Arguably, spring is the most beautiful and hopeful season across the United States. Officially beginning on March 20 in the U.S., spring brings the rebirth of plants that died or went dormant over the winter. It also brings new litters of baby animals, new vegetation growth, and brand-new buds on flowers that will burst in luminous, colorful blossoms as the season progresses and turns into summer.
Because spring is so beautiful, it can be one of the best times to get outdoors and go camping or hiking. There are countless gorgeous places across the country to hike or to camp. However, if you want the absolute best hikes for the upcoming season, check out the list below. The following places are known to offer unbeatable spring hikes, so you can get the most beautiful views of the season and re-remember what it's like for nature to come alive again after its long winter nap.
Smokemont Loop - Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina
The Great Smoky Mountains are gorgeous all year long. But there is one trail in the park that is particularly stunning at the start of spring. That trail is called the Smokemont Loop, and it is a relatively short 6.5-mile loop that goes straight up into the mountains and then straight back down to its starting point. Over the trail, you'll gain 1,441 feet in elevation, and it will test your endurance. But the toughness of the trail is worth it because, in spring, the loop comes alive with wildflowers. The wildflowers provide bursts of color that are only there in that one particular season, but the backdrop of those flowers is a gurgling stream, which makes the trail one that is incomparably peaceful and soothing. One of the coolest parts of the loop is that it passes by a historic cemetery where descendants of those buried in the cemetery come out annually to decorate the graves with silk flowers.
Maroon Lake Scenic Trail - Maroon Bells, Colorado
The Maroon Bells are a mountain range just 10 miles from stunning Aspen. This entire area is a gorgeous place to wander and explore, but it becomes particularly spectacular in spring. The lake trail is perfect for springtime because it is flanked in fields of greenery and wildflowers, and these wildflowers wake up just as winter ends. The lake, which is as clear as any Alpine lake, reflects both the maroon color of the mountains and the multiple colors of the rainbow fields of wildflowers. The colors you'll encounter on the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail are a delight for the senses. This easy, 1.3-mile trail is a fun hike you can do with your family or anyone who doesn't fancy themselves a particularly athletic or experienced hiker.
McAfee Knob - Catawba Mountain, Appalachian Trail, Virginia
The Appalachian Trail stretches north to south along the eastern U.S. One of the most beautiful parts to visit in spring is the McAfee Knob — which also happens to be one of the most photographed parts of the entire trail. The McAfee Knob is a part of the trail where a stone juts out seemingly into thin air. When standing on the stone, you feel almost as if you could take off in flight over the rest of the landscape below. (When captured from a distance at an angle, these photographs are simply glorious.) Just outside of Roanoke, McAfee Knob is part of Catawba Mountain. The trail to get there is 4 miles long, and the rise of the climb is about 1,700 feet. Round trip, it's an 8-mile hike, and it's pretty steep, so make sure you're ready for a difficult trek (but the panoramic view is worth it!).
Enjoy Your Spring Hike With Gear From Pike Trail
If you really want to do your spring hikes or camping right, you need the right gear. Luckily for you, there's Pike Trail. Pike Trail is an online resource for outdoor gear, like hiking gaiters, sleeping bag liners, pocket blankets, waterproof socks, and more. At Pike Trail, all the gear has been thoroughly tested and researched, so you can be certain that you're getting an item that will keep you comfortable and protected on the go. The added bonus of Pike Trail is that we focus on affordability. Everybody should be able to get out and enjoy the beauty of the U.S. in spring without having their budget limit them. By purchasing the items at Pike Trail, you can enhance your hiking or camping experience, without letting a hiking trip limit you in any other way. Spend some time shopping through the store at Pike Trail — then get out there and enjoy the spring! Nature is waiting.