National Take a Hike Day – 12 Short & Sweet Trails To Explore

Today is National Hiking Day, aka “Take a Hike Day.” If you are an outdoor enthusiast, this is the perfect excuse to go on a short hike and celebrate the great outdoors. Participating in National Hike Day is easy: 1) pick a hike near you (whatever distance works for you!); 2) enjoy your time outdoors; 3) share your experience (common hashtags are #NationalTrailsDay and #TakeAHike).

Below is a list of short hikes to enjoy for National Hike Day! Here is a round up of various short hikes at duty stations I have been to:

Kings Bay

Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve; Florida State Parks
  • Crooked River State Park: With four miles of trails, this state park showcases the natural beauty of the Intercoastal Waterways in Georgia.
  • Fort Clinch State Park: Located on Amelia Island, Fort Clinch State Park has about six miles of trails and a fort to explore.
  • Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park: Located just outside Jacksonville, this state park has miles of hiking and multiuse trails. Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve is a gorgeous place to spend a few hours or an entire day.

Pearl Harbor

Lanikai Pill Box; Hawaii Magazine
  • Manoa Falls Trail: Located in Honolulu, Manoa Falls Trail is a 1.6 mile out and back trail that leads to a waterfall. This is a lovely, short and family friendly hike.
  • Kaiwa Ridge (Lanikai Pill Box): Located on a ridge behind Lanikai, this 1.7 mile hike is short, but steep. You get gorgeous views of Windward Oahu.
  • Kealia Access Trail: Located on the North Short above Dillingham airfield, this is not necessarily a “short” hike. Depending on where you turn around, this hike can be anywhere from five-eight miles. This is a ridge hike with gorgeous views.

There are too many wonderful hikes to put on this short list. Check out our “6 Family Friendly Hikes on Oahu” or “5 Challenging Day Hikes on Oahu” or “Oahu Must Hike: Kolekole Trail” for more hiking inspiration.


Poquonnock Bridge Boardwalk; The Submerged Life
  • Bluff Point State Park: This was a favorite running trail of mine when we lived in Groton. This 3.6 mile loop trail is a perfect place for a fall hike.
  • Sheep Farm: Part of the Groton Open Space Association, this conservation area has a series of trails which show various landscapes, waterscapes and even an 18th century farmstead.
  • Poquonnock Bridge Boardwalk: If you are looking for a level, easy hiking opportunity along an estuary, the Poquonnock Bridge Boardwalk is the perfect place to enjoy some outdoor time. The boardwalk is about a half mile long.
  • Gillette Castle State Park: Located about 40 minutes from Groton, this state park has multiple hiking and birding trails. The Gillette Castle is currently closed for renovations, but you can still hike the grounds and learn about the area

Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Spa State Park; Uncovering New York
  • Saratoga Spa State Park: There are multiple trails located in this park, one of my favorite ones was the Geyser trail, which clocks in at about 2.9 miles. A park map with trails can be found here
  • Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail: This is a two mile walking path through wetland habitats.

Where are you doing for Take a Hike Day? Comment below to share your trail experiences with others!

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