How to research the best hikes

Sometimes I write posts to covers VeryFAQs that I get on the socials. This is one of them, sparked by my current hiking trip extravaganza around the world.

You can check out my California hikes here.

I’ll keep it lovely and snappy.

I tag epic finds from Instagram. I email them to myself and keep a “Hikes” folder for inspiration.

In Sydney, the best site is WildWalks.

If I’m doing a day walk I google “best hikes in (insert location) circuit route”. I don’t like doing there-and-backs.

Or I’ll search for “station to station” walks. I love these hikes. It means I can catch a train to the start and hop on at another station at the end and head home. Elegant. In Sydney, Sydney Train Walks lists quite a few.

A walk 10-15km is best for an easy half-day walk.

I look out for compilation lists done by reputable outlets. Many magazines and newspapers put these together, often compiled by hiking fans. The best ones to keep an eye out for:

  • The Guardian
  • The Telegraph (UK)
  • Outsider magazine
  • National Geographic
  • Lonely Planet
I will then use these articles to find hiking tour companies. Most journalists do their trips via active and helpful tourism boards for a particular country or area, or via a company that specialises in hiking. If you’re someone who wants a guided hike, this will be super helpful. I don’t like guided hikes, but I check out the sites and get inspiration. Some will also do baggage transfers etc if I need them.

Some of my walks were found by getting crazy. And searching for “most dangerous hikes in the world”.

I also search “inn to inn” or “ pub to pub” to find overnight walks. You will probably find some amazing walks in the UK and Europe this way.

You can see the Somerset and Dorset walk that I did with Alison at Foot Trails a few years back. Alison does up some cracking pub-to-pub hikes across the UK.

Here’s a village-to-village hike I did in Spain…I found an author of a book on hiking in the region to help me with this one (again, via Googling).

I then put the hike back into Google. Basically to read forums, see if anyone’s recommended amazing eating stops etc.

As I go I save all walk ideas for next time. I simply email them to myself. I used to use apps like Instapaper.

I then download the hike, along with any pins pointing to eating stops etc, as a map (in the relevant app or on GoogleMaps), screengrab it for good measure and set off.

It’s not a straight-forward process, but, then, it’s about the journey, right?

What do you guys do? Any great apps? Links?

Share this post