, let them pass, and so on.
These long and winding paths cross some of the most gorgeous land ever seen by human eyes. How much do you know about Earth's famous hiking trails? Take this quiz and find out!
When completed, the trail will cross 15,000 miles.
This trail has 10 sections crossing some of the most spectacular ground on Earth.
The broken-up sections means hikers can pick and choose the pieces they want to attack.
Guinness World Records indicates it is the longest in the world.
In addition to seven national parks, hikers on this trail will go through a whopping 25 national forests.
It stretches from South Sudan to Uganda.
There are dozens of civilized area in the 522 miles of trail, but hikers must be very self-sufficient.
It is more than 3,800 miles long and traverses many steep mountains.
The third is the Pacific Crest Trail.
And yet at nearly 2,200 miles long, it is still a monster trail.
It's about 500 miles long and crosses the whole Korean Peninsula, but sorry, it doesn't go through North Korea.
The highest point of the trail is 14,270 feet, in Colorado.
And hikers spend about half of their time stomping through the waters of the Virgin River.
Some extremely tough hikers manage to walk the entire thing in less than a single season.
It is around 630 miles and sends hikers near many wide-open coastal views.
Perhaps only 100 people per year attempt to walk the entire 1,800-mile trail.
It takes average hikers about three months to walk the entire trail.
That's enough of an elevation gain to climb Mount Everest about, oh, 16 times.
There is a northern and southern split in this one and just that loop is about 1,800 miles.
It is the only non-motorized coast-to-coast trail in the U.S.
Most of it lies within the Arctic Circle.
That means he covered about 7,900 miles in less than a year.
It stretches from Denver to Durango on an established and well-marked trail.
He beat the previous record (by Jennifer Pharr Davis) by only around three hours.
Hikers, on the other hand, usually need more than 10 days to finish the journey.
This is considered the "cultural" route that lets hikers interact with towns along the way.
There are 342 sections in the 3,000 miles of trail; some people can hike it all in less than a year.
Hikers go through Greece, Serbia, Austria and six other countries.
Many hikers call this one the toughest of the Triple Crown.
Some of those passes go to a breath-sucking 16,000 feet.