These 10 Hiking Trails Will Blow Your Mind

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Top experts—from trail runners to CEOs to beloved authors—reveal the trails that fuel their dreams.

1. TE ARAROA TRAIL IN NEW ZEALAND

Hiker: Dan Ransom, filmmaker

In His Words: What puts the Te Araroa on the top of my dream list is the variety. New Zealand is famous for its diverse landscapes, and the Te Araroa links close to 2,000 miles of coastal sand, alpine ridges, and jungle bushwhacks traversing national parks and farmland and winding past volcanoes. After bagging the Triple Crown of long trails in the U.S., the Te Araroa would be the obvious target for that next big thru-hike.

Distance: 1,864 miles

Why You Should Go: Maori for “the long pathway,” the Te Araroa, which is split into 160 tracks and typically takes five months to finish, cuts through the heart of New Zealand from Cape Reinga at the North Island’s tip to Bluff on the South Island’s edge. Amble along bays flanking the South Island’s Queen Charlotte Track, explore river valleys bursting with Maori culture in the North Island’s Whanganui National Park, tramp over slopes of the active Tongariro volcano, or meander through the otherworldly Takitimu Forest.

When to Go: October through April

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