As a lifelong lover of walking and hiking, I was thrilled to do research on a number of hiking spots around the world for an article I was writing for a client. I decided to include parts of the article here on my blog, even though I have not visited even one of these wonderful places.
For me, the beauty of travel includes dreaming that comes before the actual trip, and these places are definitely locations I dream of one day seeing. Hopefully you too love the dreaming that goes into planning a trip. And if you love hiking, you might just find some inspiration with these little-known hiking spots around the world. If you have any places of your own to add, please do so in the comments below!
Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii, United States
One of the most beautiful areas of the United States, Kauai, Hawaii would be an amazing place to stop to hike and camp. Kalalau Trail is part of the Hawaii State National Parks system and runs nearly 18 km each way along a beautiful coast, from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Valley. Not for the faint of heart, this challenging but breathtakingly beautiful hike runs along the Na Pali Coast and takes between three to five days to complete.
The drier months of May to September see more hikers on the trail, so if you are looking to skip the crowds, plan to do this hike between April and October.
MacLehose Trail, New Territories, Hong Kong
Hong Kong as a hiking destination probably fascinates me more than any other. I mean, come on, Hong Kong a hiking destination? Really? Apparently, the New Territories surrounding Hong Kong are very rural and quiet, providing a great place to strap on those hiking boots, especially if you are planning to visit Hong Kong anyway!
Named after Sir Murray MacLehose, the longest serving governor of Hong Kong who established the Country Parks and was himself an avid hiker, the trail passes through a variety of natural scenery including beaches and mountains.
Nearly 100km in length, the MacLehose Trail was historically used for fitness competitions by the British Army. As such, this trail is quite challenging, starting at the eastern beaches before ascending into the tropical mountains and winding past Tai Mo Shan, the highest peak at 957 metres high.
Although this hike takes five or six days to complete, much has been done to accommodate hikers, such as the addition of stone steps and pathways, free camping and the odd food vendor here and there offering refreshments. The best time to hike this trail is between November and March, when humidity is at its lowest.
Queen Charlotte Track, New Zealand
Located on the north end of New Zealand’s South Island, this 71 km trail runs from Ship Cove (where Captain Cook was known to frequent during the 1700’s!) to Anakiwa, and will take you between three and five days to complete.
What’s great about this hike is that due to the region’s temperate climate, it can be tackled year-round. This trail also offers accommodation choices after a day of hiking over sunny hills and along the dragon’s back ridge, ranging from camping to luxury lodges.
Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland, Canada
The Long Range Traverse is a seasoned hiker’s dream, especially if what you are seeking is solitude. With the absence of marked trails, this jaunt through Gros Morne National Park will take you 40 km through wild Canadian backcountry, over six days.
Starting at the Western Brook Pond you will use a map and compass (memories of Boy Scouts!) to make your way to the ending point at Gros Morne Mountain, a peak that reaches 806 metres high above the Gulf of St. Lawrence, stopping at designated camps along the way. It’s probably a little too advanced for me, but if you are an experienced hiker, it maybe just what you’ve been looking for.
It’s best to hike the Long Range Traverse between July and September, when weather conditions are at their best.