Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest: Explore Gems of the Heartland

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If you’re searching for the best hiking trails in the Midwest, this comprehensive guide is for you.

The Midwest offers a range of incredible landscapes perfect for hiking, whether you’re an experienced trailblazer, a family looking for an outdoor getaway, or a newcomer to the hiking world.

Why consider the Midwest for your next hiking adventure? The region is a treasure trove of diverse natural settings. You’ll find everything from tranquil lakes in Minnesota to the breathtaking dunes in Michigan.

Before you hit the trails, it’s important to prepare. This guide will walk you through key factors like trail difficulty, optimal hiking seasons, and essential gear.

We’ll cover everything from Pere Marquette’s wooded paths to the rugged terrains of the Apostle Islands.

So grab your hiking boots, and let’s dive into the scenic beauty that the Midwest has to offer.

Top 10 Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest

#1. Pere Marquette State Park

pere marquette park
Pere Marquette State Park. The Mississippi River is in the distance.

Overview and Location

Nestled along the Great River Road, Pere Marquette State Park is a must-visit for anyone looking to explore Illinois’ scenic trails. The park is a short drive from St. Louis, making it easily accessible for a day trip or weekend getaway.

pere marquette state park lodge
Pere Marquette State Park Lodge

Trail Difficulty and Length

Pere Marquette offers trails for all skill levels. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, you’ll find something here. The trails range from easy to difficult and vary in length from 1 to 7.5 miles.

  • Easy Trails: Fern Hollow and Hickory South are shorter and suitable for families.
  • Moderate Trails: Goat Cliff and Hickory North provide a bit more challenge.
  • Difficult Trails: The Pere Marquette trail is the longest and most challenging, stretching for 7.5 miles.

Best Seasons to Visit

Spring and fall are the ideal seasons for hiking at Pere Marquette. In spring, the wildflowers bloom. In fall, the leaves change colors. Summer can get hot, but it’s manageable if you’re prepared. Winter hikes are possible, but make sure you’re ready for some chilly weather.

Gear Recommendations

Don’t forget to pack wisely for your adventure. Here are some essentials:

  • Hiking boots with good ankle support
  • A weather-appropriate jacket
  • Plenty of water
  • Snacks like trail mix or energy bars
  • A map or GPS device

Pere Marquette is more than just a park; it’s a haven for hikers looking to explore the Midwest’s natural beauty.

From its variety of trails to the best seasons for a visit, this place has something for everyone. Grab your gear and see for yourself why Pere Marquette ranks among the best hiking trails in the Midwest.

#2. Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Overview and Location

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers some of Michigan’s most iconic scenery. Located along the northwest coast of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, this national park boasts miles of sandy beaches, towering dunes, and lush forests. It’s a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Trail Difficulty and Length

The trails here cater to a wide range of hikers. You’ll find paths that are perfect for a leisurely stroll as well as those that will challenge even the most experienced hikers.

Trail lengths vary, ranging from half a mile to over 9 miles.

  • Easy Trails: The Shauger Hill trail is a 1.2-mile loop perfect for families and beginners.
  • Moderate Trails: Old Indian Trail has two loops of about 2.5 miles each and offers a balanced hike.
  • Difficult Trails: For a challenge, try the Dune Climb, which can extend up to 3.5 miles one way if you make it to Lake Michigan.

Best Seasons to Visit

Summer is the most popular time to visit, thanks to the warm weather and the chance to cool off in Lake Michigan. However, spring and fall offer milder temperatures and fewer crowds.

If you’re up for a winter adventure, the park’s beauty doesn’t fade with the snow—it just becomes a quieter, more peaceful place to explore.

Gear Recommendations

As with any hiking trip, packing the right gear is crucial. Here’s a quick list of items to consider:

  • Sturdy hiking sandals or boots
  • Sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat for sun protection
  • Ample water, especially if tackling the dunes
  • High-energy snacks like granola bars or nuts
  • A camera to capture the stunning vistas

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a Michigan gem that truly has something for every type of hiker. Whether you’re drawn to the challenging dunes or the scenic lake views, you won’t be disappointed.

Get your gear ready and set out to discover why this park is a highlight among the best hiking trails in the Midwest.

#3. Bell Smith Springs, Shawnee National Forest, Illinois

Bell Smith Springs stone bridge
Bell Smith Springs stone bridge.

Overview and Location

Bell Smith Springs is one of the standout hiking destinations in Shawnee National Forest, Illinois. Situated in the southern part of the state, this area is famed for its stunning natural springs, rocky terrain, and deep canyons. It’s a slice of natural beauty that stands out in the Midwest landscape.

Trail Difficulty and Length

Hikers of all experience levels will find Bell Smith Springs to be a rewarding location. The trails here range from easy walks near the springs to more challenging paths that take you through rugged terrain. Most trails are between 1 to 4 miles long, making them manageable yet satisfying.

  • Easy Trails: The Nature Loop is an easy one-mile trail that’s great for families or those looking for a quick hike.
  • Moderate Trails: The Devil’s Backbone is around 1.5 miles and offers moderate challenges with some elevation.
  • Difficult Trails: The Sentinels Trail is a tough 4-mile hike that navigates through rocky cliffs and canyons.

Best Seasons to Visit

Spring and fall are the peak seasons for hiking at Bell Smith Springs. Springtime brings wildflowers and flowing springs, while the fall showcases the changing foliage. Summer can be quite humid, so prepare accordingly. Winter hikes offer solitude but require more preparation due to colder temperatures.

Gear Recommendations

For a comfortable and safe hike, make sure to pack the following:

  • Reliable hiking boots with excellent grip for rocky paths
  • A hydration system or water bottles
  • High-protein snacks like beef jerky or trail mix
  • A first-aid kit for minor injuries
  • A map of the area or a GPS device for navigation

Bell Smith Springs provides a unique Midwest hiking experience. With its range of trail difficulties and seasonal beauty, it truly offers something for everyone.

So grab your hiking essentials and see firsthand why Bell Smith Springs is a gem in the list of the best hiking trails in the Midwest.

#4. Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest: Superior Hiking Trail, Minnesota

Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest - Superior Hiking Trail
Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest – Superior Hiking Trail

Overview and Location

The Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota is a long-distance hiker’s dream come true. Stretching over 300 miles along the North Shore of Lake Superior, this trail provides an unparalleled hiking experience.

From Duluth to the Canadian border, the trail offers scenic overlooks, dense forests, and rushing waterfalls.

Trail Difficulty and Length

This trail is versatile, offering various segments that cater to hikers of all skill levels. However, if you’re looking to tackle the entire trail, be prepared for a challenging long-distance hike that could take weeks to complete.

  • Easy Trails: Segments near state parks like Gooseberry Falls are easier and well-maintained.
  • Moderate Trails: The section around Tettegouche State Park offers moderate difficulty and is roughly 6 to 8 miles.
  • Difficult Trails: The Sawtooth Mountains section will test your skills with steep climbs and rough terrain.

Best Seasons to Visit

Spring and fall are the most recommended seasons for hiking the Superior Trail. Spring offers blooming flora, while fall features vibrant foliage. Summer is enjoyable but can get busy, especially near popular spots. Winter hiking is possible but is mainly for experienced, well-equipped adventurers.

Gear Recommendations

For this trail, gear can vary depending on the length and complexity of your hike. However, some staples should be included in your pack:

  • High-quality hiking boots suitable for long distances
  • A multi-day backpack if you’re tackling larger sections
  • A reliable water filter or purification tablets
  • High-calorie, lightweight food like freeze-dried meals
  • Emergency gear including a first-aid kit, whistle, and firestarter

The Superior Hiking Trail offers a unique blend of challenges and scenic beauty. Whether you’re planning a day hike or a multi-week expedition, this trail stands out as one of the best hiking trails in the Midwest.

Pack your essentials and get ready to explore Minnesota’s most epic hiking destination.

#5. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

apostle islands hiking trails
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin

Overview and Location

Located in northern Wisconsin along the shores of Lake Superior, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is an awe-inspiring collection of 21 islands. The area is renowned for its sandy beaches, sea caves, and old-growth forests, making it a premier hiking destination.

Trail Difficulty and Length

Apostle Islands offers a variety of hiking opportunities, both on the mainland and across several of the islands. You’ll find trails that range from easy walks to more strenuous hikes.

  • Easy Trails: The Lakeshore Trail is a gentle path that hugs the coastline.
  • Moderate Trails: The trail to the sea caves on the mainland is moderately difficult and provides stunning views.
  • Difficult Trails: Island hikes like those on Oak Island offer challenging terrains and longer distances.

Best Seasons to Visit

Summer is the most popular season, offering warm temperatures and the opportunity for water activities. However, spring and fall provide mild weather and fewer crowds, ideal for hiking. Winter transforms the area into a snowy wonderland but demands preparation and caution.

Gear Recommendations

As you’re hiking near water, some unique items might come in handy. Here’s a list of essentials:

  • Waterproof hiking boots or shoes
  • Rain gear to handle sudden showers
  • Insect repellent, particularly in the summer months
  • Ample water and a water filtration system if planning longer hikes
  • A portable phone charger for emergency calls and navigation

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is more than just a pretty view; it’s a hiking enthusiast’s playground.

With its range of trails and the uniqueness of island hiking, it’s no wonder this spot is a highlight on the list of best hiking trails in the Midwest.

#6. Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest: Maquoketa Caves State Park, Iowa

Maquoketa Caves State Park Entrance

Overview and Location

Situated in eastern Iowa, Maquoketa Caves State Park is unlike any other hiking destination in the Midwest.

It’s a subterranean wonderland featuring more than a dozen caves, limestone formations, and scenic overlooks. Just a short drive from Dubuque, it’s easily accessible for both day trips and extended stays.

Maquoketa Caves State Park

Trail Difficulty and Length

The park offers various trails that cater to a wide range of hikers. From flat and easy routes to more challenging, hilly terrains, you can choose your own adventure here.

Most trails are less than 2 miles long, making them perfect for short excursions.

  • Easy Trails: The Dancehall Cave Trail is relatively flat and leads to a large walk-through cave.
  • Moderate Trails: The Ridge Trail provides moderate challenges and leads to some of the best overlooks in the park.
  • Difficult Trails: For a more strenuous hike, the Natural Bridge and Balanced Rock Trail features uneven terrain and steep inclines.

Best Seasons to Visit

Spring and fall are the most comfortable seasons to explore Maquoketa Caves. Spring brings wildflowers and gushing streams, while fall offers a tapestry of autumn colors.

Summer is also popular but can be hot and more crowded. The park is open in winter, but cave exploration may be limited.

Gear Recommendations

Cave hiking comes with its own set of requirements. Here’s what you should consider bringing:

  • Headlamp or flashlight for cave exploration
  • Sturdy boots with good traction for slippery surfaces
  • Gloves for climbing and gripping rocky areas
  • Plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Snacks that are easy to carry and consume

Maquoketa Caves State Park is a unique gem in the Midwest hiking scene. With its combination of above-ground beauty and underground intrigue, it truly offers a one-of-a-kind hiking experience.

Pack your essentials and prepare to discover why Maquoketa Caves holds a special place among the best hiking trails in the Midwest.

#7. Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

hocking hills state park hiking trails
Hocking Hills State Park Hiking Trails

Overview and Location

Located in southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the state’s natural wonders.

Known for its dramatic cliffs, waterfalls, and deep gorges, this park is a haven for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Trail Difficulty and Length

The park boasts a diverse set of trails suitable for all skill levels, ranging from short and easy treks to more strenuous and challenging hikes.

Most trails are between 0.5 to 2.5 miles long, allowing for multiple hikes in a single day if you’re up for it.

  • Easy Trails: Ash Cave and Cedar Falls trails are short and mostly flat, ideal for beginners or families.
  • Moderate Trails: The Cantwell Cliffs loop offers a moderate hike with some uneven terrain.
  • Difficult Trails: Old Man’s Cave to Cedar Falls is a tougher 6-mile round-trip hike with steep sections and stairs.

Best Seasons to Visit

Spring and fall are the peak seasons for hiking in Hocking Hills. In spring, wildflowers fill the forest floor, and in fall, the foliage turns to brilliant shades of orange and red.

Summer is warm and more crowded, while winter offers a snowy, quiet solitude for those prepared for cold-weather hiking.

Gear Recommendations

No matter the season, packing the right gear will make your hike more enjoyable. Here’s a checklist of items to bring along:

  • Durable hiking boots with good traction
  • Water bottles or a hydration pack
  • Lightweight snacks like fruit or granola bars
  • A map of the park or a GPS-enabled device
  • A lightweight backpack to carry your essentials

Hocking Hills State Park is a standout location for anyone interested in exploring Ohio’s natural beauty. With a variety of trails and scenic features, it easily earns its spot among the best hiking trails in the Midwest.

#8. Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest: Starved Rock State Park Trails, Illinois

Starved Rock State Park
Starved Rock State Park

Overview and Location

Starved Rock State Park, situated along the Illinois River in the north-central part of the state, is a mecca for hikers and nature lovers.

Famous for its sandstone canyons, seasonal waterfalls, and river views, this park is one of Illinois’ most visited outdoor destinations.

Trail Difficulty and Length

Starved Rock offers a range of trails to suit hikers of all levels. The park features over 13 miles of well-marked trails, from easy strolls to more challenging hikes with staircases and steep inclines.

  • Easy Trails: The River Trail is a gentle, flat path that follows the Illinois River.
  • Moderate Trails: The LaSalle Canyon loop is about 4 miles and offers moderate difficulty with some elevation changes.
  • Difficult Trails: The Starved Rock and French Canyon trail involves steep climbs and can be tough during wet conditions.

Best Seasons to Visit

The park is a year-round destination, but each season offers something different. Spring brings wildflowers and gushing waterfalls, while fall offers colorful foliage.

Summer can be hot but provides lush, green landscapes. Winter transforms the park into a snowy wonderland, perfect for those who don’t mind the cold.

Gear Recommendations

Here’s a list of essential gear to consider bringing for a hike in Starved Rock:

  • Sturdy, water-resistant hiking boots for wet or muddy conditions
  • A hydration pack or water bottles to stay hydrated
  • Quick-drying clothing suitable for the season
  • A small first-aid kit for minor injuries
  • A map or GPS device to help navigate the multiple trails

Starved Rock State Park offers a unique blend of natural features that make it a top pick for hikers in the Midwest. Whether you’re interested in canyon exploration, riverside strolls, or panoramic overlooks,

Starved Rock has something for everyone. Pack your essentials, and experience firsthand why this park is a cornerstone in the list of the best hiking trails in the Midwest.

#9. The Katy Trail

Kathy Trail Portland MO
The Katy Trail, Portland, Missouri

Overview and Location

The Katy Trail is a remarkable long-distance hiking and biking path that stretches across the state of Missouri.

What makes this trail unique is its history; it was converted from the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, also known as the MKT or “Katy.”

best hiking trails in the midwest

Spanning approximately 240 miles from Clinton to Machens, the trail is the longest developed rail-trail in the United States.

It passes through small towns, farmlands, and scenic landscapes, offering a panoramic view of Missouri’s heartland.

Historical Context

The transformation of the Katy Trail serves as a prime example of adaptive reuse. The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad was established in the late 19th century and was crucial for transporting goods and people.

With the decline of rail transportation in the latter part of the 20th century, the railroad tracks were abandoned.

However, instead of letting the route decay, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy converted it into a trail for public use in the early 1990s.

Today, the Katy Trail stands as a testament to how communities can repurpose historical landmarks for modern enjoyment.

Trail Difficulty and Length

The Katy Trail is relatively flat and easy to navigate, thanks to its rail-trail origins. This makes it ideal for hikers, cyclists, and families alike. It’s also divided into various sections, allowing for both short day trips and more extended multi-day adventures.

  • Easy: Most sections are flat and suitable for beginners.
  • Moderate: Some parts have slight inclines or rougher terrain but are manageable for most hikers.

Best Seasons to Visit

Spring and fall are particularly beautiful times to experience the Katy Trail. Wildflowers and budding trees make spring a vibrant season, while fall offers a colorful display of changing leaves.

Summer is excellent for those who enjoy warmer weather, although it can get quite hot and humid. Winter is less crowded but requires preparation for chilly conditions.

Gear Recommendations

Given the trail’s length and variable conditions, you’ll need to plan your gear accordingly.

  • Comfortable hiking or biking shoes suitable for long distances
  • Layered clothing to adapt to changing weather
  • A high-capacity water bottle or hydration system
  • Portable snacks like trail mix or energy bars
  • A map or GPS-enabled device, particularly if you’re covering large sections

The Katy Trail is more than just a hiking path; it’s a slice of American history repurposed for modern enjoyment. Its flat terrain and scenic vistas make it accessible for hikers of all levels.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day hike or a more extended expedition, the Katy Trail is an essential addition to any list of the best hiking trails in the Midwest.

So, lace up those hiking boots or pump up those bike tires and set off on an adventure through Missouri’s diverse landscapes and rich history.

#10. Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest: The Lewis and Clark Trail

Lewis and Clark Trail
Lewis and Clark Trail

Overview and Location

The Lewis and Clark Trail isn’t just a hiking path; it’s a journey through American history. Spanning approximately 4,900 miles across 16 states, this trail follows the historic route taken by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark during their famed Corps of Discovery Expedition from 1804 to 1806.

While the entire trail stretches from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to the Pacific Coast, several sections fall within the Midwest, offering a mix of historical sites, natural beauty, and hiking opportunities.

Historical Context

Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, the Lewis and Clark Expedition aimed to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase and establish an American presence in the West before European powers tried to claim it.

Today, the trail serves as a living museum, filled with interpretive centers, reconstructed forts, and natural landmarks that were noted in Lewis and Clark’s journals.

Trail Difficulty and Length

The trail is incredibly diverse, offering hiking experiences that range from easy walks along riverbanks to more strenuous climbs through the mountainous regions further west.

In the Midwest, you’ll find a variety of flat to moderate terrains.

  • Easy: Many sections, particularly those along the Missouri River, are flat and easy to navigate.
  • Moderate: Some trails, like those in the Loess Hills of Iowa, offer moderate inclines and more challenging terrain.

Best Seasons to Visit

Each season brings its own unique charm to the Lewis and Clark Trail. Spring is full of blooming wildflowers, while fall offers a vibrant display of colorful foliage.

Summer provides warm weather for extended hikes, and winter, although challenging, provides a serene, snow-covered landscape.

  • Spring: Wildflowers and moderate temperatures
  • Summer: Ideal for long hikes but can be hot
  • Fall: Mild weather and autumn foliage
  • Winter: Snowy landscapes but requires preparation

Gear Recommendations

Given the trail’s historical significance and varied terrains, you’ll want to be well-prepared.

  • Good-quality hiking boots for variable terrains
  • Seasonal clothing in layers to adjust to changing conditions
  • A hydration system, especially for longer treks
  • A detailed map or GPS device for navigation
  • A lightweight backpack to carry essentials and perhaps a field guide to the flora, fauna, and history of the area

The Lewis and Clark Trail offers a unique blend of historical education and natural beauty, making it a standout entry among the best hiking trails in the Midwest.

Whether you’re a history buff or an avid hiker—or both—this trail provides an enriching experience that transcends typical outdoor activities. So, grab your gear and step into the shoes of America’s most famous explorers.

As you hike along rivers, through forests, and over hills, you’ll gain a newfound appreciation for the courage and curiosity that fueled this landmark expedition.

Additional Tips and Tricks for Hiking the Best Trails in the Midwest

Navigating the diverse terrains of the Midwest’s hiking trails is an exciting adventure, but it’s essential to come prepared.

Whether you’re a solo hiker, bringing the family along, or even a hiking newbie, these additional tips and tricks will help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Safety Considerations

  • Know Your Limits: Before embarking on any trail, assess your physical condition and choose a trail that aligns with your capabilities.
  • Stay Informed: Always check trail conditions and weather forecasts before you set out.
  • Gear Up: Carry essential safety gear like a first-aid kit, a multi-tool, and a whistle.
  • Communicate: Let someone know where you’ll be hiking and when you expect to return.
  • Stay on Marked Trails: It’s easier to get lost or encounter dangerous terrain if you venture off the established path.

Leave No Trace Principles

Practicing Leave No Trace ethics is not only respectful to nature but also ensures that these trails remain beautiful for future generations.

  • Plan Ahead: Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you’ll visit.
  • Dispose of Waste Properly: Always pack out what you pack in.
  • Leave What You Find: Don’t pick plants, remove rocks, or disturb wildlife.
  • Minimize Campfire Impact: Use a camping stove for cooking and a lantern for light.
  • Be Considerate: Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.

Family-Friendly Tips

Hiking is a great way to bond with your family while introducing your kids to the joys of nature.

  • Start Small: If you’re hiking with kids or newcomers, start with shorter, easier trails and work your way up.
  • Snack Smart: Pack a variety of snacks that are both nutritious and exciting for younger hikers.
  • Engage the Kids: Turn the hike into a learning experience. Bring along field guides and make a game out of identifying different types of plants, trees, and animals.
  • Pack Essentials: Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, bug spray, and a basic first-aid kit suitable for your family.
  • Take Breaks: Kids have shorter legs and less stamina. Remember to take frequent breaks for rest and hydration.

By incorporating these tips and tricks into your hiking adventures, you’re setting yourself up for a safer, more enjoyable experience.

Best Hiking Gear for Exploring the Best Trails in the Midwest

Hiking in the Midwest offers an array of experiences, from gentle slopes to rugged terrains, and each adventure calls for specific gear.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a newbie, equipping yourself with the right gear can make a world of difference.

Here’s a roundup of the best hiking gear tailored to the diverse trails of the Midwest.


Hiking Boots or Shoes: A good pair of hiking boots is essential for any trek. Look for features like waterproof material, ankle support, and good grip. Brands like Merrell, Salomon, and Keen offer a wide range of options.

Trail Running Shoes: If you’re hitting a flatter, less rocky trail, a pair of trail running shoes may suffice. They’re lighter than hiking boots and offer decent grip.


Moisture-Wicking Shirts: Opt for shirts that wick away moisture to keep you dry during your hike. Merino wool or synthetic materials are generally good choices.

Quick-Drying Pants or Shorts: Choose pants that are both comfortable and quick-drying. Convertible pants that turn into shorts offer versatility.


Daypacks: A 15-30 liter daypack should suffice for most day hikes. Features like hydration sleeve pockets and multiple compartments can be helpful.

Multi-Day Packs: If you’re planning a longer hike, consider a pack with a 40-70 liter capacity, depending on the length of your trip and the gear you need to carry.

Navigational Aids

Maps and Compass: Always carry a physical map and compass as backups, even if you’re using a GPS device.

GPS Device: Modern GPS devices are lightweight and come with long-lasting batteries. Brands like Garmin offer robust options tailored for hikers.

Additional Essentials

  • Water Bottle or Hydration System: Staying hydrated is crucial, so bring along a refillable water bottle or a hydration system.
  • First-Aid Kit: A compact first-aid kit with essentials like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers is a must-have.
  • Multi-Tool: A pocket multi-tool can come in handy for small repairs, food preparation, or emergency situations.
  • Trekking Poles: These can be beneficial for stability, especially on uneven terrains.

By equipping yourself with these gear essentials, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle the best hiking trails in the Midwest, regardless of your hiking level or the trail’s difficulty.

Wrapping it Up: Your Gateway to the Best Hiking Trails in the Midwest

The Midwest is more than just the heartland of America; it’s a hiker’s paradise, filled with diverse landscapes, rich history, and trails that cater to all skill levels.

From the sandstone formations of Starved Rock State Park in Illinois to the historic footsteps of the Lewis and Clark Trail, these hikes offer something for everyone.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for your next challenge or a family aiming to spend quality time in nature, you won’t be disappointed.

Remember, preparation is key. Equip yourself with the right gear, keep safety in mind, and adhere to Leave No Trace principles to make the most of your outdoor experience.

With so many trails to explore, each offering its unique allure and challenges, there’s no better time than now to immerse yourself in the Midwest’s natural wonders.

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Elizabeth Crane

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