The 9 Best New Hiking Trails of 2022

Woman standing on top of Roy's Peak in New Zealand

Tripsavvy / Lauren Breedlove

We’re dedicating our May features to the outdoors and adventure. In the past two years, we saw more people get outside, eager for fresh air and new trails. Now, read this month’s features to learn more about rock climbing among Sedona’s famed energy vortexes, the micro-adventures you can incorporate into your everyday life, what to do about number two in the wilderness, the year’s best new hiking trails, and more.

Hiking remains one of the most popular outdoor activities. According to the most recent Outdoor Foundation trends report, nearly 58 million Americans aged six or older participated in hiking at least once in 2020. That popularity makes sense as hiking remains one of the most accessible outdoor activities. All you need is a pair of boots or shoes and the willingness to go outside.

Hiking trails exist all over the globe. And the number of hiking trails—already a substantial one—continues to increase as more trails open and previously closed ones reopen. We've compiled some of the treks we're most excited about for you to venture out on during your next vacation or staycation.

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Great Circle Trail, Maine

100-Mile Wilderness in Maine

Deep in central Maine's 100-Mile Wilderness is the newly completed and opened 30-mile Great Circle Trail. The trail—located in the Nahmakanta Public Lands portion of the wilderness—is the connection of a network of existing trails and about 14 miles of new trail and was officially completed in September 2021. One of the northeastern U.S.'s latest backpacking routes, the trek features multiple lakes, about 3,000 total feet of elevation gain, and eight primitive campsites. Hikers can backpack the entire trail or do sections of it in day hikes.

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02 of 09

Grampians Peaks Trail, Australia

Grampians National Park in Australia

Australia's Grampians Peak Trail is a 100-mile trek that opened in November 2021 in Victoria's Grampians National Park. Designed as a 13-day, 12-night thru-hike, hikers can choose day hikes and two-day hikes in certain sections. The trail begins at Mount Zero in the north and heads south, exiting at the town of Dunkeld—the southern-most exit point of the park. Featuring 11 hike-in campsites, the trail is free, but campsites cost about $47 per night if you purchase them all together. Not surprisingly—based on its name—the trek features multiple peaks, bluffs, passes, and gaps. It's a challenging hike, and water can be an issue, so plan accordingly.

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03 of 09

The Island Walk, Canada

Prince Edward Island, Canada

Completed and opened in September 2021 is Canada's Island Walk, a 435-mile circumnavigation of Prince Edwards Island. It's a genuinely epic potential thru-hike broken into 32 different sections. The walk combines dirt roads, trails, and paved roads and passes through villages, towns, and Charlottetown, the island's largest city and home to an international airport. It can be done in its entirety or shorter sections. This is an ideal trail for anyone looking for a North American Camino de Santiago.

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04 of 09

Transcaucasian Trail, Georgia and Armenia

Caucasus Mountains

The Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) is an ongoing long-distance hiking trail through the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in Georgia and Armenia. Technically, this trail system officially began in 2015, but volunteers continue to develop sections of the trail. Once complete, the trail will span about 3,000 kilometers, just under 1,900 miles. There are currently eight sections of the trail intrepid travelers and hikers can beta test. One is an entire thru-hike of Armenia, which the TCT organizers predict will take 25 to 45 days. Currently, the shortest section is a 50-mile trail through Dilijan National Park in Armenia.

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05 of 09

Walk of Peace, Slovenia and Italy

Italian Alps

The Italian Alps are often considered one of the most majestic mountain ranges. Opened in April of 2020, the 137-mile Walk of Peace trail connects the Alps to the Adriatic Sea. Not only is it a splendid trek through mountain trails, roads, and towns, but it's a string of museums and memorials commemorating damages and losses from World War I. The 11-section trek can be completed as a thru-hike, broken into one (or more) of those 11 sections, or walked in smaller day-hike sections. Hikers can trek high alpine meadows to vineyards.

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06 of 09

Autism Nature Trail, New York

Letchworth State Park

The travel industry, as a whole, has been moving towards becoming more inclusive to travelers on the autism spectrum. New York's Letchworth State Park recently created a first-of-its-kind outdoor experience for autistic hikers. The mile-long loop features nine experiences, including a sensory station where hikers can touch and smell pinecones, bark, seed pods, and other natural items, a music circle, and a meadow to run and climb. The trail concludes with a celebration station featuring chalkboards where hikers can record their experiences on the path.

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07 of 09

Pfeiffer Falls Trail, California

Big Sur, California

After 13 years, one of California's most epic trails was opened after being destroyed by one of the state's most epic wildfires. The Pfeiffer Falls Trail, located in the Big Sur region of California's central coast, was closed after Basin Complex Fire devastated the area in 2008. But in June 2021, the trail reopened and is even better than before. Most impressive is the new 70-foot pedestrian bridge, which spans the Pfeiffer Redwood Creek ravine. Half of the 1.5-mile loop is brand new. All of the 1.5-mile loop is majestic.

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08 of 09

Monument Trails, Arkansas

Ozark Mountains in Arkansas

If Northwest Arkansas isn't already on your map as an outdoor destination, it's time to put it there. Monument Trails are a system of trails in four Arkansas state parks that have expanded and developed over the past few years. These multi-use trails with a mountain biking focus were first opened in 2019. Most recently, 17 miles of trails were introduced, making the total now around 75 miles spanning Hobbs State Park, Mount Nebo State Park, Pinnacle Mountain State Park, and Devil's Den State Park.

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Lost Sierra Trail, California

California's Sierra Nevada Mountains

California is infamous for its rugged and splendid landscapes and epic hiking trails. The hiking rich Golden State will only get richer with the forthcoming Lost Sierra Route, a network of trails that will span around 600 miles. The project, known as Connected Communities, is a partnership between the US Forest Service and the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, a nonprofit. The first section of the trail, which will connect 15 mountain towns in northern California and Nevada, is scheduled to open in 2023 and will be 20 miles of multi-use singletrack connecting Quincy to Taylorsville in the Plumas National Forest northwest of Lake Tahoe.