Explore: Washington, D.C. Great Falls Loop, Great Falls National Park
This 4.5-mile loop, just 15 miles from downtown, is perfect for a quick but dramatic nature fix. Hike along Difficult Run to views of the powerful
Potomac pouring over 20-foot cliffs at the park’s eponymous falls (Trip ID 47070). Download our free smartphone app, GPS Trails, to check out a
dozen more hikes within the metro area. Get it here.
Perfect Days Charlotte, NC Lake Loop Trail
Despite its paddling-oriented name, the National Whitewater Center offers 14 miles of hiking/mountain biking trails winding through hills along the
shores of the Catawba River. Once you’ve walked your fill, cool off on a stand-up paddleboard ($25; usnwc.org). Trip ID 1065612
Portland, ME Bald Mountain
Work up a sweat climbing 1,000 feet in 1.9 miles to views of faraway peaks and the three large lakes that hug Bald Mountain from the east and west.
Then spend the afternoon at nearby Smalls Falls, a series of gentle drops and 15-foot-deep swimming holes (1.usa.gov/smallsfalls).
Trip ID 1651274
Pittsburgh, PA Laurel Highlands Trail
Hike through Ohiopyle SP’s hardwoods, with views down to the wide, lazy Youghiogheny River, on a 12-mile out-and-back. Then, just five miles down
the road, see the waterfall inside Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Falling Water house (fallingwater.org). Trip ID 652592