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Top 10 Walks in the USA for 2012

2013 Readers' Choice Award


Updated December 14, 2013

Local American Volkssport Association walking clubs host over 1,800 map-guided walking routes throughout the USA. Each year we take nominations for the best of the best, and then poll their members to find the ten best walks. These 10 finalists include national and state park walks, city walks and historical walks. Our readers voted for the final ranking as part of our Readers' Choice Awards 2013.
How to Find and Walk an AVA Year-Round Walk
Top Ten Walks by Year

1. Winner: San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas - Y0055

Wendy Walks the San Antonio Riverwalk
Wendy Bumgardner ©
I've enjoyed this walk many times. Once nominator said, "Showcases historic downtown San Antonio to include the Alamo, San Fernando Cathedral, and the beautiful Paseo del Rio (Riverwalk)." It's an easy flat walk, with 11 kilometer or 6 kilometer options.
Walk Details for 2014
Texas Wanderers
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2. Deception Pass State Park, WA Y1681

Deception Pass State Park, Washington
Curt Myron ©
This seasonal walk is open from April 1 until September 30, 2013. You can choose either a 5 kilometer or 10 kilometer walk on improved forest trails. You get views of Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, Olympic Mountains and Deception Pass Bridge. Walk through old growth forest and beside marshland habitat. Enjoy beach combing and picnicking .
Walk Details
NW Tulip Trekkers
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3. Annapolis, MD Capital-Downtown-USNA Y0264

Annapolis, Maryland
© Stephen Munday / Getty Images Sport
The walk is through the historic City of Annapolis, which is also the capital of Maryland and the home of the U.S. Naval Academy. One nominator said, "Another beautiful city and a well constructed walk designed by someone who loves it and is eager to show it off."
Walk Details for 2014
Annapolis Amblers Club
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4. Silver Falls State Park, Oregon - Y0171

Silver Falls, Oregon
Wendy Bumgardner ©
This walk past nine waterfalls has been on the top 10 list more often than not. It requires trail shoes and bring along a hiking stick for extra stability. The distance is 11 kilometers, with an optional extra kilometer to visit the tenth waterfall. The walk is only open mid-April through mid-November. For this one, you register and pick up the map at a Safeway in the town of Silverton, Oregon and drive to the state park. There is a fee to enter the park.
Walk Details for 2014
Walks Sponsored by the Silverton Walk Abouts
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5. Princeton, NJ Historic Tour Y0736

Princeton University
© William Thomas Cain / Getty Images News
One nominator said, "Interesting college campus complemented by preserved town steeped in history." You can choose a 5 kilometer (3 mile) or 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) route. The historic trail includes Princeton University, exclusive residential areas, grave sites of Grover Cleveland and Aaron Burr, the home used by Albert Einstein, and Nassau Hall. Numerous sculptures and historic sites lie along the walk route.
Walk Details for 2014
Princeton Area Walkers Club
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6. Grand Canyon, AZ Y1376

Grand Canyon
Wendy Bumgardner ©
An easy walk at the Grand Canyon? Yes, other than the breathtaking 7000 feet of altitude, you will enjoy an easy stroll along the south rim at Yavapai Point. The views will also be breathtaking, and make sure you have plenty of memory capacity for your camera. Now for the odd part, you register for this walk in Flagstaff.
Walk Details for 2014
Walks Sponsored by the Tucscon Volkssport Klub
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7. Lower Manhattan, New York City, NY Y315

Lower Manhattan
Wendy Bumgardner ©
This 11 kilometer route (seven miles) includes the Hudson River Esplanade with views of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, South Street Seaport, Financial District, Wall Street, NY Stock Exchange and construction of new World Trade Center. You also walk the Brooklyn Bridge.
Walk Details 2014
Princeton Area Walkers Club
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8. Chesapeake Beach, Maryland - Y1087

Chesapeake Beach Maryland
Linda and Bill Hassell ©
The lovely resort town of Chesapeake Beach is located on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. This walk is either five kilometers or 10 kilometers and rated easy. Why is it a top walk? One nominator cited, "Boardwalks, views of the Chesapeake Bay, small town feel in a metro area. Lovely start a Resort. Great seafood."
Walk Details for 2014
Walks Hosted by Freestate Happy Wanderers Club
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9. Seattle, WA Downtown/Waterfront Y0011

Space Needle, Seattle Center
Wendy Bumgardner ©
A nominator said, "The is classic Seattle. This walk passes major landmarks - a great walk for anyone who wants to see Seattle at walking speed." The route includes Seattle Center and the new Chihuly Glass Museum, the waterfront, downtown Seattle, Pike Place Market, Westlake Mall, Pioneer Square, Waterfall Park, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and Museum, and the ball stadiums.
Walk Details for 2014

10. Bethesda - Kenwood Cherry Blossoms/Spring Flowers Y1091

Cherry Blossoms
Wendy Bumgardner © 2013
This walk is only open during spring flowering time, from March 14 until May 14 in 2014. There is a 5K trail (which you have to drive to from the registration point to start) and a 10K route. The 10 kilometer trail includes some hills and is on the Capital Crescent Trail and streets through the Kenwood neighborhood with beautiful cherry blossoms/spring flowers.
Walk Details 2014
Seneca Valley Sugarloafers Club
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11. More Readers's Choice Awards

About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2013
About.com © 2013
See more categories of walking events and gear that were our walkers' favorites.

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