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Get ready to lace up your boots and hit the trails!

From the Rockies’ breathtaking peaks to New Zealand’s lush forests, let’s trek through countries where hiking is a way of life.

Geared up to discover where the world loves to hike the most? Step this way!

Countries where hiking is most popular:

  1. United States
  2. Canada
  3. Switzerland
  4. Austria
  5. Norway
  6. New Zealand
  7. Germany
  8. Italy
  9. Australia
  10. France
  11. United Kingdom

#1 United States

Greg Willis from Denver, CO, usa, Hiking to Fort Bottom (7257568890), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 2.0

Hiking in the United States is incredibly popular due to its vast array of landscapes, from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the scenic trails of national parks like Yosemite.

The extensive trail systems and public lands encourage outdoor recreation, making hiking a beloved pastime for exploring natural beauty and promoting physical health.

#2 Canada

Bhasker ThodlaHiking Around Moraine Lake Canada (243052583), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 3.0

In Canada, hiking is a favored activity because of the country’s diverse, expansive wilderness and well-preserved national parks such as Banff and Jasper.

Canadians value outdoor activities, and hiking offers an accessible way to enjoy nature, observe wildlife, and seek adventure across the country’s varied climates and geographical features.

#3 Switzerland

Ximonic (Simo Räsänen)Hiking trail between Zermatt and Gornergrat, Wallis, Switzerland, 2012 August, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

Switzerland’s hiking popularity stems from its stunning alpine scenery and well-maintained network of trails covering the Alps and beyond.

With routes ranging from leisurely walks to challenging climbs, hiking is deeply embedded in Swiss culture, providing both locals and tourists with unparalleled opportunities to engage with the outdoors.

#4 Austria

AsurnipalEgg-Laublisbach hiking path-03ASD, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

Hiking in Austria is prominent due to its rich mountainous landscapes, particularly the Alps, which offer extensive trails that cater to all levels of hikers.

The Austrian tradition of alpinism supports hiking as a way to appreciate nature, stay fit, and enjoy the country’s natural beauty, making it a popular national hobby.

#5 Norway

Nick from Bristol, UK, Besseggen Hike, Norway (14673663307), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 2.0

Norway’s rugged landscapes, featuring fjords, mountains, and coastal paths, make hiking a popular and quintessential activity.

The Right to Roam law allows people to freely explore the countryside, fostering a strong hiking culture that is both a leisure activity and a way of life, deeply connected to Norwegian values of outdoor living and environmental appreciation.

#6 New Zealand

Michal KlajbanA green tent with a tramper by Iron Lake, Kahurangi National Park, New Zealand, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

In New Zealand, hiking, or “tramping,” as it is locally known, is a significant activity due to the country’s dramatic landscapes and commitment to conservation.

Famous hikes like the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and the Milford Track offer immersive experiences in some of the world’s most unique ecosystems, promoting hiking as an essential experience for residents and visitors alike.

#7 Germany

NemraccBlütenweg hiking trail between Leutershausen and Schriesheim, Rhein-Neckar-District Germany 03, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

Germany’s diverse landscapes provide a hiker’s paradise, with well-marked trails like the extensive network of ‘Wanderwege’ crisscrossing the country.

The German Alps offer challenging routes, while the Black Forest and Harz Mountains cater to both leisurely walks and demanding treks. Hiking is ingrained in German culture, with clubs and associations promoting this outdoor activity as a way to explore nature and maintain health.

#8 Italy

Guillaume Baviere from Uppsala, Sweden, Italy 2017-07-27 (37337196436), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 2.0

The allure of Italy’s hiking stems from its stunning scenery, regional diversity, and historical pathways, such as the ancient pilgrim route ‘Via Francigena.’ The Dolomites and the Alps are synonymous with world-class hiking, offering dramatic landscapes.

Meanwhile, trails in Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast combine natural beauty with picturesque villages. Hiking in Italy is not only a recreational pursuit but also a way to immerse oneself in the country’s rich culture.

#9 Australia

Burtonpe at English WikipediaHeysen Trail near Waitpinga, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 3.0

Australia’s hiking popularity is bolstered by its extensive natural parks and unique landscapes, ranging from coastal treks in Tasmania to the rugged outback of the Northern Territory.

Famous trails like the Overland Track and Larapinta Trail provide immersive experiences in the wilderness. Australia’s approach to hiking is about adventure and exploration, with a strong emphasis on environmental conservation and appreciation of the country’s ancient Aboriginal heritage.

#10 France

MartinDGR5 hiking route at Lac Ste Anne, scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY-SA 4.0

France offers diverse hiking experiences from the Alps to the Pyrenees, attracting enthusiasts to well-trodden paths like the GR20 in Corsica.

The country’s historical and cultural sites along these routes enrich the hiking experience, making it a popular activity for exploring France’s natural and historical landscapes.

#11 United Kingdom

Paul Hudson from United Kingdom, Krankenhaus Day 3 Hike (48712504781), scaling by sportsfoundation.org, CC BY 2.0

The United Kingdom’s rich heritage of public footpaths and scenic landscapes, such as the Lake District and Scottish Highlands, makes hiking a popular pursuit.

The extensive network of trails provides access to some of the most picturesque countryside in Europe, fostering a strong walking culture celebrated in numerous walking festivals and supported by the Ramblers’ Association.

FAQ

Which country engages in hiking the most?

Hiking is played the most in the United States, which boasts a vast network of scenic trails and a strong outdoor culture embracing hiking as a popular leisure activity.

Which country watches hiking-related content the most?

The United States watches hiking-related content the most, thanks to its large population of outdoor enthusiasts and the availability of numerous television and online channels dedicated to the activity.

Where did hiking originally develop as an activity?

Hiking was originally played in various forms across the world, as walking through natural landscapes is a fundamental human activity without a singular point of origin. For more insights, here’s a link to our Hiking history article that explores the evolution of hiking through different cultures and times.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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