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Short Hikes on National Forests & Grasslands


Chugach National Forest

  • Alaganik Slough Trail is a 0.2 mile trail at a recreation site about 21 miles from Cordova, Alaska. It provides excellent viewing opportunities of the Copper River Delta and migratory waterfowl.
  • Spencer Glacier Trail is a 1.3 mile trail at Spencer Whistle Stop which provides access to the backcountry of the Chugach National Forest. The trail provides great views mountains, Spencer Lake and of Spencer Glacier as well as access to a segment of the Iditarod National Historic Trail.
  • Trail of Blue Ice is a 4.5 mile trail that starts at the Begich Boggs Visitor Center and provides outstanding views of glaciers and salmon streams. The trail compliments the visitor center experience by giving visitors an opportunity to touch Alaska.
  • Russian River Trail at the Russian River Campground provides access to the Russian River board walk and Russian River. The Russian River is known for world class salmon fishing. Along with salmon, come bears. Be on the lookout.


Coronado National Forest

  • Columbine Visitor Center Loop Trail is a 325-foot-long concrete trail that sits at an elevation of more than 9,000 feet in a mixed conifer forest in the Pinaleno Mountains—very different from the desert nearly two miles below.
A picture of Columbine Visitor Center Loop Trail
  • Gordon Hirabayashi Interpretive Trail is a 250-foot-long concrete trail in the Santa Catalina Mountains. The Federal Honor Camp prison camp, began operations at this site in 1937. During World War II, this prison held conscientious objectors and Japanese-Americans protesting relocation. Dr. Gordon Hirabayashi who famously challenged the constitutionality of internment based on race or ancestry in the Supreme Court, was convicted and sentenced to serve at this camp. In 1987 Hirabayashi’s case was overturned, and in 1999 the Coronado National Forest renamed the site in his honor and other resisters of conscience who were imprisoned there.
  • Molino Canyon Vista Trail is a 100 foot concrete trail on milt 4.2 of Mt. Lemmon Highway in the Santa Catalina Mountains.
  • Parker Canyon Lakeshore Trail is a five mile trail in the Huachuca Mountains that leads around the shoreline, never getting more than a few steps from the water. The first 500 feet of the trail is paved.
  • Pena Blanca Lakeshore Trail is a 1,300 foot asphalt trail at a 4,000 foot elevation at Pena Blanca Lake in the Atascosa Mountains. Pena Blanca Lake was built in 1957 by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. It provides water-related recreation year-round.
  • Madera Canyon Nature Trail is a half-mile-long asphalt trail in the Santa Rita Mountains. The trail follows Madera Creek and provides access to the beauty of the lower canyon. Madera Canyon is a world-renowned place for bird watching.
  • Rose Canyon Lakeshore Trail leads around the edge of a seven acre lake tucked away in a picturesque stand of mature ponderosa pines high on the slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains. About a third of a mile of the trail is concrete. The trail is at mile 17.2 of the Mt. Lemmon Highway, at mile 17.2, in the Catalinas.
  • Sabino Canyon Bajada Nature Trail is a half-mile trail on compacted native soil near the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Sabino Canyon is one of themost premier natural areas on southern Arizona and offers outstanding scenery featuring steep rock cliffs and unique desert vegetation adjacent to riparian corridors.
  • Whipple Interpretive Trail is a 150-foot-long concrete trail in the Whipple Picnic Area in the Santa Rita Mountains.


Ouachita National Forest

  • Jessieville Friendship Trail is a 0.7 mile loop that meanders through a mature hardwood and pine forest.  Along the trail you can enjoy interpretive signs, a pavilion, a fishing pond and two beautifully constructed bridges.  Benches and picnic tables are along the trail for rest and relaxation.

Ozark-St. Francis National Forest

  • Blanchard Springs Trail is a 0.2 mile trail that takes you on a leisurely stroll to where the Blanchard Springs gushes out of the hillside in the form of a waterfall.
  • Mirror Lake Trail is a mile-long-trail nestled next to the crystal clear waters of Mirror Lake. Visitors can try their hand at trying to catch a rainbow trout. If fishing is not for you, this trail provides ample opportunities for photography, bird watching, and just taking a stroll.
  • Koen Interpretive Trail is a 0.27 mile trail that offers a leisurely stroll through a mixed hardwood stand nestled in a shaded cove within the Henry Koen Experimental Forest in the Ozarks. Interpretive tree identification signs provide information on variety of tree species found throughout the Ozarks.


Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit

  • Lam Watah Trail is a one-mile trail to the shore of Lake Tahoe, through wetland and forested areas.
  • Lake of the Sky Trail is a one-half mile trail to shore of Lake Tahoe from Taylor Creek Visitor Center.
  • Rainbow Trail is a one-half mile trail loop from Taylor Creek Visitor Center through aspen groves, and meadows, to Taylor Creek—the site of Kokanee Salmon spawning in autumn.

Six Rivers National Forest

  • Ruth Lake Trail is a hardened-surface trail that connects two Forest Service campgrounds. The trail has a unique retaining wall and viewing benches.


Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest Pawnee National Grassland

  • The Trail Between The Lakes winds its way through a Ponderosa pine forest in fairly mountainous terrain. This trail provides visitors of all abilities an opportunity to enjoy a short hike between two beautiful lakes: West Lake and Dowdy Lake.

Rio Grande National Forest

  • North Clear Creek Falls Observation Site is on the eastern edge of the San Juan Mountains near Lake City. It can be accessed on the Silverthread Scenic Byway along State Highway 149.

Routt National Forest

  • Fish Creek Falls is a paved trail to Fish Creek Falls overlook. It is has accessible picnic sites as well. It is near the city of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

White River National Forest

  • Ashcroft Trail is a 400-yard trail with a native surface. Ashcroft is an historic Colorado mining town site about 10 miles south of Aspen on Castle Creek Road.  Ashcroft is a perfect place to learn about some of Colorado’s rich mining history. It is maintained by the Aspen Historical Society and tours are given year round.
  • Roaring Fork Discovery Trail is a half-mile loop trail with a compacted, crushed aggregate surface. There are 22 interpretive messages along the trail for visitors to learn about the trail and the surrounding area.
  • Maroon Lake Trail is a one-mile compacted native surface loop trail. Follow this short trail from either the bus stop or the parking lot to get closer to one of the most scenic lakes in the country. Examine the beaver lodge and look for their trails to the aspen trees, which they use for food and building materials.
  • Ripple Creek Overlook can be found on the Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway between Meeker and Yampa, Colorado. The site provides picnic facilities and restrooms.
  • Trappers Lake Overlook allows stunning views of the lake in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. Trappers Lake is the source of the North Fork of the White River.
  • Giberson Bay Day Use Trail is just outside the boundary of Heaton Bay Campground around two miles southwest of Dillon, Colordao. There are 24 parking spaces, picnic tables, a vault toilet, two accessible fishing platforms and shoreline access at the Giberson Bay Day Use Area.
  • Sapphire Point Trail is a 0.8 mile compacted native surface trail on the southeast shoreline of Dillon Reservoir, about 4 west of Keystone, Colorado. It offers spectacular views that overlook Dillon Reservoir, as well as the Gore and Tenmile Ranges.
  • Deep Creek Overlook is accessed by traveling 15 miles up the steep and winding dirt Coffee Pot road north of Dotsero, Colorado. This 600-foot-long trail has a native gravel surface with a slight downhill grade to the fence in overlook of the western part of Deep Creek Canyon.
  • Mount Holy Cross Overlook is a one-eighth-mile trail on the Shrine Pass Road #709 from top of Vail Pass in Colorado. The ramp-accessible wooden observation deck has three benches and can accommodate around 30 people. Parking area can hold up to ten vehicles and has a vaulted toilet.
  • Yeoman Park is about 12 miles southeast of Eagle.  At an elevation of 900 feet, Yeoman Park Campground has two compacted native surface trails that comply with the accessibility standards. Yeoman Park Trailhead is a 100-yard compacted gravel path that accesses East Brush Creek for viewing and fishing. The Yeoman Amphitheater has a 200-yard compacted gravel path to a hardened site with a fire pit and benches.


National Forests in Florida

  • Leon Sinks


Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests

  • Lions Eye Trail


Idaho Panhandle National Forest

  • Route of the Hiawatha Rail Trail has been called one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country. Winding through nine tunnels and over seven high steel trestles, the 15-mile route crosses the rugged Bitterroot Mountains between Idaho and Montana. The trail is open for hiking or biking.

Custer-Gallatin National Forests

  • Yankee Jim Interpretive Trail is an 1,800-foot-long interpretive trail to a Yellowstone River overlook and interpretive site.
  • Fishermans Point Trail


Daniel Boone National Forest

  • Barren Fork Accessible Heritage Trail This paved trail is a little more than half a mile long and in an area that was once a coal mining camp. The trail provides visitors with a glimpse into the past.  Several signs along the trail interpret the area’s mining history.

Michigan (Upper Peninsula)

Hiawatha National Forest

  • Point Iroquois Light Station features a boardwalk through the woodlands and along the shore of Lake Superior that circles back to the interpretive panels at the lighthouse base.


Lolo National Forest

  • Maclay Flat Nature Trail is a great place to birdwatch or to take a quiet walk along the Bitterroot River. Maclay Flat is located on the west edge of Missoula, making this a local favorite spot for walking and jogging.

Bitterroot National Forest

  • Lake Como Recreation Trail is 3 miles long. The trail on the north side of Lake Como and is open to hiking and biking.  The trail is paved for the first quarter mile.  This hike offers spectacular views of Como Peaks, osprey, and wildflowers.

New Hampshire

White Mt. National Forest

  • Rocky Gorge Scenic Area is a beautiful 1,300 foot trail that takes you over the Swift River and Rocky Gorge to the edge of Falls Pond.
  • Rail N' River Trail begins at the Russell-Colbath Historic House on the Kancamagus Scenic Byway takes you on a half-mile accessible loop back in time.  Interpretive panels scattered along the trail gives the visitor a brief tour of the areas land use history.
  • Diana's Baths are a curious set of circular stone cavities is located on Lucy Brook.  This accessible trail leaves from the West Side Road in North Conway. The Baths are a little less than a mile from the trailhead.
  • Lincoln Woods Trail crosses the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River on a suspension bridge, then follows an abandoned railroad grade next to the river for nearly three miles. The trail is shady and wide with an easy grade. A visitor information cabin and accessible toilet facilities are located at the parking area. Parking is at the Lincoln Woods Visitor Center on the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, five miles east of Lincoln.

New Mexico

Cibola National Forest

  • Balsam Glade Nature Trail can be found in the Balsam Glad Picnic Site. The nature trail begins at an elevation of approximately 8,620 feet for an elevation gain of 40 feet. It is a little more than a quarter mile one way to a rewarding view at La Madera Canyon Overlook.
  • Sandia Peak is a short walk from the parking lot to the overlook at top of Sandia Crest. The Sandia Mountains are a small range east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The mountains do not have a summit. Instead, the high point is a long ridge called the Sandia Crest. At about 10,678 feet in elevation, the vegetation here is vastly different than in Albuquerque that lies about 4,500 feet below.

Gila National Forest

  • Catwalk National Recreation Trail is a one mile trail, with grades up to 8 percent, along the historic water line route from the 1890's, a trailhead access into the Gila Wilderness, a bird watcher's paradise and a sense of place that creates images of an earlier time. There is also a picnic spot next to Whitewater Creek. The metal walkway indicates that the Catwalk is approximately half a mile up the trail.  The trail crosses the creek a number of times via bridges and ends at a rock overhang.

Santa Fe National Forest, northern New Mexico

  • Lower Jemez Recreation Complex offers a quarter-mile hike along the river to Jemez Falls—the highest falls in the Jemez Mountains. You can find opportunities for fishing and picnicking as well.
  • Vista Grande Overlook is accessible by pull-off parking where you can step onto a wooden deck for spectacular views to Santa Fe, Albuquerque and surrounding areas at breathtaking elevation of nearly 10,000 feet.

North Carolina

Pisgah National Forest

  • Wiseman’s View Trail is a trail about a quarter-mile long perched at more than 3,800 feet. This paved trail terminates with a spectacular view of Linville Gorge and local iconic mountain peaks on Table Rock and the Hawksbill mountains. Visitors can view from a large gathering area or take short stairways to two turret-like viewing platforms.
  • Biltmore Campus National Recreation Trail at the Cradle of Forestry is a one-mile trail leading to a collection of rustic buildings and exhibits depicting lifestyle and architecture on the Biltmore Forest School campus in the early 1900s.  Interpretive stops along the self-guided trail include a one-room schoolhouse, general store, cabins, blacksmith shop and vegetable gardens.  The trail is paved and winds through a hardwood forest setting.  The trail begins at the Forest Discovery Center.
  • Cradle of Forestry’s Forest Festival Trail. This 1.3 mile trail meanders along the paved trail to view an historic 1915 Climax locomotive and a reconstructed sawmill.  Forest practices and issues are featured at other stops along the wooded interpretive trail.  The trail begins at the Forest Discovery Center.
  • Roan Mountain Gardens National Recreation Trail is a 1.5-mile paved trail through native rhododendrons and spruce-fir forest. The 6,000-foot elevation offers rich bird-viewing and opportunities to study plants and animals generally found in more northern climates. An observation deck affords spectacular vistas that extend, on a clear day, to the Black Mountains and Great Craggy Mountains. Picnic tables, restrooms and interpretive information are located at the trailhead.

Croatan National Forest

  • Cedar Point Tidelands National Recreation Trail is a 1.8-mile system of elevated boardwalks and trail that wind through the marshy ecosystem and woodland where the White Oak River meets the Atlantic Ocean. Check out Cedar Point’s changing tides, where you will likely see an egret and a variety of other coastal birds. Picnic tables and restrooms are located at the trailhead.

Nantahala National Forest

  • Whitewater Falls Trail is a quarter-mile trail providing views of water that dramatically falls from a 411-foot tiered cascade. The paved path provides easy access to the viewing area, and along the way you can hear the roaring of the water as it cascades over the falls.
  • Spirit Ridge Trail is a paved loop trail leads to an overlook of the Slickrock Wilderness. Round trip, it is a little less than half a mile. This trail is nearly a mile high, and provides cooler temperatures on a hot day. Stroll through a leafy tunnel of beech, birch, cherry and maple trees or spread a picnic at one of the tables. The trail is frequently in the fog.

Oklahoma and Texas

Black Kettle National Grasslands (BKNG)

  • Cheyenne, OK: There is an interpretive nature trail that connects the Black Kettle National Grasslands to the city park in Cheyenne.
  • Black Kettle National Grasslands has a short, quarter mile trail at the Washita National Historic Battlefield.
  • Big Tree Trail is around a quarter mile and leads to a large, old, landmark status tree in Lake Marvin, Texas.


Siuslaw National Forest

  • Holman Vista Trail is tucked away within Sutton Recreation Area north of Florence, Oregon. Holman Vista rewards you with a walk through coastal forest, chockful of beautiful rhododendrons and berry bushes, to Sutton Creek flowing through open sand dunes. For an accessible adventure, take the Holman Vista Trail. The trail follows along a boardwalk which leads to an accessible viewing deck. From the deck, take in the expansive and picturesque views out over the low dunes; vistas of a wandering coastal stream and a serene natural landscape where beach and surf meet.
  • Heceta Lighthouse Trail has a dramatic Pacific coast setting, with views of bird islands and beach, volcanic headlands, and old lava spills along the coastline. The trail follows the route lighthouse keepers traveled through a forested slope to the site of the former lighthouse keeper’s house and at a bit more grade, to the Heceta Lighthouse.

Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

  • Anthony Lake Shoreline Trail is a graveled loop trail around the picturesque subalpine lake. Offering an easy lake front walk to visitors, the peaceful setting features a picnic area, gazebo and historic rock fireplaces built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Lakeside benches, toilet facilities and other picnic areas are also found along the trail in the Anthony Lake Picnic Area and Anthony Lake Boat Launch. Gunsight Mountain provides an impressive backdrop to the ever-changing moods of Anthony Lake. The entire trail is not accessible. The accessible section (0.8 miles) is from the Anthony Lake Boat Launch around the back side of the lake to the Hoffer Lake Trailhead. Visitors wanting to go around the lake may use portions of the road near the picnic area shelter.
  • Powder River Interpretive Trail is located in the Powder River Recreation Area below Phillips Lake. This accessible trail can be reached from the upper and lower Powder River Trailhead parking areas. This unique facility provides easy access to the outdoors through trails connected by bridges on both sides of the river. Anglers may fish for trout from two platforms or the two bridges. Hikers and wildlife viewers can experience a closeness to nature while resting on the riverside benches, or learning more about the site from the two interpretive sites. Wildflowers are plentiful in June and July. The northern trail section (0.6 miles) along Highway 7 is paved. There is also an accessible fishing area and deck by the river. The southern section across the river bridges and to the island, are narrow earthen trails that do not comply with the trail accessibility standards.
  • Oregon Trail Interpretive Park Trail gives you a chance to experience the Oregon Trail as the pioneers did! Some of the best-preserved traces of the Historic Oregon Trail await you on this forested ridge. Walk among stately Ponderosa pines that still bear the scars made by passing wagons over 150 years ago. Meander on a gentle footpath next to wagon-wide depressions. Enjoy the sweeping view that met the emigrant’s eyes so long ago. Choose a Discovery Trail and literally walk in the footsteps of the pioneers. The Oregon Trail Interpretive Park at Blue Mountain Crossing includes an interpretive trailhead and picnic area. Facilities include a large parking areas, paved trails, drinking water restrooms and interpretation panels. History living re-encampments are periodically available on holidays. The site may be staffed on summer weekends or holidays. A paved (0.5 miles) trail called the Blue Mountain Loop complies with the trail accessibility standards is contained within other, longer and unpaved trails comprising the Oregon Trail Interpretive Park. Oregon Trail Interpretive Park Trail takes you to the Bird Track Interpretive Site along the Grande Ronde River off Oregon Highway 244 directly across from the Bird Track Springs Campground. It is popular with birders, photographers, and those wanting to view wildlife and plants during the spring, summer, and fall, and with snowshoers in the winter.  The recreation site has one main trail which is 1.2 miles long and five other smaller spur trails with interpretive displays which wind along the river and cottonwood trees.

South Carolina

Francis Marion and Sumter National Forest

  • Sewee Shell Ring Interpretive Trail near Charleston, South Carolina overlooks the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. This one-mile trail through the maritime forest ends at a 120-foot boardwalk overlooking a prehistoric shell ring. It also offers five interpretive stops that tells the story of early human influence on the area’s forest and marshes. The trail has a short segment that leads to a more recent settlement evidenced by the remaining shell mound. In addition to the cultural history, there are breathtaking views of the salt marsh, tidal creek and the Intracoastal Waterway.

South Dakota

Black Hills National Forest

  • Breezy Point Overlook is concrete trail around 600-feet that provides a short hike out to a scenic viewing area. Visitors can view the Black Elk Wilderness, Black Elk Peak, and several cities from this spot.
  • Bismarck Lake Trail is short 635-foot wood boardwalk and gravel trail that provides fishing and hiking opportunities.
  • Cascade Falls Trail is an 850-foot gravel trail providing a viewing deck above Cascade falls. The site offers swimming, picnic shelters and creek fishing up or down stream from the recreation site.
  • Cook Lake Trail is a combined 0.15-mile paved trail and a half-mile-long gravel trail that is 36 inches wide along the lakes edge. This trail allows visitors to see various types of ducks and geese along with osprey, blue heron and bald eagles. Along the shoreline, very large fish called white amur are often seen along with turtles and beaver. The paved trail has picnicking, fishing and hiking opportunities as well as on the gravel portions.
  • Horsethief Lake Trail is a 0.3-mile concrete and boardwalk trail providing fishing and hiking opportunities.
  • Norbeck Trail is a 0.12-mile asphalt trail providing a short hike out to a scenic viewing area with a view of Mount Rushmore in the distance.
  • Pactola Reservoir Veteran's Point Trail is a three-quarter-mile paved trail providing fishing, picnicking, and hiking opportunities.


Cherokee National Forest

  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,180-mile trail through extending from Georgia to Maine. There is a half-mile section of the trail on the Cherokee National Forest that meanders through a scenic mountain farm and provide views of surrounding Southern Appalachian Mountains and Shady Valley.
  • Rhododendron Trail is a 0.2-mile trail is routed along the Ocoee River to a river viewing platform.  The trail extends another 1.4 miles with some steeper grades to its end at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Powerhouse.


Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

  • The Nebo Loop National Scenic Byway is home to Devil’s Kitchen, which features pillars and unique geological formations.
  • Logan Canyon Scenic Byway features the interpretive sites Bear Lake Overlook and the Lumber Pine Nature Trail.
  • Mirror Lake features the Mirror Lake Campground and day use area. The area offers a high alpine experience. There are also boardwalks at nearby Silverlake.
  • Cascade Springs provides boardwalks and paved pathways near natural springs, streams and waterfalls.
  • Logan Canyon River Trail follows the Logan City water line. Moose have been seen near the river, and many bird and plant species can be spotted as well.
  • Little Cottonwood Canyon Park & Ride is an excellent site for watching mountain goats. This area features several accessible telescopes.


George Washington & Jefferson National Forests

  • Lions Tale National Recreation Trail is a 0.4-mile loop within the Lion's Tale National Recreation Trail. This is a tactile interpretive trail that allows you to explore this loop trail by relying on your senses other than sight. You'll be amazed at what you can feel, hear, smell, and touch as you explore.
  • Massanutten Storybook Trail is a 0.35-mile hardened surface interpretive trail that provides the story of the formation of Massanutten Mountain along its route. There is an overlook with a view of Page Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Discovery Way Trail is a 0.20-mile paved trail interpretive signs identify trees and share their importance to early settlers.
  • August Springs Wetland Trail is 0.70-mile loop interpretive trail that leads visitors through an array of meadows, forests, and wetlands where the visitor can experience several different types of native wildlife habitat. Approximately 0.3 miles of this loop trail consists of elevated boardwalks that allow the visitor to travel through wetlands, over natural springs and long boggy meadows.
  • North Mountain Overlook Trail is a 0.11-mile trail is one of 14 stops on the Highlands Scenic Tour, which weaves through a landscape of diverse vegetation, scenic views, and unique geological formations. The trail ends at an overlook with views of Lake Robertson, a broad valley, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Cherokee Flats Trail is a 0.25-mile paved trail following a stream. The trail provides access to fishing holes on Big Stony Creek, a stocked trout stream.
  • Fenwick Mines Area Trails is a one-mile group of trails that are part of the Fenwick Mines Recreation Area. These trails lead through wetlands, streams and forest habitats, including a waterfall overlook. It is in an area that was a bustling mining town of more than 300 people in the late 19th century. These trails include the Fenwick Wetlands Trail, the Fenwick Fishing Trail and the Fenwick Nature Walk.
  • Pandapas Pond Area Trails include Pandapas Pond Loop, Pandapas Pond Wetland Loop and the Woods and Field. This one-mile group of trails are part of the Pandapas Pond Day Use Area. The area is named after an eight-acre impoundment sitting on the edge of the Eastern Continental Divide and is surrounded by a forest of hardwoods and rhododendron. Visitors will encircle the pond on a boardwalk separating the pond and a wetland.
  • Appalachian National Scenic Trail at Pearis Cemetery is a short 0.33-mile improved section of the 2,180 mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Access to the historic Pearis Cemetery is at the western edge of the town of Pearisburg, overlooking the New River.
  • Whitetop Laurel Access is a 0.6-mile trail running along a former roadbed that parallels Whitetop Laurel Creek. This crossing under the highest trestle on the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail begins at the Creek Junction Parking Area. There are several accessible fishing platforms along the trail, which ties into the Virginia Creeper Trail, and is co-aligned with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail at this point.
  • Beartree Lake Trail is a 0.74-mile paved trail that circles 14-acre Beartree Lake. The trail leads from the beach parking area to the day use parking area.


Gifford Pinchot National Forest

  • The Trail of Two Forests begins from Trail of Two Forests Interpretive Site. Interpretive signs guide you through this lava flow from Mount St. Helens that engulfed and consumed a forest 1,900 years ago. The boardwalk loop trail takes you past many examples of tree casts formed as lava flowed around trees and cooled, leaving impressions of the forest.
  • Johnston Ridge Observatory Interpretive Trail offers great views of Mount St. Helens.
  • Birth of a Lake Interpretive Trail is a short 0.6-mile accessible boardwalk trail that explores the creation of Coldwater Lake. The trail leaves from the Coldwater Lake Picnic and Boating Area. Interpretive displays explain how the 1980 debris avalanche dammed Coldwater Creek, creating Coldwater Lake. Chewed trees, the sign of beavers at work, can often be seen around the trail. Ripples, caused by trout rising to feed on insects, are also a common sight.

West Virginia

Monongahela National Forest

  • The Falls of the Hills Creek is a popular 114-acre area that contains three waterfalls with heights ranging from 25 feet to 63 feet.  The Lower Falls, at 63 feet, is the second highest waterfall in West Virginia. The first 1,700 feet of trail, which accesses the viewing platform for Upper Falls, is a paved and follows a gentle grade and provides several resting areas. The trail from the Upper Falls becomes more challenging. An interpretive display at the Upper Falls provides information and pictures of the remaining two falls for those who don’t want to make the journey.


Medicine Bow National Forest

  • Lake Marie and Mirror Lake is a paved trail within the Snowy Range Scenic Byway corridor. Mirror Lake provides accessible fishing platform and several accessible picnic sites.

Bighorn National Forest

  • Shell Falls is a waterfall in the on Shell Creek, about halfway down Shell Canyon. It is about 10 miles upstream from Shell, Wyoming. Viewing platforms along a paved interpretive trail overlook Shell Creek as it falls 120 feet into Shell Canyon.  The trail is just under a quarter of a mile in length and allows opportunities for viewing Big Horn Sheep and other wildlife.