East Coast Beach Hiking Worth Visiting
The East Coast is home to so many scenic trails that combine the allure of forested paths with the breathtaking beauty of the Atlantic coastline. Whether you’re an avid hiker or looking for new places to explore, here are some of the most enjoyable beach hikes the East Coast offers.
1. False Cape State Park, Virginia
With over 15 miles of trails, hikers can experience diverse habitats, from sandy beaches and dunes to maritime forests and marshes. The park is only accessible by foot, bicycle, beach transport, tram, or boat, adding to its natural charm. Use a Camelbak hydration pack to stay hands free while you're hiking or biking!
2. Sleeping Giant State Park, Connecticut
While not strictly a beach hike, its location overlooking the Long Island Sound offers stunning coastal views. The park's most popular trail, the Tower Path, leads to a stone observation tower at the peak of Mt. Carmel that provides panoramic views of the Connecticut shoreline and Long Island Sound.
3. Coast Guard Beach, Massachusetts
Frequently ranked among the best beaches in the United States, Coast Guard Beach offers more than just sunbathing. The Nauset Marsh Trail is a perfect blend of beach and nature hikes. The 1.3-mile loop takes you around Nauset Marsh and back to the beach, giving you stunning views of the beach, marsh, and the surrounding flora and fauna. Don't get weighed down by heavy packs - use a waist pack to carry just the necessities!
4. Island Beach State Park, New Jersey
The park's 8-mile stretch of coast offers hiking trails that guide you through dunes, freshwater wetlands, and maritime forests. Along the way, hikers can encounter a diverse array of wildlife, including foxes, ospreys, and over 400 species of plants.
5. Cliff Walk, Rhode Island
This 3.5-mile trail takes you along Newport's eastern shore, juxtaposing the Atlantic Ocean's natural beauty with the architectural grandeur of Newport's Gilded Age mansions.
6. Blackbeard Island National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
The refuge, only accessible by boat, is a haven for a variety of wildlife, including loggerhead sea turtles, American alligators, and over 200 species of birds. The refuge's 4-mile round trip trail takes you through maritime forest, salt marsh, and finally, to the stunning beachfront. With a bit of luck, you might even spot a bottlenose dolphin frolicking offshore! Need a shoe that can go from forest to water in a flash? Bring along KEEN's Newport H2 so that your feet are protected with the hard soles and can quickly dry after you go into the water.
Written by Geraldine Orentas in partnership with leading stethoscope distributors Stethoscope.com