The 60 million acres of National Forests in the US provide immense recreational value. Many people don't realize that 88% of jobs related to national forests are involved with recreation. Only 2% of jobs in national forests are yielded from the logging industry.

Read about other people's favorite hikes below and learn about the recreational value of wilderness areas. Perhaps you'll want to try out one of these hikes yourself!

  • southwest and california
  • northwest
  • rocky mountain region
  • southeast
  • northeast
  • midwest

Click here to submit your favorite hike.

Featured hike story

Most people can't put their finger on the exact day they found their best friend. I can. Noreen and I had known each other our whole lives, we were always in the same classes, and always sat near each other. I considered her my friend; now I know she will forever be my best friend...

We had planned to go hiking together, on a trip that was organized by an outdoor clothing store in the local mall. Her mother had signed us up, and dropped us off at 6:00 in the morning the day of the hike. We both sat, sleepy-eyed on a bench listening to our trail guide telling us about what the day would bring. Looking around we realized that we were really the only people there under the age of sixty. Instead of feeling foolish, Noreen just gave me a smile and said, "So what? We're mature for our age." Eventually we hit the trails, slowly, considering our companions.

The natural beauty around us was amazing, and as Noreen and I walked ahead, a soft rain began to fall. The perfectly formed droplets stuck on the trees, and caught the light of the afternoon sun. The forest looked like it was sparkling. Because our young legs carried us the length of the trail faster than those who we came with, we reached the crest of the hill first. Noreen and I sat there, looking down through the fog below us, to the river that curved beyond our vision. Waiting there for the others, we talked about everything, with an openness I had never experienced with another person. The surrounding beauty had caused it, it had inspired us...

I still look back on that day with a sense of awe, and gratitude. Nature inspires us all in different ways. Some are so moved by it that poetry, or song is the result. I found a lifelong memory, and a lifelong friend in it. Noreen lives half a continent away now. We rarely see each other, but our bond is still unbreakable. Still, there is one thing we always do, when we are together-go hiking.

- Lisa Marie

Ideal Hike Story

My ideal hike would be in the mountains, in pine forests out in the wild, with scads of glorious wild flowers every where, pristine lakes and streams to drink from, animals to watch.

- Daniella

The NEXT Hike!

My favorite hike is always the next one - what a horrific thought that I might not be making it, not because I'm no longer able (for there are many who will remain able) but because the Forests are no longer there! What a chilling thought. Please think about the joy that being under God's canopy has brought you in your life, and take a moment to share that with someone - somewhere among us there is the ANSWER - and it just may be with you!

- CJ Snyder
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