Nature-lovers rejoice! You can experience the natural beauty of the U.S. without having to pack a tent and sleeping bag. Here are six of our favorite hikes near HI USA hostels that you’re sure to love.
Dr. Roberts Trail - HI Mississippi Headwaters Hostel
Nestled inside the spectacular Itasca State Park, HI Mississippi Headwaters hostel is an outdoor-lovers dream. The park itself is more than 32,000 acres, has over 100 lakes, and features 49 miles of hiking trails. One of our year-round favorites is the Dr. Roberts trail. Strap on some snowshoes and enjoy the snow-covered scenery in winter or plan a trip for June to catch the Pink Lady Slippers in bloom. The park may feel pretty remote, but don’t worry, the hostel does have free wi-fi to help you stay connected with friends and family while you’re there.
Año Nuevo Point Trail - HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel
Just 10 minutes down the road from HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse hostel you’ll find Año Nuevo State Park. The main feature of this park is that from December through March it becomes home to up to 10,000 elephant seals. The 4.1-mile Año Nuevo Point Trail will take you into the Coastal Preserve where you can hop on a guided tour to see the seals and learn more about what brings them to this spot year after year. When you’re ready to relax at the end of the day, find your way to the hostel’s cliff-side hot tub where you can enjoy spectacular sunsets and get to know other travelers.
Rodeo Lagoon Trail - HI Marin Headlands Hostel
Venture just 30 minutes from San Francisco to HI Marin Headlands hostel and you’ll find yourself in the heart of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. One the hostel staff’s favorite nearby hikes is the Rodeo Lagoon Trail. A short walk from the hostel to the visitor center will put you on this 1.5-mile trail that meanders in a loop through a eucalyptus grove and grasslands, passed an estuary and a beach. Back at the hostel, relax in the chill mid-century modern vibe of the common room or cook up a feast in the shared kitchen. There is wi-fi, but you’ll have more fun if you spend some face time with the other travelers you meet.
James River Park Trails - HI Richmond Hostel
If you’re looking the perfect mixture of urban and outdoors, head down to Richmond, Virginia– nicknamed the "River City" for good reason. The James River Park Trails stretch 22 miles long and are accessible by two suspension bridges, one being just a 15-minute walk from HI Richmond hostel! Whether you’re looking for an easy stroll or a challenging bike path, you’ll find what you’re looking for with these trails. After a day of adventure, cozy up in the hostel’s common areas and get to know other travelers from around the world.
Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail - HI Austin Hostel
HI Austin hostel sits on the shores of Lady Bird Lake, which means the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail is just steps away. This 10-mile long trail takes you in a loop around Lady Bird Lake where one minute you’ll walk past a skyscraper and the next you’ll be surrounded by lush, green forests. Follow the trail to Barton Springs and take a refreshing dip in this famous, local swimming hole. If you’d rather explore the trail by bike, you can rent one right from the hostel. Grab a helmet and maybe some new friends and start exploring.
Tomales Point Trail – HI Point Reyes Hostel
HI Point Reyes hostel is ideal for unplugging, unwinding, and getting in tune with nature. It’s located in the heart of the Point Reyes National Seashore and is the only non-camping option available inside the park. Staying at the hostel means you’ve got fantastic hiking trails, gorgeous beaches, and tons of wildlife, right outside your door. The Tomales Point Trail is a staff favorite located at the north end of the park. This 9.4-mile hike offers stunning views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and the Pacific Ocean and best of all, you’re likely to see the majestic Tule Elk along the way.
Appalachian Trail - HI Harpers Ferry Hostel
For serious hikers, the Appalachian trail is usually pretty high up on their bucket list, but it’s actually a great option for day trippers and weekend hikers too. Whether you’re planning a full, end-to-end AT hike or even just looking to hike a section of this famous eastern U.S. trail, be sure to stop at HI Harpers Ferry hostel along the way. Located about a half a mile from the trail, this cozy seasonal hostel opens in April and offers both dorm beds and camping, making it a great option for travelers who love nature but aren’t traveling with camping gear.
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Top 5 Hostels Near National Parks
We’ve compiled a list of the best hostels located in and near National Parks. This list also includes a wide range of activities that would make any nature-lover never want to leave.