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Backpacker Magazine – November 2011

Local Hikes: Extend Your Season

Cooler days mean fewer crowds and bugs—and riots of leafy color. Here are 38 fall-weekend classics near you.

by: Sarah Stewart

View from First Peak one hour from Albany (Tim Seaver)
View from First Peak one hour from Albany (Tim Seaver)
Providence Canyon near Atlanta (Paul Rezendes)
Providence Canyon near Atlanta (Paul Rezendes)
Columbia River Gorge near Portland, OR (Tomas Kaspar)
Columbia River Gorge near Portland, OR (Tomas Kaspar)
Bring bug spray to Barr Lake near Denver. (Eric Tyler)
Bring bug spray to Barr Lake near Denver. (Eric Tyler)
Views from the Deseret Peak hike near SLC (Austin Cronnelly)
Views from the Deseret Peak hike near SLC (Austin Cronnelly)
Potomac River outside Washington, D.C. (Scott Mansfield)
Potomac River outside Washington, D.C. (Scott Mansfield)

Indianapolis, IN
Lincoln Loop

Roam the hills and flaming hardwood forests where Abraham Lincoln grew up on this 8.2-mile route leading to the gravesite of his sister, Sarah, who died at age 20. Trip ID 43669

Las Vegas, NV
White Rock Hills Loop

See ancient roasting pits and walls of rock art along this challenging 7.5-mile loop in the rugged Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, minutes from The Strip. Trip ID 40811

Lincoln, NH
Kinsman Pond Loop

A lush, mossy understory, two pine-laced ponds, and Presidential Range views reward the 2,300-foot ascent of this 9.9-mile White Mountain route, with two heated backcountry huts to ease your transition to winter (reserve at amc.com). Trip ID 14631

Little Rock, AR
White Rock-Shores Lake Loop

Summit lichen-covered, 2,260-foot White Rock Mountain, follow two cascade-laden creeks through a hardwood-pine forest, and sleep in a restored CCC-era stone cabin ($70/two people, whiterockmountain.com) on this 11.8-mile overnight. Trip ID 7737

Los Angeles, CA
Bell Canyon-East Ridge Loop

This casual 5.4-mile loop wends through a live oak canyon with leaves glowing a deep orange to a ridgeline with 360-degree views. Set out in the late afternoon to catch the sun sinking into the Pacific. Trip ID 8566

Los Angeles, CA
Malibu Creek State Park Loop
Hike into Hollywood’s past in this 7,000-acre park in the Santa Monica Mountains. The 14.2-mile loop passes volcanic outcroppings and chaparral slopes going yellow. Plus: Hike through the filming sites for M*A*S*H, Planet of the Apes (Heston’s, not Franco’s), and Tarzan. Trip ID 27871

Minneapolis, MN
Ice Age Circle

Spy kettle lakes and cotton candy-like knolls on this rolling, 4.8-mile loop. The glacial relics formed some 10,000 years ago, when a two-mile-thick ice sheet piled with sand and rock melted away. Trip ID 27541

New York, NY
Stony Brook-Ramapo Torne Loop

The Big Apple skyline spikes 30 miles from Harriman State Park’s rocky ridges, but you’ll be a world away on this 6.8-mile loop. Trip ID 5708

New York, NY
Central Park South Loop
Skirt four ponds and see a 142-year-old castle on a 4.1-mile loop in Manhattan. Trip ID 39449

Nashville, TN
Mossy Ridge Trail at Percy Warner Park

Shady hollows provide a peaceful respite nine miles from downtown Nashville on this 4.7-mile route in a 2,058-acre city park. Highlights: stone chimney remnants from an abandoned 1930s-era cabin and a mossy trailside spring. Trip ID 427501

Nashville, TN
Harpeth Woods Loop
Follow the Natchez Trace, an ancientNative American footpath, on this three-mile loop through mature cedar, oak, and beech. Trip ID 44937

*Trip ID: Get free maps and GPS data by adding the Trip ID to backpacker.com/hikes/_______.




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