Best City Parks in USA

According to Warwick Ford, author of Fun on Foot in America’s Cities (Wyltan blogs), the following rank among the best city parks for walking:

• Balboa Park (San Diego, CA)

• Chain of Lakes (Minneapolis, MN)

• Charles River Reservation (Boston, MA)

• City Park (Denver, CO)

• Fairmont Park (Philadelphia, PA)

• Golden Gate Park (San Francisco, CA)

• Lincoln Park (Chicago, IL)

• Riverside Park (New York, NY)

• Rock Creek Park (Washington, DC)

• Washington Park Arboretum (Seattle, WA)

Pedestrian Bridges

Best City Parks in USA Photo Gallery

The following are popular pedestrian bridges:

• Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge (Omaha, NE)

• BP Bridge, Millennium Park (Chicago, IL)

• Brooklyn Bridge Walkway (New York, NY)

• Canopy Walk at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (Atlanta, GA)

• Chain of Rocks Bridge (St. Louis, MO)

• Hanford MacNider Footbridge (Mason City, IA)

• High Trestle Trail (Des Moines, IA)

• Hot Metal Bridge (Pittsburgh, PA)

• John T. Myers Pedestrian Bridge (Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN)

• Mile High Swinging Bridge (Grandfather Mountain, NC)

• Navajo Bridge (Coconino County, AZ)

• Seven Mile Bridge (Florida Keys)

• Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge (Nashville, TN)

• South Street Pedestrian Bridge (Philadelphia, PA)

• Sundial Bridge (Redding, CA)

• Walkway over the Hudson (Poughkeepsie, NY)

• Walnut Street Bridge (Chattanooga, TN)

River Walks

Travel + Leisure rates the following as the best city river walks:

• Bricktown (Oklahoma City, OK)

• Chicago Riverwalk (Chicago, iL)

• Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway (Minneapolis, MN)

• Milwaukee RiverWalk (Milwaukee, WI)

• Reno Riverwalk (Reno, NV)

• River Street (Savannah, gA)

• San Antonio River Walk [Paseo del Rio] (San Antonio, TX)

• Three Rivers Heritage Trail (Pittsburgh, PA)

• Tom McCall Waterfront Loop (Portland, OR)

Beach Walks

The following beach walks rank among the top American hiking experiences:

Assateague State Park (Maryland) and Assateague Island National Seashore

• Assateague is located on one of the most natural stretches of barrier island remaining on the Atlantic Coast of the United States. The seashore offers over 37 miles of sand beach for seaside hiking and backpacking, as well as a number of backcountry campsites, both among the dunes on the ocean beach and on the side of the island fronting Sinepuxent Bay. Wild ponies are frequently seen along beach areas.

Cape Cod National Seashore (Massachusetts)

• Hikers can retrace the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau, who hiked the entire 25-mile peninsula in three days during October 1849. By retracing Thoreau’s path, hikers find that remarkably little has changed in the intervening century-and-a-half. Because the seashore is under federal jurisdiction, it hasn’t been developed, although a few old houses still stand. The seashore includes six ocean beaches, a white-cedar swamp, a beech forest, and several hiking trails.

Long Island, WA

• Visitors come to Willapa Bay for its oysters, wild mushrooms, and the 100 species of birds – but don’t usually make it across the water to lush, wooded Long Island. A trail runs the length of the 7-mile island, which is only accessible by kayak. Natural features include Sitka spruce stands, oyster beds, seabirds nesting near resident bear, and elk.

Santa Rosa Island, FL

• Santa Rosa Island, on the Gulf of Mexico in the Florida panhandle, is one of the most undeveloped and wild coastal areas in the state. A hiking trail begins at Fort Pickens, winds through 2 miles of live oaks and a salt marsh, then offers a 4-mile walk amid sea oats and dunes on the region’s famed sugar-white beach.

The following are locales of some other great beach walks:

• Bear Island (Hammocks Beach State Park, NC)

• Crystal Park (Cove State, CA)

• Matagorda Island Beach (Matagorda Island State Park, TX)

• North Forest Beach (Hilton Head Island, SC)

• Public beaches of Siesta Key (FL)

• South Beach (Miami Beach, FL)

• Sandy Hook (Gateway National Recreation Area, NJ)


In a few towns across the U.S. walking or cycling is the only way to get around -automobiles are banned. Most of these towns are island-based and many are popular tourist destinations. The following is a list of such locales:


• Arcosanti


• Catalina Island


• North Captiva Island Georgia

• Cumberland Island Maine

• Monhegan Island


• Smith Island


• Isle Royale

• Mackinac Island

• Russell Island

New York

• Chautauqua (in Buffalo)

• Fire Island

• Governors Island (in New York City)

• Roosevelt Island (in New York City)

North Carolina

• Bald Head Island

South Carolina

• Daufuskie Island

• Harbour Town (in Hilton Head)


• Colonial Williamsburg

• Tangier Island

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