Hiking in the fall has many advantages, including the symphony of colors that lights up our path, the presence of fewer tourists, lower prices, and mild temperatures. But what are the best hikes to do at this time of year?
World’s Best Hikes: Fall Hiking Trails – Photo Courtesy: Sonja Guina @ Unsplash
Here we mainly focus on long distance routes, which involve several days of walking into remote areas, referring to the Hiking Series at the bottom of the page for shorter (and easier) alternatives, feasible in the day. The selected best hikes span four continents, from the never ending coastlines of Oceania to the mythical Alps in Europe, and from timeless Japan to Canada’s wilderness.
The Anillo of Picos de Europa is a spectacular circular route which runs for 123 km inside the homonym National Park, close to the northern coast of Spain. The area is very popular with mountaineers, climbers, mountain walkers and, of course, hikers and nature lovers, and holds many of world’s deepest caves.
The Slovenian Mountain Trail, from Maribor to the Adriatic Sea, covers all the alpine ranges in Slovenia. This 500 km, difficult hike is marked by contrasts, passing through beautiful limestone areas, high peaks and fertile slopes.
Spend 3 to 5 days hiking the Tonquin Valley (Canada). From Jasper, four and a half hours from Calgary’s airport and easily reachable by rail, the main trail takes you through Portal Creek, McCarib Pass, and the Astoria River.
The Great Ocean Walk is a stunning long distance trail, traversing several areas of historical and cultural significance in Australia. It is dotted with eco friendly facilities and covers approximately 100 km (up to 8 days of walk).
Retrace the journey of St. James in the lesser known Austrian section of the Camino de Santiago, one of the most important Christian pilgrimages since the Middle Ages. Discover tranquility and renewed strength by walking past abbeys, a charming countryside, gentle hills and the enchanting scenary of the Alps.
The Fishermen’s Trail, aka Rota Vicentina, is a challenging 120 km hike, running along the Alentejo and Vicentina coastline of Portugal. The sandy terrain and the ocean winds do not help, but the scenary repays the effort.
The Nakasendo Way, is a 530 km route which linked Kyoto to Tokyo during Japan’s feudal period. Once crowded with samurai, merchants and pilgrims, now is much less busy and offers a pleasant path through Japan’s fascinating history.
The Sbrinz Route (Switzerland) takes you to the historic tracks connecting Lucerne to Domodossola, passing through the Grimsel and Gries passes. The route was traveled by mule transporters (someggiatori) for trade in goods and assets, and especially for Sbrinz Swiss cheese, from which it draws its name.
Drivvejen, the Danish section of the long distance North Sea Trail, stretches from northern Jutland to the border with Germany. The 200 km trail touches numerous historical sites, including Ribe, the oldest extant town in Denmark.
There’s a long tradition of hiking and mountain walking in Slovakia. Trekking in the High Tatras, the only alpine mountains in Eastern Europe, lets you walk through lakes and waterfalls, exploring valleys and peaks of great beauty.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in Sep, 2016, and has been updated to revise the list of trails, include additional items, and keep it fresh and accurate.