10 Major US Cities That Offer Quick Access to Nature’s Beauty

Who doesn’t like going on a relaxing (or strenuous, depending on your preference) hike that isn’t far from the middle of a bustling city? Millions of Americans hike at least once yearly, and most live close to bigger towns offering nearby trails just out of city limits. Recently, experienced hikers met in an online discussion to reveal the best U.S. cities that provide the quickest access to excellent hikes.

1. Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon
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One of the most enjoyable trips I ever took was visiting Portland in 2019. The city’s craft beer scene and sublime weather were why I booked the trip in the first place, but something else will always stick in my mind: Hiking Mount Woodson. Located in the city’s outskirts, hiking Mount Woodson with a good friend was one of my life’s most memorable and fun times and something I’d do again in a heartbeat!

2. Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona
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Tucson has many things to love, and its proximity to countless hiking trails is just one of them! “Mount Lemmon is a treat,” reveals one resident. “There are so many trails at various elevations. And even better, you’re not too far from the other sky islands of southern Arizona.” However, the challenging trails have a cost — you’ll have to deal with sky-high temperatures.

3. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina
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I had to include my current hometown in this list because I can’t deny the city’s drawing power concerning the great outdoors. For anyone obsessed with hiking, boating, and bicycling, Asheville is the place to be! There are more hiking trails than I know what to do with, and every Saturday morning brings a new adventure for my girlfriend and me. The only downside is that there’s not enough time to experience them all!

4. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah
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Utah is one of the most naturally beautiful states in the U.S., so it’s no surprise that it’s also home to some of the most breathtaking hikes an adventurer can find! “Salt Lake City, Utah is a major city right at the base of 12,000-foot high mountains with incredible hiking trails within a few minutes from downtown,” reports one woman. “Any lover of the outdoors would love visiting the city.”

5. Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
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L.A. is more than just celebrities and beaches — there are plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors nearby! Active people are never bored in Los Angeles, from hiking to the iconic Hollywood sign to traveling a few hours for some skiing or snowboarding during the winter months. Many people love hiking in the mountains in the morning and returning to catch the sunset at the beach on the same day!

6. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas
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Just because Las Vegas is in the middle of a desert doesn’t mean there aren’t many nature walks and hikes to experience — quite the opposite, in fact! “From the Las Vegas airport, you can get to pretty much any type of hiking experience you want within an hour,” explains one Sin City resident. “I’ve been here six or seven years, and there are still tons of highly-rated hikes I haven’t done yet.”

7. San Diego, California

San Diego, California
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I lived in San Diego for over a decade and can attest to the city’s commitment to featuring countless opportunities to explore all the beauty of Southern California. Whether you want to hike along the Pacific coastline, in the mountains, through the city, or in dozens of nature preserves scattered everywhere, walking in San Diego is a joy. I wasn’t an avid hiker before I moved to San Diego, and it left an impression I’ll cherish forever.

8. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia
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I love nothing more than a big city with plenty of outdoor options. Talk about flexibility! “Atlanta is in the Piedmont region of the Appalachian Mountains and is a city built in a forest,” reveals one woman. “There is some great hiking in the city along the Chattahoochee River. Kennesaw Mountain is a 20-minute drive outside the city and has nice hiking. Of course, the Beltline offers some great urban hiking as well.”

9. Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
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Arguably the most outdoors-focused city in the United States, Seattle embraces its love of nature and places it front and center for its residents and visitors. You know a city takes nature seriously when it provides direct public transit to countless fantastic hiking trails and lakes just outside the city. Even visitors who aren’t savvy hikers can’t help but be enamored with the perks of living in Seattle.

10. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio
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Nature reserves — or Metroparks as they’re called in Ohio — give residents convenient access to parks, lakes, and hikes all within the city limits. “Cleveland is home to the best Metroparks in America and has convenient access to a national park,” explains one man. “Plus, it’s a cheap destination. I used to live in the area and miss it so much.” It’s settled: I’m putting Cleveland on my “must-visit” list.

Source: Reddit.

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This article was initially published and syndicated by The Cents of Money

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