Not all hiking paths were created equally. Some are well-trodden paths in the grass while others are constructed by humans and well-lit, well-marked and well paved! That being said, most paths and trails offer free (or at least inexpensive) exercise, loads of fun and access to some really beautiful views. Here are our favorite 5 hiking trails….
5. West Bali National Park, Bali, Indonesia – This trail in Bali makes our list because of its small impact to its natural surroundings. The entire trail is not this small and overgrown. However, a long distance is covered with knee-high brush and tall grass. The trail twists and turns through the West Bali Park where you walk dried river beds, catch breathtaking glimpses of the turquoise ocean and can get up close to exotic plant and animal species!
4. Pikes Forest, Colorado Springs, Colorado – This trail in Pikes Forest was quiet and peaceful. One aspect I liked was the crunching sound made with each step as we trodden through the fallen leaves. The path sloped gently down to a small lake and offered views of Pike’s Peak once at the water. Another plus was that it was well-marked, but not overly crowded.
3. Cahuita National Park, Cahuita, Costa Rica – This path makes our list because it was wide, clear, even and very close to the ocean. Not to mention we saw TONS of wildlife right on the path including neon green lizards, carpenter ants and even sloths!
2. Deadvlei, Soussessvlei National Park, Namibia – The term path should be used loosely with this entry. The path is more or less blown away each night as the wind moves the sand around the desert. However, you can follow the footprints of fellow hikes easily enough. Considering the path has a clear ending at Deadvlei, one knows when to stop and turn around. That being said, traipsing through rust colored sand with dunes reaching hundreds of feet into the air is unique and stunningly beautiful!
1. Waynapicchu, Machu Picchu, Peru – This path tops our list for many reasons. First, it is OLD and we love that there are very few renovations to the original pathways. Second, servants used to carry Inca emperors up these same old stairs on their backs – that’s a cool fact to remember when you are huffing and puffing just carrying your own weight up the mountain! And third, there are no guardrails…you’ve got to be careful and focused. Besides these reasons, the view at the top makes every agonizing stair 100% worth it!