9 New U.S. Trails You Should Try This Year

Outside Online (April 20, 2021) by Megan Michelson

With pandemic-fueled use on the rise, it’s a good thing trail builders have been busy opening new pathways for you to hike, run, and bike

Last year the American Hiking Society reported a 200 percent increase in trail usage in U.S. cities than in 2019. It seems Americans are letting off their pandemic stress by discovering local hikes. And new trails are being built that will help accommodate the increased demand. We’ve rounded up some of the latest-to-launch routes across the country that have us excited to hike, run, and bike. Of course, recreating responsibly during these times is key, so remember to read up on local regulations, pack out what you pack in, and give space to others en route.

Babbitt Ranch Singletrack, Arizona

If you’ve hiked the Arizona Trail between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon, you had to travel a large section on ranch roads while crossing private land between Coconino and Kaibab National Forests. After many years of discussion, Babbitt Ranch finally allowed the Arizona Trail Association to build singletrack across its property, and the new 14-mile Babbitt Ranch Singletrack, completed in August 2020, cuts through juniper forest and affords views of the San Francisco Peaks. It’s a welcome new option for those thru-hiking the 800-mile Arizona Trail or anyone interested in just a day or overnight trip.

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