Best Hiking in the Midwest

Many who aren’t from the Midwest think it’s flat and blah, but the Midwest offers some of the best hiking experiences in the country. From lush woodlands and dense forests, to sprawling prairies and rolling hills, there is an endless variety of landscapes to explore. Each region offers unique terrain, wildlife encounters and beautiful scenery perfect for any outdoor enthusiast looking for adventure in the Midwest. So, if you’re looking for an adventure, be sure to check out the best hiking in the Midwest.


For those looking to get out and explore the great outdoors, Indiana offers a variety of captivating hiking trails. From Hoosier National Forest with its rolling terrain that caters to hikers of all levels, to state parks such as Brown County State Park and Turkey Run State Park – you are sure to have an unforgettable adventure! So what’s stopping you? Come uncover some of the best hikes in lndiana today…

Turkey Run State Park, Indiana

Turkey Run State Park is a nature enthusiast’s paradise located in the heart of Parke County, Indiana. The park features over 2,000 acres of breathtakingly beautiful terrain including forests, ravines, sandstone gorges and unique natural landforms.

Check out the most popular trail in the park, Trail 3 AKA The Ladders Trail for a fun and scenic hike through the park. Or wander down (the also fun) Trail 9 if you’re looking for a more strenuous trail less traveled.

Read: Turkey Run Hiking

Knobstone Trail

The Knobstone Trail is the longest hiking trail in Indiana, and it offers breathtaking views of the state’s natural beauty. The trail winds its way through forests, wetlands, and meadows, and it includes several steep sections that are perfect for getting your heart rate up.

The Knobstone is nicknamed the little Appalachian Trail because of its hefty elevation changes. You probably wouldn’t believe you’ll get about 10,500 total feet of elevation gain along the entre trail.

There are also several overlooks along the trail that provide stunning views of the surrounding countryside. You can even see to Louisville on a clear day! If you’re looking for a challenging hike that will take you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Indiana, the Knobstone Trail is definitely worth checking out.

Brown County State Park

Sunset at Hesitation Point

Brown County State Park is one of the most beautiful and serene parks in Indiana. Located near Nashville, Indiana, this 16,000 acre park offers a wide variety of natural beauty, from forests and meadows to deep ravines and rocky outcroppings. With its vast network of trails and scenic drives, Brown County State Park boasts some of the best hiking in the Midwest. Brown County offers a variety of outdoor experiences, from tranquil nature trails to thrilling mountain climbs; something for everyone wanting to explore the great outdoors!

Morgan-Monroe State Forest

Morgan Monroe State Forest is a charming outdoor destination located in Indiana. It covers approximately 22,000 acres and serves as one of the most popular state forests in the Midwest. The forest features towering hardwood trees, abundant vegetation and plenty of wildlife. Hikers will find over 73 miles of maintained trails, including the popular Tecumseh Trail, which is a 40-mile trail that leads you through two state forests and several water crossings.

Along with stunning views of fields, streams, and woodlands, hikers may also catch glimpses of rare birds and other wildlife that call the forest home. Want to make it an extended hike? Backpackers may camp within designated areas across the forest’s expansive grounds. Morgan Monroe State Forest offers its visitors plenty of exciting activities to experience and explore, so it’s no wonder why so many come to time after time to enjoy its beauty.

Shades State Park

Hiking at Shades State Park is some of the best hiking in the Midwest. Located in western Indiana, it features 10 miles of trails for those looking for a peaceful and enjoyable outdoor experience. With steep bluffs, canyons, and dense forests, Shades State Park’s natural beauty provides an unforgettable backdrop for hikers.

The park is also home to a short backpacking trail which is great for kids or first timers.

Whitewater Memorial State Park

Whitewater Memorial State Park is a perfect destination for outdoor adventurers seeking an unforgettable experience. The park features many trails ideal for hiking and biking, with varying levels of difficulty to suit anyone. Some of the trails wind along the banks of the Whitewater River, giving visitors stunning views of wildlife and nature. Visitors can explore archaeological sites that date back to Pre-Columbian times and learn about the history of the area from interpretive displays located along the trails.

Be sure to check out the popular Memorial Trail, which is a 2.5-mile trail that offers stunning views of the Whitewater Lake.

Read: Indiana Hikes with Waterfalls


Looking for some of the best hiking in the Midwest? Then head to Michigan, where you’ll find plenty of trails to explore. From the shores of Lake Michigan to the forests of the Upper Peninsula, Michigan offers a wide range of landscapes to explore. There’s a reason they got the reputation of the Trails State. With over 13,000 miles of multi-use trails (over 4,020 miles of them are specifically hiking trails) to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your next hike. Here are some of the best places in Michigan to find great trails.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is located in Michigan and is known for its dramatic cliffs that overlook Lake Superior. The park offers over 100 miles of hiking trails, as well as opportunities for camping, canoeing, and kayaking.

NPS Photo

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature with an adventure along two popular trails. The North Country Trail takes you for miles and miles, traversing breathtaking shorelines on Lake Superior. And if waterfalls are what your heart longs for, then make sure to check out Chapel Basin Trail – a pathway leading directly to cascading waters!

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is an absolute dreamland of natural beauty, crowned the most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America. Tucked away on Lake Michigan’s northwest shores lies a plethora of outdoor exploration just waiting to be discovered; over 100 miles of picturesque hiking trails with accompanying activities like camping, fishing and swimming!

Isle Royale National Park, Michigan

Journey to Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park for an unforgettable experience. Explore over 400 small islands scattered across the mighty Lake Superior, and discover hidden gems along one of many hiking trails like Suzy’s Cave Trail – a 3.8 mile adventure waiting to be explored!

NPS Photo

Truly some of the best hiking in the Midwest, hikers will experience an awe-inspiring wonderland of craggy cliffs, lush forests and tranquil lakes on the Isle Royale National Park. Whether soaking up its sunlit beauty in summer or admiring its scenic winter vista draped with snowy blankets, a trek to this majestic destination awaits you all year round!

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Nestled in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is an outdoor paradise. With its impressive rivers and lakes as well as dense and flourishing forests, it offers incredible views that will take your breath away! From short day hikes to sprawling multi-day treks for more daring adventurers, there are plenty of trails to explore here – including the popular 2.8 mile hike up to Lake of the Clouds!

Best Hiking in the Midwest: Wisconsin

Wisconsin beckons outdoor enthusiasts to explore its diverse and stunning landscape. From lush forests to shimmering lakes, there are myriad unspoiled spots for hiking adventures! The Apostle Islands provide a perfect place for adventurers brave enough take on the vast shoreline of Lake Superior while discovering hidden coves along the way. Of course, with numerous state parks located close together it’s easy to plan an entire day exploring different trail systems just waiting in Wisconsin!

Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin

You’ll find some of the best hiking in the Midwest at Devil’s Lake State Park in south-central Wisconsin. Hikers of all skill levels are rewarded with breathtaking views from atop its towering cliffs and deep gorges, winding trails that lead through plush forests along tranquil rivers, and over 30 miles of well-maintained paths to keep you on track. Make it your mission to explore this natural paradise!

best hiking in the midwest. View of window at devils lake satate park overlooking lake
Photo: Travel Wisconsin/Rachel Hershberger

Take a journey onto the Devil’s Door Way Trail and be amazed by the magnificent views of Devils Lake. It’s one of the most fun trails in the park.

Most popular trail: Tumbled Rocks Trail From boulder filled talus fields to undulating terrain, this 1 mile trail offers an exhilarating experience that you can’t miss! Get ready for some fun because there’s no better way to enjoy nature than on The Tumbled Rocks Trail!

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Wisconsin

The Apostle Islands are a paradise for hikers. With over 50 miles of hiking trails, this National Lakeshore has something to satisfy the thrill-seekers and nature appreciators alike. From easy walks with scenic views to more arduous treks, there is no end to exploring what these islands have in store!

Join the throngs of adventurous seekers to Devil’s Island and traverse its unique landscape on this popular hike. Towering hills provide an interesting challenge, leading up to the former site of a historic lighthouse – offering breathtaking views along your journey!

For those wanting a longer adventure, the Sand Island Lighthouse Trail, also leads to the ruins of an old lighthouse and gives stunning view of Lake Superior along the way. Whatever your hiking level, the Apostle Islands offer a great way to enjoy the great outdoors.

Ice Age National Scenic Trail

Embark on an adventure of a lifetime – explore the breathtaking Wisconsin landscape, from St. Croix Falls to Potawatomi State Park along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail! Meandering through opulent forests and sparkling lakes, this 1,200-mile trail is sure to provide endless awe-inspiring sights as you traverse some of the most beautiful parks in Wisconsin such as Kettle Moraine and Nicolet National Forests.

A stretch of the trail finished in 2010 in the Skunk and Foster State Natural Area

Hikers can choose to hike the entire trail or just sections of it, and there are plenty of camping opportunities along the way.

Black River State Forest

Embark on a journey through Black River State Forest, an expansive wilderness known for its abundance of wildlife. From deer and bears to majestic eagles soaring above the treetops, you’ll witness nature at its finest while trekking along 50 miles of trails amidst breathtaking views of the Black River.

Wisconsin DNR

Copper Falls State Park

Copper Falls State Park is a hidden gem in northern Wisconsin, offering visitors 16 miles of hiking trails with spectacular views. Traverse through the park’s wooded terrain to take in two majestic waterfalls – Copper and Brownstone Falls.

Wisconsin DNR

Take a journey through the most scenic part of the park and experience the stunning beauty of nature on Doughboy’s Nature Trail. Embark on this 1.7 mile odyssey around Bad River as you behold Copper Falls, Brownstone Falls, and Tyler Forks cascades in all their majestic glory!

Minnesota’s Best Hiking in the Midwest

No matter your definition of adventure, Minnesota’s wild outdoors is sure to provide. Pristine rivers reflect forests that stretch for miles and crystal-clear lakes glimmer in the sunlight – perfect settings for exploring nature at its best. So why not get out there and immerse yourself in all that Mother Nature has to offer? Check out the best places to hike today!

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota is an incredible getaway with something for everyone. With over a million acres to explore, you can take part in the age-old tradition of canoeing and camping through its majestic lakes and breathtaking scenery that make it one of the most sought after destinations for outdoor enthusiasts nationwide.

Credit: Benjamin Olson

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area beckons adventure seekers! Paddle through miles of peaceful waterways and take in spectacular sights like moose, black bears, bald eagles, and more. There’s even plenty to explore on land with 14 hiking trails and 13 backpacking routes ready for exploration. Plus don’t forget the fishing holes – there are lots of opportunities to cast a line as well. What better way to spend your time outside than at this stunningly beautiful destination?

Itasca State Park

Itasca State Park, located in northwestern Minnesota, is a wonderland of nature’s beauty. Within its boundaries lies the magical source of America’s mightiest river – The Mississippi. But that’s not all! There are several sprawling lakes and 49 miles worth of trails waiting to be explored within this majestic park – enough for an entire day full of adventure!

Itasca Trail to Old Timers Cabin
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Afton State Park

Afton State Park is a magical place to connect with nature. Explore its winding hiking trails through majestic forests and rolling prairies, taking in the picturesque views of the St. Croix River Valley along the way! Abundant wildlife awaits you too; from graceful whitetail deer to soaring red-tailed hawks and wild turkeys – an experience like no other!

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Afton State Park is a Minnesota-favorite, full of beautiful surprises. In springtime, the woods buzz with chirps and trills from songbirds; in autumn, an explosion of reds, oranges and yellows paint the landscape. Spend a day picnicking or swimming here – it’s perfect for every season!

Cascade River State Park

Come explore the breathtaking Cascade River State Park and experience a wild world of adventure! With trails to suit every fitness level, from casual strolls to intensive hikes, you’ll find that there’s something for everyone. Enjoy getting some exercise while marveling at awe-inspiring views of the Cascade Mountains – it won’t take long before discovering why this park continues to captivate adventurers across all levels.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Explore the grandeur of northeastern Minnesota at Cascade River State Park, where cascading waterfalls and stunning views of the river valley await. Get your fill of fresh air on over 18 miles worth of hiking trails – a great way to soak in all that nature has to offer!

Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota beckons adventurers to explore its dazzling network of lakes and waterways. Enjoy activities like camping, canoeing, fishing or boating while discovering the beauty that this park has to offer! For a real thrill seek out one of the 5 trails can only be accessed via boat – putting you right at nature’s heart.

Popular trails include the Kabetogama Peninsula Trail, which leads to an overlook of Kabetogama Lake, and the Rainy Lake Visitor Center Nature Trail, which is an easy trail that winds through a forested wetland.

Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota

Tettegouche State Park is located in northeast Minnesota on the shores of Lake Superior. Hike through the beautiful forests along Lake Superior’s shoreline, or take in some fresh air while walking on Baptism River. You’ll be hard-pressed not to find a scenic view that will leave your heart beating faster!

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Experience 20 miles of unforgettable hiking trails, from an easy stroll to a mind-blowing scramble – explore the possibilities and take your outdoor adventure to new heights!

South Dakota

South Dakota offers outdoor adventurers a wide array of hiking opportunities. Embark on an adrenaline-pumping journey as you conquer the cliffs and boulders at Custer State Park or take in panoramic views from the Badlands. If relaxation is more your style, Bear Butte State Park’s gentle paths are perfect for leisurely strolling while soaking up its beauty and history – not to mention Deadwood Gulch! Whether you’re looking for a challenge or simply seeking some fresh air, South Dakota has got it all – so don’t forget those boots! Get ready for an unforgettable adventure today!

Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park in South Dakota is a breathtaking destination, full of remarkable and unusual terrain. From easy strolls through grassy meadows to strenuous hikes up canyons dotted with pinnacles, the park has something for everyone! Some popular trails include Notch Trail – where hikers will be rewarded with stunning views from an overlook above White River Valley – as well as Window Trail which leads to an incredible natural window created by years of erosion.

Custer State Park

Nestled in the heart of South Dakota is Custer State Park, an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. With its array of hiking trails, it’s easy to get lost among nature for hours on end! The Centennial Trail is particularly captivating – a 111-mile journey through stunning landscapes that will make you fall deeply under the park’s spell.

Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park, situated in the scenic southwestern corner of South Dakota, offers a bevy of beautiful hiking trails for adventurers. One especially noteworthy trail is Wind Cave – easily the most popular path at this park – which leads hikers into an incredible cavern with its own distinct breeze! Other notable hikes include Elk Mountain and Bison Loop.

View from Rankin Ridge

North Dakota

From winding trails that go through all of North Dakota’s diverse regions to the magnificent forests, mountains and rivers, hikers can find their perfect route in this beautiful state. Whether it be for a leisurely stroll or an intense workout session, there is no shortage of incredible terrain to explore – making every visit truly one-of-a-kind!

Maah Daah Hey Trail

The Maah Daah Hey Trail is an awe-inspiring 144-mile path winding through the majestic badlands of North Dakota. Popular among hikers and backpackers alike, this trail’s unique beauty offers stunning views for miles on end – even adding a few wild surprises! Keep your eyes peeled to observe magnificent bison herds, graceful bighorn sheep roaming around their rocky terrain homes, or beautiful wild horses galloping across open grassland meadows during your spectacular trek along the Maah Daah Hey Trail.

NPS/Laura Thomas

Check out the Maah Daah Hey Trail Associations page for the most up to date trail information

Sheyenne National Grassland

Embark on an adventure in the Sheyenne National Grassland, a protected area located in South Dakota full of diverse wildlife and splendid trails! Make your way across 42 miles of hiking paths – including 30 miles along the North Country Scenic Trail. Along your journey you may spot deer, pheasants or lovely songbirds flitting through this delightful wilderness refuge.

Cross Ranch State Park and Cross Ranch Nature Preserve

Cross Ranch State Park and the nature preserve are magnificent sanctuaries, nestled in central North Dakota. Explore their 16 miles of breathtaking hiking trails – a spectacular journey through undulating hillsides, verdant meadows, and North Dakota’s beautiful landscape.

Turtle River State Park

Nestled in the northeastern corner of North Dakota, Turtle River State Park offers outdoor enthusiasts a chance to explore and experience pristine natural beauty. Here is where you can take advantage of activities such as hiking, biking, camping, fishing and more among miles of trails with breathtaking views. Come discover what makes this park so special!

Multi State

North Country Trail, Multiple States

There is nothing quite like a hike in the great outdoors to clear your head and reinvigorate your spirit. And if you’re looking for a truly memorable hiking experience, the North Country Trail is sure to please. This 4,800-mile trail stretches through 8 states, traversing some of the most beautiful and remote terrain in the country.

NPS Photo/Mobilian

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely day hike or a multi-day backpacking adventure, the North Country Trail has something to offer. Just be sure to pack your sense of humor, as this trail is known for its challenging conditions and unpredictable weather.

You can find everything you need to tackle this thru hike or section hike the NCT on the NCTA page.

Superior Hiking Trail

While some hiking trails might be described as a “walk in the park,” the Superior Hiking Trail is anything but. Stretching for nearly 350 miles along the rugged shores of Lake Superior, this trail is not for the faint of heart. With its rocky terrain and steep inclines, the Superior Hiking Trail is a true test of endurance and offers the best hiking in the Midwest.

But those who are up for the challenge will be rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views in the Midwest. From the cliffs overlooking Duluth to the forests of Gooseberry Falls State Park, the Superior Hiking Trail offers hikers a truly unique experience.


A hiker’s paradise awaits adventurers in Ohio. From the hills and forests, to meandering rivers and miles upon miles of trails; this Midwestern state is a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts! So lace up your hiking boots – from easy guided walks to more daring multi-day hikes, you are sure to find something that will take your breath away. Don’t miss out on exploring all there is ‘the Buckeye State’ has to offer!

Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

If you’re looking for the best hiking in the Midwest, look no further than Hocking Hills State Park. Nestled in a tranquil setting, this park is the perfect spot to explore nature’s wonders. From dizzying cliffs and roaring waterfalls to majestic gorges and awe-inspiring forests of oak and hickory trees, hikers will be rewarded with sweeping views of pristine wilderness full of wildlife – not forgetting its showstopper: the 65-foot natural bridge, the largest in the state!

Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio

Maumee Bay State Park is an outdoor paradise for adventurers and nature-lovers. Take a stroll along its 15 miles of trails, winding through forests, sparkling wetlands and grassy meadows. Keep your eyes peeled – you never know which wildlife will make their grand debut! Plus the stunning views from Lake Erie are not to be missed!

Mohican State Park, Ohio

Explore the hidden beauty of Mohican State Park, Ohio – a nature enthusiast’s dream destination! Take in majestic vistas as you hike along winding rivers and forests that are thick with life. Spend your days scaling towering cliffs or make yourself at home in one of our cozy cabins for an unforgettable experience.

Mohican State Park is the perfect destination for nature lovers! Meander along 12 miles of trails, explore green forests and admire stunning views of rushing rivers. Keep your eyes peeled to spot native wildlife like white-tailed deer and wild turkey in their natural habitat.

Pymatuning State Park, Ohio

Located in northeastern Ohio on the shore of Lake Erie, Pymatuning State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. From 16 miles of winding trails to bald eagles soaring overhead – this park offers endless outdoor adventures with breathtaking views along the way. Come explore its forests and wetlands; you never know which wildlife will come out to greet you!

Come explore the breathtaking beauty of nature, no matter your experience level! From leisurely strolls to hiking challenges, there’s something here for everyone. And don’t forget a picnic lunch – with so many awe-inspiring views around every corner, you’ll be wanting to take plenty of rest stops and savor the scenery along the way.


Illinois has some of the best hiking in the Midwest, with its diverse terrain and abundance of state parks, forests and trails to explore, Illinois offers an array of outdoor activities for hikers looking to take in the Midwest’s beauty. From trekking through luscious woodlands to meandering along tranquil rivers or picturesque farmland – there are myriad possibilities awaiting discovery.

Starved Rock State Park

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Starved Rock State Park–an oasis tucked away in Illinois. With its diverse network of trails, you can choose an easy or difficult route to explore incredible gorges and forests that are home to a variety of plant and animal life. Take some time out among these natural wonders while enjoying magnificent views over the sparkling waters of the Illinois River!

Matthiessen State Park

Tucked away in LaSalle County, sixty miles from the bustling city of Chicago lies Matthiessen State Park; a sanctuary for plants and animals surrounded by stunning landscapes. It’s an escape to nature that provides fresh new wonders with every visit!

Matthiessen Park offers an incredible outdoor experience for visitors. A majestic 30-foot waterfall cascading over a bed of dolomite rock awaits at the park’s namesake feature, Matthiessen Falls. After rainfall, watch as nature unleashes its power and beauty here in all its glory!

Shawnee National Forest

Explore the breathtaking beauty of Shawnee National Forest, where more than 280,000 acres in southern Illinois provide stunning views from rolling hills to towering bluffs. This popular Midwest hiking destination offers a variety of trails perfect for all levels of hikers looking for an easy jaunt through the woods or those seeking a vigorous challenge up steep inclines!

Read: Hiking in Southern Illinois


Missouri is a nature-lover’s playground. Boasting some of the Midwest’s finest hiking trails! From thrilling treks through the Ozark Mountains to peaceful strolls across state parks – there are plenty of breathtaking paths for hikers at every level. Embark on an adventure and discover the majestic wonders of Missouri! Put on your hiking boots and set off for an unforgettable journey through this spectacular state.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

From tranquil strolls with stunning vistas to a vigorous outdoor expedition, this park has it all! With 15 miles of trails traversing the landscape, visitors can explore remarkable natural formations and gorgeous scenery.

MO State Parks

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park provides a unique outdoor oasis in southeastern Missouri, featuring over 8 miles of gorgeous hiking trails and breathtaking shut-ins—beautiful rock formations sculpted by the flowing Black River.

MO State Parks

Ready for an adventure? Take a hike to the Shut-Ins! It’s packed with exciting scrambles and offers unique access to this spectacular sight. Don’t miss out on all of the fun!

Elephant Rocks State Park

Elephant Rocks State Park is a spectacular place for families to experience the wonders of nature. Located in southeastern Missouri, this park features an exciting 1.5 mile loop trail that takes adventurers through breathtaking rock formations known as elephant rocks – with some reaching heights over 30 feet! This is some of the best hiking in the Midwest for families. Kids absolutely love exploring here and can also gain knowledge from visiting the visitor center’s educational exhibits about geology in the area. Come explore one of Midwest’s best hiking destinations today!

MO State Parks


Kansas is a hidden gem for hikers! The dazzling Flint Hills region offers incredible views and trails, waiting to be explored. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or taking your first steps on the trail, there are plenty of options sure to accommodate any skill level – all while providing striking scenery that won’t soon be forgotten. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity in the Midwest; discover our top recommended routes today!

Konza Prairie

Embark on an adventure in the Flint Hills and explore over 13 miles of trails at Konza Prairie. Marvel at the abundant wildlife, from majestic bison to graceful deer. Admire dazzling wildflowers as you admire this sweeping tallgrass prairie that has been treasured for generations!

Step into a world of natural beauty on your journey through the Konza Prairie. Wander past towering grasses, walnut and oak trees, as well as hickory forests while exploring its lowland gallery forest. Enjoy stunning views after crossing Kings Creek and scaling to reach Konza’s highest points!

Elk City State Park

Elk City State Park in Kansas is a natural wonderland that provides an unforgettable experience! From the stunning scenery to its abundant wildlife, there’s something for everyone. Take advantage of plenty of activities from hiking and picnicking to exploring the Visitor Center with its captivating displays about local history. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, this park has it all—immerse yourself in a tranquil escape into the Flint Hills today!

Clinton Lake State Park

Clinton Lake State Park is a nature-lover’s paradise nestled in Douglas County, Kansas. With 10 miles of trails surrounded by gorgeous wildflowers and home to local wildlife like deer, turkey and quail.


Nebraska might not immediately come to mind when you think about nature, but this Great Plains state is actually a hidden gem for hikers. From towering sandhills to sprawling prairies and everything in between, Nebraska has an abundance of different landscapes that provide stunning visuals as well as challenging trails maintained by top-notch caretakers. So if you’re looking for something new on your next trekking adventure – try out the Midwest’s best kept secret!

Chimney Rock National Historic Site

Take an awe-inspiring adventure through Chimney Rock National Historic Site and explore the beautiful 4 mile trails. Let your pup come along too, as long as they are on a leash under 6 feet! Parks are open daily, allowing you to immerse yourself in stunning Nebraska views from sunrise to sunset each day of the week.

Credit: Darren Good

Interested in geology? Check out the Saddle Rock Geology Hiking Tour! It’s a self guided tour that takes 60-90 minutes. Your pup is allowed on this hike too!

Fort Robinson State Park

Enjoy an adventure of a lifetime at Fort Robinson State Park in western Nebraska! With over 60 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate difficulty, hikers will be delighted by every step they take through stunning rock formations and breathtaking scenery.

Toadstool Geologic Park

Nestled in the Oglala National Grassland lies a hidden treasure: Toadstool Geologic Park. This geological marvel is an awe-inspiring display of nature’s power, with rocky outcroppings sculpted by eons of wind and water erosion. Take a trip to this special corner of Nebraska for an unforgettable experience!


If you’re looking for the best hiking in the Midwest, let Iowa be your destination! From dense hills to dizzying bluffs and from woodsy paths to sun-streaked terrains – there’s something here for everyone. So don’t wait any longer, check out these top hiking destinations in Iowa.

Ledges State Park

Ledges State Park is a beautiful and serene environment that offers something for people of all ages. Explore the park’s 4 miles of trails while discovering stunning sandstone cliffs soaring 100 feet above the Des Moines River – with breathtaking views over Peas Creek Canyon! Walk along an impressive stone bridge to reach your destination: A picturesque lake surrounded by lichen-covered trees. Kids can make lasting memories as they splash around in usually-shallow Peas Creek on warmer days; making it hard to resist spending time here on a hot day!

Pikes Peak State Park

Explore the natural beauty of Pikes Peak State Park, located in northeastern Iowa! Challenge yourself to hike the scenic 11-miles of trails around this majestic area. Ascend 500 feet up a towering bluff and behold the confluence of two mighty rivers – or head down one trail for just half a mile to see Bridal Veil Falls. It’s well worth getting out before dawn: You won’t believe your eyes at those otherworldly sunrise views from high above.

Iowa DNR

Backbone State Park

Backbone State Park is a nature enthusiast’s playground! With over 21,000 acres of stunning landscapes and wildlife, the park provides adventurers with an unforgettable experience. Trek through dense forests along 22 miles of trails or take to the rivers in canoes for tranquil paddling opportunities – all while reveling in magnificent views like soaring bald eagles or playful beavers nestled among ancient trees!

Iowa DNR

Backbone State Park is also a great place to learn about Iowa’s history. The park was Iowa’s first state park and played an important role in the conservation movement. Today, the park continues to be a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts from all over the Midwest. Whether you’re looking for adventure or a chance to relax and recharge, Backbone State Park is the perfect place to get away from it all.

Yellow River State Forest

The Yellow River State Forest is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. With its colorful forests, open prairies, rugged bluffs and winding river views located in Allamakee and Clayton Counties – there are 50+ miles of exploratory trails to discover the wonderful wildlife-filled wilderness! Hiking through this delightful region promises a journey filled with breathtaking scenery that you won’t soon forget.

Mines of Spain Recreation Area

Journey through an abundance of natural beauty at the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area – just a stone’s throw away from Dubuque, Iowa. This 3,000 acre oasis is bursting with life; boasting diverse species in its flourishing forests and wetlands. Follow along one of 16 captivating trails that meander across hillsides offering mesmerizing views towards the mighty Mississippi River.

The Mines of Spain, once known for its booming lead mining industry, now beckons outdoor adventurers looking to explore a variety of activities. From hiking and camping under the stars to fishing in tranquil waters or watching birds soar overhead – this historical destination is an ideal spot for nature-lovers!

The Midwest is a great place to get outside and hike, with something for everyone. From dense forests to winding river trails, there’s a little bit of everything in the Midwest. And if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, you can find that too – even in states with large populations like Illinois and Michigan.

Hopefully this guide has given you some inspiration for future hikes in the Midwest. These trails offer incredible views and an opportunity to get away from it all – even if just for a day. So lace up your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and hit the trail.

Related Posts

5 hikes to see the Northern Lights in Michigan

Indiana Backpacking Trails

Scenic Hikes in Midwest National Parks

Turkey Run Hiking

Indiana Hiking with Waterfalls

Hiking in Southern Illinois

Save it for Later!

The Midwest awaits – a land of adventure and tranquility, offering hikers the perfect mix of natural beauty and solitude. Immerse yourself in lush forests or take on winding river trails; no matter where you turn, there's something special waiting to be discovered! Make time for an outdoor escape that'll refresh your spirit while providing stunning views along the way. Slip into those hiking boots, gather up some snacks - then get ready to explore all that nature has bestowed upon this magnificent region!