If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to get fit, or simply enjoy focusing on your health in any season, there’s no better way to stay motivated than by taking your fitness goals with you on vacation. Imagine hiking along a ravine surrounded by 800-foot red rock cliffs or scaling the highest peak in the eastern United States. No matter what type of terrain you’re longing for, these fabulous locales offer year-round hiking opportunities to help you start the year off on the right foot.
Climb Every Mountain in Awe-Inspiring Asheville
North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway is known as one of the best drives in America. But while the mountain scenery is incredible at eye level, it’s even more spectacular when viewed at a higher elevation. Clamber up Looking Glass Rock to take in the Blue Ridge peaks from above, then ascend to the highest summit in the Appalachian Mountains, Mount Mitchell. Both are located just outside charming Asheville, where you can also find an abundance of hiking trails for all skill levels at the popular Chimney Rock State Park.
While in Asheville, be sure to check out the local breweries and award-winning eateries. The Foundry Hotel Asheville, Curio Collection by Hilton is situated in the heart of downtown and offers a modern, industrial vibe that pays homage to its history as a foundry that forged the steel for the iconic nearby Biltmore Estate.
Tackle Texas-Sized Trails in Amarillo
No doubt you’ve heard of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, but did you know that the second largest canyon in the country is situated in the heart of the Texas Panhandle? Dubbed the “Grand Canyon of Texas,” Palo Duro State Park, located just outside Amarillo, offers a rugged beauty that’s best explored on the park’s more than 30 miles of hiking and biking trails. Many of the trails here are rated “easy” or “moderate,” and dogs are allowed as well, making it a great choice for the entire family to explore together.
A stay at the pup-friendly Home2 Suites by Hilton Amarillo East gives you plenty of room to bring everyone along while enjoying a location close to adventure, as well as the unique Cadillac Ranch art installation.
Explore Hidden Gems in Buffalo National River
If you’re not familiar with the Buffalo National River area of Arkansas you’re not alone. Nestled in one of the most scenic parts of the Ozark Mountains, the Buffalo River is a hidden gem that’s protected by the National Parks Service and offers hiking to some of mid-America’s grandest waterfalls. A favorite of the region is the three-mile hike along the Whitaker Point Trail, which leads to a stunning outcropping used in the opening scene of a familiar childhood film. From here you can take in the valleys and vivid scenery below.
The area is also home to some remarkable caves, including Mystic Caverns and Crystal Dome Cavern. Book a room at Hampton Inn by Hilton Harrison, which is located near both of these Ozark beauties.
Scramble Over Red Rocks in Sedona
If you’re craving breathtaking southwestern scenery, then make your way out to the desert wonderland of Sedona, Arizona. The hikes here are a mystical experience for many, as the region is home to over 200 hiking trails with some featuring secret caves, magical pools, and four main vortex sites that are said to facilitate mind/body healing. There’s no better way to become one with nature than on a sunset hike to Cathedral Rock, where red rock pillars catch the light in a captivating way. Thrill-seekers can cross Devils Bridge, a natural sandstone bridge that will challenge your fear of heights, but the city is also home to countless trails that help keep you better grounded.
Stay at Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock, which boasts an indoor/outdoor restaurant and garden, a spa and wellness center, pools, Championship golf course and onsite adventure desk, along with epic views of one of Sedona’s most iconic red rock formations, Bell Rock. For the ultimate boot camp workout, fitness enthusiasts can also discover the hotel’s Outdoor Warrior Pit featuring ropes, tires and more or experience one of the many fitness classes at the 25,000 sq. ft. Sedona Athletic Club.
Image Credit: © Hilton Hotels
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