The Top 5 Places To Live If You Are An Avid Hiker

If you are an avid hiker, you've probably discovered that trails can be found just about anywhere, even in the middle of a big city. However, not all courses are made equal, as some may provide more seclusion than others. Additionally, maybe you're craving the reward of a gushing waterfall or a gorgeous view. 

If you want to experience some of the best hiking America has to offer, U.S. News says to travel to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, or Glacier National Park in Montana. However, while these areas are breathtaking, you'll also be bombarded with traffic and many other travelers. Exploring lesser-known places can have its perks, as they aren't overcrowded with tourists. You may even consider moving to one of these less popular areas. Below, we've gathered the top five places in the United States for hikers to live. While not as well known as the National Parks, these areas are top-notch.

Scottsdale, Arizona

About 30 minutes from Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, Scottsdale, Arizona, is a great place to hike. In fact, according to Scottsdale, spending time in the great outdoors is one of the main attractions in the area, as the Sonoran Desert provides spectacular views. This city has both the benefits of an urban setting and the beauty of nature. The Arizona Office of Tourism says that along with hiking in the mountains and nature reserves, this city is also known for its art museums, delicious food, and golf courses. The typical home price in this area is $813,871, per Zillow.

If you moved here, you'd have the opportunity to peruse many beautiful trails with fantastic scenery. For instance, The Outbound recommends checking out Pinnacle Peak, Gateway Loop, and Hike Bell's Pass, which all have at least 700 feet of elevation. Or, on days when you'd prefer a stroll, there are also a number of short nature walks surrounded by wildflowers.

Brevard, North Carolina

Hidden away in Brevard, North Carolina, are many places to hike. While a tiny town with a small population, Brevard is a great suburban area to raise children, per Citytistics. And according to Realtor, the average home price in the area is around $400,000. If you want to drive to a busier city, Raleigh is about 4 ½ hours away, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is 2 ½ hours away.

According to Brevard, this town has quite a few places to explore. If you wanted to experience a waterfall, you could traverse the trails in Dupont State Forest, including Triple Falls Trail. Or, to see beautiful wildflowers and maybe even some beavers in action, check out Pink Beds Loop in Pisgah National Forest. Upper Bearwallow Falls has a viewing platform and is located inside Gorges State Park. However, Gaia GPS says the best hike in the area is Looking Glass Rock, which climbs 1,700 feet of elevation. 

Pikeville, Tennessee

Over two hours away from Nashville, Tennessee, Pikeville is home to many beautiful waterfalls and scenic locations. This rural town with a tiny population is rated relatively high on Citytistics, with a livability rating of 82 out of 100, based on costs, education, and crime rates. The average price of a house in this quaint area is around $335,000, per Realtor.

Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of the most popular places to hike in this area and in all of Tennessee. According to The Outbound, this park has 20,000 acres of land, including many opportunities to observe waterfalls and incredible views. You could also visit Cumberland Mountain State Park, which has over 30,000 acres, per Step Outside. You could also explore several other trails, including Virgin Falls Trail, Stevenson Branch Trail, and Savage Day Loop. If you wanted to take a day trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it would take about three hours.

Stanley, Idaho

For an extra rural town, look to Stanley, Idaho, a 2 ½ hour drive from Boise. While this town may not seem like much, it's one of the best places to experience the beauty of the outdoors, per Idaho Wild. Many travel here to hike during the day and camp out at night, as this basin has both beautiful mountain peaks and many large lakes. Best Places says that the median home price in Stanley is $570,300.

According to Stanley, this area has some of the best hiking in the United States because it's surrounded by three mountains: Sawtooth Mountains, White Cloud Mountains, and Salmon River Mountains. Each range provides different opportunities to traverse various landscapes and see wildlife. Additionally, this area has many trails at all different skill levels, from easy to difficult. If you're looking for specific routes to explore, check out Marsh Creek, Fishhook Meadow, or Cabin Creek Lakes, per Visit Idaho.

Seattle, Washington

If you're looking for something a bit busier, you could consider moving to Seattle, Washington. The biggest city in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle provides plenty of opportunities for high-paying jobs, great food, and, of course, breathtaking hikes. Because forests surround this city, it was named the "Evergreen City," per Bellhop. The average median price for a home is $819,975, and the market is pretty competitive, per Redfin.

Just two hours away from Mount Rainier National Park, the mountain's peaks can be seen from some of the best hiking spots, including Wildside Trail. According to the Washington Trails Association, there is also a wide variety of landscapes in the area, which could make your outdoor excursions extra exhilarating. There are opportunities for small nature strolls right inside Seattle or more strenuous trips outside the city. Another place to check out is Soaring Eagle Regional Park, which is home to 12 miles of trails.