Best East Coast Hikes

Welcome to the East Coast Hiker’s 10 best hikes on the East Coast. This compilation is based on what I have hiked and will change from time to time, as I chip away at the long list of awesome trips I have planned. Check out my yearly best of list: 2015, 2016, and 2017.  Also, the Fire Tower page is a great resource, as well as Hikes by Region, which gives a complete list of all locations. If you have any question email me at


From the Patch

10. Max PatchOr should I say MAX PATCH! This is a location worth exclamating. This place is just north of Smoky Mountain National Park, on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. You will find yourself mingling with “through hikers”,  as this is a major stop on the Appalachen Trail, and there is a reason they stop here; this hill is free of trees and surrounded by some of the largest Blue Ridge Mountains on the Map. While you will not be alone at this spot, it is a very cool place and worth the long drive for this short hike. 1.1 Miles.

9.Beech Mountain and fire tower-Acadia National Park in Maine is considered one of the best of all the National Parks and a hike here certainly deserves a spot on this list. Many of the trails here are short; this one is 1.5 miles.  A little bit of work will get you some awesome views of the Atlantic ocean, along with some Maine lakes and mountains.

8.Green Knob Fire Tower If you did not know it already, the tallest mountain on the East Coast is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina. You can get a great view of this mountain from a fire tower just off of the Blue Ridge scenic highway.  Hop on the Highway in Ashville and head north to the Green Knob Overlook. The drive on this small section is 5 star; you will be impressed. 1.1 Miles

The Hudson Valley

7. There are two locations in the NY Catskills I want to tell you about: The first is Overlook MountainThere is a little something for everyone here. Check this out: the ruins of an old hotel which you can explore, a fire tower with a most excellent view, and a rocky outcrop that will make you say “Holy Cannoli” as you look out over the vast Hudson Valley. 4.9 Miles.

Next you should experience a Catskill high peak. There are 35 total that are above 3500′. Table and Peekamoose Mountains are two on the list that can be knocked off in one hike. I like this one because, for about two miles, you get to experience a high altitude ecosystem while you are above that 3500′ line. Spanish moss hangs from stunted Balsam trees that grow so tightly together, you could hardly walk through them if you had to. The views are out of this world; you can see most of the Catskill High peaks from an open cliff on Peekamoose. 9.8 miles.

Watkins Glen

6.Watkins Glen– Nascar fans love the raceway at Watkins Glen, but everyone loves the waterfalls at the State Park. The Gorges of the New York Finger Lakes region are incredible; the state has made it so you can walk through the heart of one of these natural wonders and get close to some very cool waterfalls. Nearby is NY’s tallest waterfall and several other gorge hikes, which I have highlighted on the Watkins page. 1.3 Miles

5.Mount TammanyAt the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, I-80 and the Delaware river run between two very prominent Mountains; this is the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area. Mount Tammany is my favorite of the two mountains and it is on the New Jersey side (Mount Minsi is on the Pennsylvania side and well worth hiking). You will experience rock scrambles, awesome views, and a work out. The recreational area, as a whole, is huge and there is a ton of outdoor things to do. 4.3 Miles

4. Hunger Mountain and White Rocks– I always say that you cannot go wrong hiking a mountain in Vermont; the woods are beautiful and the views are outstanding. On the top of Hunger you will see so many mountains from Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire, you will not want to leave (unless you forgot your bug spray, then you will be happy to leave). White Rock is a separate and optional mountain which will add some rock scrambles to the menu if that is what you like. Vt and its people are awesome, go and visit! 6.1 Miles

On the way up Big Slide, Giant Mountain to his left.

3. The Adirondack Park in NY is so large, that I decided to add a mountain from the high peak area and one a little more south of there (also check out ADK fire towers).   Big Slide is one of 46 high peaks above 4000′; this 8.9 mile loop is relatively short by Adirondack standards, but the views, as you walk along the Three Brothers Trail on your way to the summit, are incredible. You will see a ton of mountains, like the Great Range, Hurricane Fire Tower, and the Green Mountains of Vermont. If this your first high peak you climb, I would bet you will be back for more.

Crane Mountain– The brutality of the ADK high peaks comes from the long mileage and large elevation gains. Crane Mountain gives you a great taste of the Adirondacks without having to kill yourself. You will see green mossy forests, a mountain top lake, and an incredible view from the summit. This is one of my favorite hikes of all time. 4.8 miles

Franconia Ridge

2.Mount LafayetteGenerally speaking, the White Mountains of New Hampshire are a place that you must see. One of the most visited places in the White Mountain region is Franconia Notch and Mount Lafayette. The Notch area is an easy access point to several high peak trail heads and there is a bunch of other outdoor activities. You can hike straight to the top of mount Lafeyette, or hike this loop and pass several waterfalls, bag three high peeks, and spend about 2 miles on the Appalachian trail above the tree line.  The views are what people come for, you will be surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in the Northeast and the wilderness forest that comes with it.  8.8 Miles

Old Rag

1.Anybody who has hiked Old Rag will tell you that it is on their best of list. This norther Virginia hike lies in the Shenandoah National Park; its incredible views coupled with unique and challenging rock scrambles makes this place a ton of fun. The trail can get super busy during the summer but the climate in this area is mild in the early spring and late fall; combine that with an early morning/mid-week visit for the least crowds . Dew it!!! 9.8 Miles.


Best hikes of 2015

Best Hikes of 2016