If you like to hike and you’re stuck at home, cabin fever has probably set in by now. The good news is that there are hiking trails around the world that you can experience without stepping out of the door. Of course, they’ll come minus the fresh air, but a virtual tour through these destinations is the next best thing.
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Moraine Lake Shoreline Trail - Banff, Alberta, Canada
Banff National Park is one of the world’s most breathtaking destinations, with Moraine Lake one of the top spots for a hike, offering the chance to marvel at its surreal, glacial-fed turquoise waters, set among the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Experience it virtually by taking the Moraine Lake Shoreline Trail. The scenic stroll follows the eastern shore, and at the lake’s north end you’ll get that classic view of the dramatic peaks towering over the gem-like lake. It begins by traveling through the forest and crosses a number of plank footbridges over pristine streams with mossy borders.
Cannon Beach, Oregon Coast
One of the most breathtaking stretches of coastline, hiking the rugged Oregon coast guarantees unforgettable views, especially on a sunny day and this virtual hike on the Indian Beach Trail travels on one of the best. Located just north of Cannon Beach in Ecola State Park, you’ll hike through towering Sitka Spruce trees, ferns and other greenery, and along the coast, taking in dazzling views of the rock formations, including iconic Haystack Rock, rising out of the Pacific. There are jaw-dropping views around every turn.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
Who hasn’t dreamed of taking a safari? Did you know that there are more than 170 trails to explore in South Africa’s national parks and nature reserves? That includes popular Kruger National Park, one of the world’s best wildlife-watching destinations. While you’re virtually out on the trail, you can watch for some of the greatest variety of wildlife on the continent, including giraffes, hippos, cheetahs and the Big Five: elephant, black rhino, leopard, lion and Cape buffalo.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The South Kaibab Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Grand Canyon, located on the South Rim. The route travels for over seven miles, with nearly 4,800 feet of elevation gain on the return, but you won’t have to worry about that as someone else will be doing the climbing while you enjoy the views. That includes multiple 360-degree vistas and a close-up look at the canyon walls, made up of ancient metamorphosed granite, mineralized and stunningly colorful, with a wide range of red and purple hues.
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California
Part of Redwood National and State Parks along the northern California coast, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is home to beautiful forests with giant redwood trees. A virtual trek will bring you along the James Irvine Trail, one of the quintessential trails for viewing the redwoods. It winds through an old-growth redwood forest over bridges and boardwalks into the heart of this enchanting ecosystem. At the end is Fern Canyon, a magnificent 50-foot deep canyon with fern-draped walls and a tranquil creek.
Waimea Beach Path - Maui, Hawaii
Dreaming of the tropics? Hawaii is one of the most popular destinations among Americans, and thanks to this virtual trek, you can enjoy it without flying across the Pacific. It leaves from Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and will take you to the Fairmont Kea Lani along the Wailea Beach Path. Take a stroll between the palms that soar overhead while the waves gently lap the sand. You can almost smell the fragrant flowers and the salty sea breeze.
Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, Washington
One of the lushest regions in the U.S., Olympic National Park is filled with moss-covered trees, vibrant green foliage and countless waterfalls. It’s home to one of the only protected temperate rain forests in the Northern Hemisphere, the Hoh Rain Forest, and a walk along this trail might feel as you’ve entered a fantasy land. It’s just as stunning in this fantastic virtual trek too. Can you spot the fairies living in the hollowed-out tree trunks?
Kodiak Island, Alaska
Ideal for a virtual run or hike, this virtual trek will bring you through Fort Abercrombie State Historical Park on Kodiak Island in Alaska which covers 182 acres of land at the end of Miller Point along the eastern shore. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience one of the country’s last true wilderness areas from the comfort of home, complete with views of the dense forest, mountains and the ocean.
Athabasca Glacier - Alberta, Canada
Take a virtual hike to Athabasca Glacier, which is just off one of the world’s most spectacular drives, Icefields Parkway Road which spans between Banff and Jasper national parks. It will bring you to the largest of the six “toes” of the glacier which make up the icefield that once covered the Canadian Rockies. You’ll be able to witness the effects of climate change, as it’s been disappearing quickly, losing more than half of its volume over the last 125 years. Notice the exposed raw bedrock, revealed by the melting ice along with the progression of pioneering plant life that’s begun to take hold on the barren surface.
Bryce Canyon, Utah
This virtual hike will bring you through one of the most remarkable destinations in the southwest. Travel along the edge of cliffs, viewing intricately carved towers and archways of stone that glisten under the sun, contrasted by brilliant blue skies. You’ll be able to gaze out at thousands of hoodoos across the landscape, appearing like trees of stone. The 4K (2.5 miles) trek is filled with magical wonders.
Kuliouou Trail - Oahu, Hawaii
Another fabulous but often muddy hike in Hawaii, you can enjoy this exciting trek that follows a 2.5-mile path on Oahu without getting dirty, and there’s no need for sunscreen either. The Kuliouou Trail starts among small shrubs and moss-covered rocks before snaking among huge tree roots, before a set of dirt stairs near the top. As you head further inland you’ll enjoy dazzling views overlooking the shoreline, far from the crowds of Waikiki, with Waimanalo and the Nā Mokulua Islands, Rabbit Island and Koko Crater all making an appearance.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Fantasy truly comes to life at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. Often named among the world’s most stunning places, the forested park is home to 16 turquoise-hued lakes, countless waterfalls, limestone canyons and caves. The paths are mostly made up of wooden walkways that are suspended right over the lakes, meandering through the pristine waters, around rocky outcroppings, and passing the magnificent falls. The trek in the video follows the K trail which visits all the lakes.
Totthummeln - Jämtland, Sweden
This 2.5-mile virtual trek in the heart of the Scandinavian Peninsula runs through Jämtland in the northern region of Sweden near Norway. It boasts endless forest views with brilliant sapphire lakes sparkling in between. With the colorful wildflowers in bloom, it’s even more breathtaking.
Mount Baker, Washington
Northern Washington State’s Mount Baker area offers jaw-dropping mountain and lake views that are even more stunning in the fall, highlighted with vibrant red, gold and orange hues. This virtual hike during the autumn season will bring you along the Baker River Trail and Chain Lake Trail through the emerald forest, gorgeous foliage, dramatic mountain peaks and crystal-clear lakes. The trail will bring you close to the river before opening up to magnificent vistas, complete with the sounds of the water and songs of the birds.
A hike through the Swiss Alps anyone? This 2.5-mile walk will bring you from Baregg Berghause Restaurant into the world-famous mountains, and the heart of famous Grindelwald with awe-inspiring views the entire way. Look forward to incredible views of the dramatic peaks, hiking through alpine meadows alongside sheer cliffs and into rugged glacial canyons. You’ll pass grazing sheep and look over Grindelwald from above. You might want to do this one a few times and plan a bucket-list hiking trip in the future.
Vancouver Island - British Columbia, Canada
Heading to the westernmost province of Canada, British Columbia, you can virtually experience the gorgeous Juan de Fuca Trail on Vancouver Island. Located in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, this virtual hike will bring you on a 40-minute journey along the first part of the trail, traveling deep into the forest and along the coast, with views of the San Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains in Washington State occasionally making an appearance too. Experience the sense of remoteness as you’re immersed in this incredible natural world, offering a true escape that might make you feel as if you’re truly there.