There are times when the treadmill or stairclimber comes in handy, but Mother Nature is really the ultimate gym. Hiking not only provides epic Insta opportunities, but leaves you feeling accomplished, refreshed, and more motivated to conquer whatever life throws your way (including, you know, poison ivy or bears). And nothing makes a hike feel more magical than turning the corner and finding a grand—or secret—waterfall.
Some places are more blessed in the water feature department than others, but no matter where you live, there are #views to be had.
Rounded up here are the best waterfall hikes in all 50 states, including need-to-know deets like how much of a workout you can expect. (It’s way better to know what you’re getting yourself into before you hit the trail, not five miles in, am I right?) Your next fitness adventure begins right here.
Connecticut: Roaring Brook Falls
Categorized as a moderate-level three-mile hike, the reward is a spectacular view of the state’s highest single-drop waterfall, surrounded by velvety shrubbery.
Delaware: White Clay Creek State Park
Okay, so a creek isn’t exactly a waterfall, but this state park is still worth lacing your hiking boots up for. There are bridges, wildlife, and nine different trails of varying lengths to choose from—all of which are on the easy side.
Maine: Angel Falls
An easy mile-long hike to Angel Falls will lead you to breathtaking views of this 90-foot plunge.
Massachusetts: Glendale Falls
Glendale Falls is one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in the state. The hike is short—only a quarter of a mile—but the falls are so spectacular that you definitely won’t get bored repeating it a few times.
New Hampshire: Arethusa Falls
The highlight of this moderate three-mile hike is the headwaters tumbling over a granite cliff.
New Jersey: Buttermilk Falls
It’s a moderate five-mile hike to reach Buttermilk Falls—and the reward is great: Picture water gently cascading down shallow, rocky steps, flowing into a roaring river.
New York: Eternal Flame Falls
The trail to Eternal Flame Falls is a mile-and-a-half roundtrip, and what waits for you at the end is pretty close to otherworldly. In a grotto on the right side of these cascading falls are several fissures that expel fiery methane gas.
Pennsylvania: Ricketts Glen
Along this three mile, moderate-level hike, you’ll come across 22 named waterfalls, so you’ll essentially be surrounded by Instagrammable moments every step of the way. If you want more of a challenge, you can hike the trail’s full seven-mile loop.
Rhode Island: Stepstone Falls
Rhode Islanders know that their state is pretty flat—which means this three-and-a-half mile hike is on the easy side. But the minimal elevation doesn’t take away from the beauty of Acadia National Park’s granite rocks, plant diversity, and blue lakes.
Vermont: Bingham Falls
This hike is short—about a mile—but you still have plenty of time to take in the sights of the several cascading waterfalls that converge into a narrow gorge, falling 40 feet into a calming pool.
If you want to see more than one spot on this list, start planning your road trip with these tips. And if your friends are more city people, here are four surprising lessons you can only learn by traveling solo.
Loading More Posts...