Hiking in the great outdoors has become one of the most popular activities across the country. For the day hiker, there are trails that cover just a few miles and those that traverse the entire country for the truly adventurous. Even when half of the country is under a blanket of snow, there are many places to go on a hiking vacation. To aid you in planning your next summer hike or help you find a place to take a winter holiday, here are the top ten places to hike in the United States:

1) Tongass National Forest: Juneau, Alaska

Starting off at the northern most state in the country, the Tongass National Forest surrounding Juneau, Alaska, and has over 700 miles of hiking trails that will keep you busy exploring nature. Loaded with wildlife, caves, and glaciers, the Tongass is the largest national forest in the country. Bears, birds, streams, glaciers, and caves are found along almost every trail, and the Nugget Falls Trail originating at the Mendenhall Glacier visitors center is a great day hike. Because Alaska is a wild place that can be unforgiving of neophytes, you should hire a guide if you don’t have backcountry experience. The bugs are thick in Alaska, so be sure to pack some good mosquito repellent lotion.

2) Pacific Crest Trail: Mexico to Canada

Made famous by the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, the 2650 mile-long Pacific Crest Trail spans the length of the U.S. from the border of Mexico to Canada. Officially designated as the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, the long-distance hike follows the highest portions of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges that run approximately 100 miles inland of the Pacific Ocean. As most people are not up to hiking the entire distance, the trail offers many shorter day hikes and loops.

3) John Muir Trail: California

Part of the Pacific Crest Trail, the 211-mile long John Muir Trail starts at the Yosemite National Park trailhead. The trail goes through Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks, passing through the Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness areas, and ends at Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states, at almost 15,000 feet. The trail has a rating of fairly difficult as it passes by lakes and through caverns and mountains, gaining an altitude of almost 5,000 feet. Because you will be passing through some environmentally sensitive areas, be sure to pack some environmentally friendly bug spray.

4) Highline Trail: Glacier National Park, Montana

Located in the northwest corner of Montana and set in a stunning alpine vista, the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park is one of the most scenic hikes in America. The fairly easy and mostly flat 7 1/2 mile long trail begins at Logan Pass, crosses the Continental Divide, and ends at the Granite Park Chalet. Be sure to pack binoculars, bear spray, and backpacking bug spray as mountains goats, grizzly bears, and black flies are all common in the area.

5) Badlands National Park: South Dakota

About an hour’s drive southeast of Rapid City, Badlands National Park in South Dakota offers prime hiking spots in a state not generally thought of as a great hiking destination. The area is tucked away in a fold of landscape that holds many wonders that people passing through the state never get to see. There are several easy trails for short day hikes, such as the Notch and Fossil trails. Longer hikes include the 10-mile long Castle Trail and the Sage Creek Wilderness Area loop that spans 22-miles. Either way you go, you will never look at South Dakota the same after a visit to the area.

6) Rocky Mountain National Park: Colorado

Set high in the Colorado Rockies, Rocky Mountain National Park provides a mind-blowing 360-degree view from almost every hiking trail. The park claims to be one of the best hiking spots in the U.S. and has many short and longer hikes to enjoy for a day or on overnight camping trips. The 3,000 mile long Continental Divide Trail bisects Rocky Mountain National Park and continues all the way up to Canada to the north and down to Mexico to the south.

7) Haleakala National Park: Maui, Hawaii

If you are looking for a unique spot filled with beauty and tranquility and find yourself on the island of Maui, Haleakala National Park is one of the most amazing places on earth. The park is within easy reach at the end of the Hana Highway and hosts a bamboo forest, brilliantly colored eucalyptus trees, and many waterfalls. One of the most spectacular hikes in the park is the Pipiwai Trail that winds through the bamboo forest on its way to the Seven Sacred Pools and the 400-foot high Waimoku Falls. For early risers, the hike to the rim of the Haleakala volcano crater is a sunrise that should not be missed.

8) Appalachian Trail: Georgia to Maine

Winding from Georgia to Maine, and Canada beyond, the Appalachian Trail is viewed by many as the Mt. Everest of hiking accomplishments. The trail begins at Springer Mountain, Georgia and passes through 14 states as its snakes its way up through the eastern portion of the United States on its way to its U.S. terminus at Maine’s Mount Katahdin. Make no mistake, this is a huge undertaking to try to traverse at one time. Most hikers who claim to have hiked the entire trail tackled it a little at a time as there are multiple access points in each state it passes through. However, there are lots of bugs along the way, so be sure to pack an effective backpacking bug spray.

9) Upper Hawksbill Trail, Senandoah National Park: Virginia

The Upper Hawksbill Trail in Shenandoah National Park is a moderately challenging hike that is billed as one of the most scenic short hikes in America. The total distance is only two miles roundtrip and takes you to the highest point in the entire park, where you can see the breathtaking views of the entire Shenandoah Valley. Be sure to pack a lunch as the summit is a great place for a picnic.

10) Deer Leap Overlook: Mendon, Vermont

Just a few miles from the “Beast of the East”, the Killington, Vermont Ski Resort, Deer Leap Overlook Trail is just a two mile hike from the top of Sherburne Pass. While the hike is fairly steep and rated as moderate, Deer Leap Overlook reaches an elevation of 1,400 feet and provides one of the most scenic views of anywhere in the Green Mountains. The trail begins across the highway from the parking area on Route 4 and goes directly behind the Long Trail Lodge. The best time to go is in October when the fall foliage is just about at its peak. Mosquitoes are omnipresent in Vermont so forego the mosquito repellent lotion at your peril.

While hiking in any of these areas will be an adventure, be sure to take the needed safety precautions, so your adventure does not turn into an ordeal. Carry water and a personal water filter, sunscreen, energy bars, an emergency poncho, and an emergency first aid kit. Depending on the time of year and the area, wildlife and insects may be an issue. Bear spray is always good insurance, and you should always use bug repellent as many biting insects carry diseases like West Nile fever and Lyme disease. PROVEN Insect Repellent makes a full line of highly effective bug sprays and lotions, including a picaridin bug repellent, all of which contain no harsh chemicals. PROVEN products are sold in stores and online.