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Local Hikes

Jump-start your hiking season on these spring-ready trips from around the country.


Austin, TX
Barton Creek Greenbelt South

Just a few miles west of downtown, this path tracing the gap between a creekbed and 30-foot limestone cliffs offers Hill Country scenery within city limits. “For some of us, it’s the heart of the city,” says Glee Ingram, founder of the non-profit Greenbelt Guardians. It’s easy to love the swimming holes and 15-foot waterfalls that appear along this 10.4-mile out-and-back after spring rains transform the dry creek. Trip ID 39465

Chicago, IL
Blackwell Forest Preserve

Circle a marshy haven lined with blooming goldenrod to see migrating bluebirds and bobolinks on a 6.1-mile jaunt 30 miles west of downtown. Trip ID 541006

Columbus, OH
Old Man’s Cave

Spy a cave named for an 18th-century hermit on this 5.1-mile loop an hour southeast of the state capitol. You’ll also pass several seasonal waterfalls, including 50-foot Cedar Falls tumbling through a chute eroded from 350-million-year-old sandstone. Trip ID 5712

Minneapolis, MN
Pike Island Loop

Hike a 4.5-mile path circling the flood-sculpted island where the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers converge. Goslings, ducklings, fawns, and fox kits appear in May, along with chokecherry and wild geranium blossoms. Trip ID 39467

Oklahoma City, OK
Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge

In mid- to late spring, fluffy, reddish-brown calves join the refuge’s 650-member bison herd. Look for the 50-pound babies alongside their half-ton mothers on this rolling, 3.7-mile lollipop route across a mixed grass prairie. Trip ID 372462

St. Louis, MO
Giant City State Park

Seasonal streams and small waterfalls resonate through an oak-hickory forest tucked within sandstone cliffs in May, the wettest month of the year on the 9.8-mile Red Cedar loop. Trip ID 250131

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