Don't Hike the Appalachian Trail

Don't Hike the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail or any other trail of comparable length is certainly a fantastic experience but the problem is not everybody has the time to drop everything in their life and go hike in the woods for 6 months! So let’s look at 11 trails where you can still get that thru hiking experience, but don’t have to sell your children to do so. The list goes as follows. Keep in mind this isn’t all encompassing, and is just meant to give you an idea.

Sheltowee Trace Trail
*323 miles
*2-4 weeks
*March – April

Wonderland Trail
*93 miles
*4-10 days

Uinta Highline Trail
*100 miles
*4-10 days
*July – September

Long Trail
*273 miles
*2-4 weeks
*August – October

john muir trail
*211 miles
*2-3 weeks
*June – September

ozark highlands trail
*207 miles
*2-3 weeks
*October – May

Tahoe Rim Trail
*California and Nevada
*165 miles
*1-2 weeks
*August – October

Superior Hiking Trail
*310 miles
*2-4 weeks
*May, August – October

Foothills Trail
*South and North Carolina
*76 miles
*3-7 days
*October – November

Benton MacKaye Trail
*Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee
*300 miles
*2-4 weeks
*September – November
*March – April

Ocean to Lake Hiking Trail
*63 miles
*3-6 days
*December – February

Whether you’re going out for 6 months or going out for the day, the important part is getting out there.



If you would like to get access to content I create about this type of stuff I don’t share anywhere else join me on my Patreon!

If you’d like more info about me, my hiking, or painting:


  1. Travis Kammeyer on May 8, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    I did half the AT last year on weekends. Shuttle drivers brought me back to my car where I left off and I drove home after 50-60 miles accomplished that weekend. No matter what weather or circumstance. I live in Tn so that was convenient to the trail in the southern area. Anyway, it can be done. I wanna do the rest ofcourse but I have a full time job sadly.

  2. Homemade Wanderlust on May 8, 2020 at 3:45 pm

    Sell their children 😂😂😂

  3. Yellow RoseOfTexas on May 8, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you for sharing all the shorter trail information.

  4. Wild West Trail on May 8, 2020 at 3:46 pm

    Although not for the faint of heart, the Idaho Centennial Trail can be done in under 60 days. It’s the hardest and most rewarding trek you’ve never heard of.

  5. Sharadyn Ciota on May 8, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    The Colorado Trail is another awesome one. It’s a bit longer- just shy of 500 miles. I haven’t heard of many of these and really want to do a few shorter thru hikes before I make the choice to uproot my entire life for the AT or the PCT. Thank you for the list 😀

  6. Clayton C on May 8, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Best backpacking channel on YouTube

  7. Rusty Outdoors on May 8, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Thanks! Some I didn’t know about that I will check into! One that didn’t make your list that is the mountain to sea trail. This made my list because you can expect everything from high mountain view to down to beach trails.

    Also Sheltowee trace is extending the trail farther down south in the Big South Fork maybe even passed Rugby.

  8. S K on May 8, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks jupiter. Im looking to do AZT as my first because of its length. The big guys will have to wait till my kids leave.

  9. Bryon P on May 8, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Thank you for the list. I plan to take a group on the OTL this January. Then onto the other short trails.

  10. Mike Rekteen on May 8, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Fantastic vid. Doing the BMT next month to test out my new gear. Did the JMT In 2016, my first thru hike, totally unprepared, but one of the best times of my life. Thanks Jupiter!!

  11. Chip Bott on May 8, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Great video, thanks for your insight.

  12. Rebekah Broughen on May 8, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    I’m so glad you mentioned the Superior Hiking Trail. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

  13. Temperate Andrew on May 8, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    I think North Carolina’s “Mountain to Sea Trail” would be a great addition to your hit-list. 1,150 miles so I understand why it wouldn’t be in this video. One of the coolest aspects is that after hiking Western NC from Clingmans, you can jump on a mountain bike and sore thru the lower forests. There’s even some long sections you could opt to aqua-blaze by canoe!

  14. William Gray on May 8, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Your video was very well done, insightful to the many hikers out there that have hiker tunnel vision when it comes to the AT and PCT.   I think that hikers need to be enlightened that there are other hiking opportunities that are less known and provide more of a wilderness experience than today’s AT.   Don’t get me wrong, I love the AT, but it offers a very different kind of experience today for hikers as compared to 40 years ago.  Sleeping in hotels every fourth night, carrying only two days of food at a time, carrying a cell phone is simply not being self-reliant and being self reliant is supposed to be one of the attractions to backpacking.

  15. Robbie WillSurvive! on May 8, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    I have the time….. Perhaps because I realize what is important in life. So sad that you don’t!

  16. Marshall Web Design Wilson on May 8, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    I would love to hike the Appalachian Trail but I know that it will probably never happen unless I win the lottery. Your choice to do a video about other trails gives me the encouragement to try looking at what I can do and not what I can’t. Thanks.

  17. Joe Grunt on May 8, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Have you been on the New River Trail in Virginia?

  18. Durwood Hill on May 8, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    You provide so much good great information. Another little known but nice 250 mile trail is the Tuscarora Trail. It breaks off from the AT in the Mid-Shenandoah Valley area, goes west across the Shenandoah Valley then turns north and parallels the AT and reconnects with the AT in PA near Harrisburg. It’s definitely on my list and if I get really ambitious I’ll follow the AT south back to my starting point–a 500 mile loop!!

  19. Life Abroad on May 8, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    You’re incredible. Hopefully I’ll find a YouTuber like you who’s done hiking in Europe.

  20. Lucy Vanica on May 8, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Great thanks for the information

  21. john game on May 8, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    I’m a brit who watches these american hiking vids religiously. I’d love to see all these guys on one of the big two week hikes in nepal. I just wonder how that would go.

  22. Chase Pettit on May 8, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Just finished a good chunk of the Ozark Highlands Trail recently. Absolutely recommend it especially for newer backpackers. Really beautiful and friendly trail, pretty secluded, great experience overall!

  23. Jason Ready on May 8, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    GREAT list. HORRIBLY misleading titled video

  24. Michael Palandri on May 8, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    I’d like to hear what you think of the Idaho Centennial Trail.

  25. Nspinicelli on May 8, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    HEHEY! Uintah "Highline Trail!" Represent! Yeah dude I can’t wait to do this.
    I’ve saved this video, this is a great reference video man thanks!

  26. Temperate Andrew on May 8, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Great list! I first dreamed of hiking the AT while hiking the Foothills Trail as a kid. I’ll be taking an old photo from that trip with me during my AT NOBO this year 🙂

  27. BK Bland on May 8, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Good list, Jupiter.

  28. Robo Minimahlerr on May 8, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    thank you for your videos 😉 would like to go hiking in US, but it is quite far from the middle of Europe ..

  29. Metro On The Move on May 8, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for the tip / info on the foothills trail. This is definitely on my radar for the next hike or so once we things calm down and we are allowed to return to the trails. Saw your live video with Darwin the other day. Glad to hear your foot has healed. I just suffered an injury to my right foot four weeks ago and I am hoping that it doesn’t take 6-8 months to recover. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Cryptopillar on May 8, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    thank you, sir! 🙂

  31. Tess Brex on May 8, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Excellent vid. Thanks. I just subscribed. I want hours & hours of this type of info. Please.

  32. adam mcfarren on May 8, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    There is a section of the buckeye trail in Ohio that goes from brecksville through the Cuyahoga valley national park to Massillon. It’s 57 miles. It’s absolutely beautiful and very similar to hiking much of the Appalachian trail.

  33. thereisnocarolinHR on May 8, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    Ahhh I can’t figure out the picture to your right in the video. Franconia?? But maybe somewhere down south? Please let me know!

  34. John Garrison on May 8, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    Awesome! Thank you

  35. C.S. Lee on May 8, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    The Ozark Highland Trail terminus is 40 miles from my house, let me know when your ready and I’ll give you a ride that way…. It’s an awesome trail and definitely can be hiked year round but the summer months are frowned on unless you like 115 degree heat indexes, our summers are tropical(hot and humid) to say the least…. Take Care Buddy I always enjoy your videos.

  36. Jeff Meadows Outdoors on May 8, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Great advice. Thank you so much for the video. I live near the Allegheny trail, yet know nothing about it. Around here the AT gets all the attention.

  37. rolfdenver on May 8, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Did a week of the JMT in 1988 and would love to do all of it after I retire in a couple years. Tahoe Rim sounds great too.

  38. Car Lea on May 8, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    I have been on the John Muir Trail.

  39. Dan Keener on May 8, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Nice video, these all sound great. I live in Colorado, and while of course we have the 500ish mile Colorado Trail, there are also just a bunch of huge, beautiful wilderness areas with interlocking trails in every direction. Makes it really easy to to choose your own adventure in whatever size you’re looking for. But if there is one in particular that would fit with the others in this list, I’d say the 160 mile Collegiate Peaks Loop is a good choice.

  40. Baskets on May 8, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Chicago Outerbelt Trail 210 Miles
    Bonus hot dog stands along the route

  41. Kamisa on May 8, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    You should do the Discovery trail. I’d be cool to see you do the whole Western coastal line all the way to Alaska.

  42. Jason Millwood on May 8, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    I’m in Tampa and have been out of hiking since living here. Good to see you live in Florida! Would love to meet other hikers here

  43. Jennifer Drake on May 8, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Check out the Ozark Trail in . MO.

  44. Ben Muench on May 8, 2020 at 4:31 pm

    Whomever seems this, go hike the 4C’s trail and the Three Bridges Trail TBT at carter caves

  45. V W on May 8, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    So the Title should be : 11 alternative short trails to concider. Hike your own hike 😉

  46. J. Fielden on May 8, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Great video.

  47. film79 on May 8, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    If you just get in shape and run the Appalachian trail then you can do the whole thing in about 45mins

  48. James McNulty on May 8, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    The shelters on the Long Trail are such a good idea !! How far apart are they, though ??

  49. Mike Nettles on May 8, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Good suggestions. Try the Ouachita Trail (222 Miles) in Arkansas to Oklahoma. I am not required to do the full trail. I am hiking from Springer Mountain to Damascus next March.

  50. LordQuiche on May 8, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    Good vid 🤩

Leave a Comment