Trail Pairings: 15 Hikes Nearby Delicious Brews
The ground’s beginning to thaw and the sun is finally peaking it's way back through the clouds - it's time to raise your glass to spring camping season.
To get warmed up for all the new season has to offer, we gathered a list of 15 springtime hikes near a recommend brew in case you get thirsty.
Read on below for specific brew recs and trail info (or skip directly to the interactive map below).
Fore River Trail, Portland, ME
Maintained by Portland Trails all year long, the Fore River Trail is a 3 mile hike that leads right up to a beautiful waterfall. The trail is perfect for a variety of outdoor activities depending on what time of year your visit - run, hike, or walk your dog during the warmer months and plan to shoe-show or cross country ski during the winter.
Brew Pairing: This hike is basically in the backyard of Bissel Brothers Brewing so don’t miss grabbing a cold one after your hike. Our friend Seth at Trailspace recommends The Substance - a double IPA and cult favorite among Bissel Brother’s fans.
Prospect Mountain, Adirondacks, NY
This intermediate 3.4 mile trail gives you a scenic look down onto Lake George and the surrounding area. The hike inclines moderately the whole way to the top but once you reach the summit you’ll be rewarded with plenty of space for a picnic or just to take in the views.
Brew Pairing: Adirondack Pub & Brewery is a quick 0.8 miles from the hiking trailhead. Situated in the heart of Lake George, this cabin-like pub is a great spot to unwind after your hike. Their Bear Naked Ale is a medium-bodied amber that is crisp, toasty and fruity - what else could you want for a post-hike brew?
Lookout Trail, Asheville, NC
Short and steep sound like your kind of thing? Lookout Trail, just 15 miles outside of Asheville, will not disappoint. Neither will the mountain views at the top. This difficult hike does require some rock scaling so come prepared.
Brew Pairing: Plan your hike on a Friday afternoon so you can catch a Counter Culture tasting session. Tastings are open to the public every Friday from 10-11am. Taking a few sips of their various blends is a sure fire way to get all the energy you’ll need ahead of your hike.
Bluff Trail, Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga has 50+ trailheads less than 30 minutes from town. With so much to choose from, our friend Kraig Becker recommends the Bluff Trail on Lookout Mountain. Bluff Trail is an 8.9 mile moderate out and back trail that’s accessible year round and features beautiful sites such as waterfalls.
Brew Pairing: This trail will leave you ready for a post-hike beverage. Stop by Heaven and Ale Brewing back in town and try the Juice Buckets - a hazy IPA that’s packed with hops and refreshing citrus hints.
Pedernales Falls State Park, TX
Just outside of Austin, you’ll find the Pedernales Falls State Park, a place our friend and ambassador Travis recommends you check out. The Pedernales Falls Loop is a 6.2 mile intermediate hike that’s open year round. The hike follows the Pedernales River through some pretty impressive geological formations.
Brew Pairing: After the hike and on your way back to Austin, hit up Jester King Brewery. Check their ‘current’ tap list to see what’s available - we’d recommend testing out the Buddha’s Brew, an ale brewed with Kombucha tea. Kombucha x Beer? Enough said.
Oak Leaf Trail, Milwaukee, WI
The Oak Leaf Trail system is made up of over 120+ miles of trails in and around Milwaukee’s city center. This extensive trail system is best approached with a ‘plan your own adventure’ style. Whether it’s a morning cycling trip along the water or exploring the city by foot, this is a must visit trail system in Wisconsin.
Brew pairing: We’d highly recommend planning your trail route to end by the water at Lakefront Brewery. When you’re there, check what limited release is on tap - they are known for creative combinations like the recent Anai, a Mexican Hot Chocolate Ale.
Grass River Natural Area, Bellaire, MI
Grass River Natural Area offers 7 miles of trails through Northern Michigan’s scenic beauty. It’s a 1400+ acre park full of wetlands, wildlife, and forested walks. The 2.3 mile loop is is an easy hike, great for hikers of all skill levels or for introducing your kids to the outdoors.
Brew pairing: Just 10 minutes down the road you’ll find the local favorite Short’s Brewing. Our friend Carson recommends sitting down for a while and relaxing with a can of Local's Light (an easy drinking classic lager) or Huma Lupa Licious (their flagship brew made up of five different hop varieties featuring notes of citrus and a flora aroma).
Cave Spring Park, Kansas City, MO
Just outside of Kansas City lays this 39 acre park. With miles of easy hiking loops, it’s a great option for families looking to access nature without traveling too far outside of the city. Kids will love the cave, ponds, and waterfall.
Brew Pairing: We’re going to have to go with Thou Mayest on this one. This local roaster provides the best of both worlds - it’s a renowned coffee roaster that also serves beer for those looking to indulge. Try the ‘Boldly Go’ Blend. Crafted with trailblazers in mind its rich and dark chocolate flavors will replenish you after a day outdoors.
Royal Arch Trail, Boulder, CO
The walk to this trailhead is set below the picturesque Boulder Flatirons. It might feel like you never stop going up on the 3.2 mile climb to the top but the steps to the Royal Arch are well worth the burn. The summit provides a sweeping view of Boulder and the surrounding area.
Brew Pairing: On your way back into town, walk to Ozo for a standout cup of coffee. The Cozy Cabin blend combines flavors of almond and caramel into an easy drinking brew - it’s a great way to cozy up and recharge after your hike. Our favorite location is right in the middle of Pearl Street, a short distance from Chautauqua Park.
Desolation Trail to the Salt Lake Overlook, Salt Lake City, UT
Recommended as the best view of Salt Lake at a moderate hiking distance from the trailhead, this 4 mile hike is lightly trafficked (not because it isn’t beautiful but it’s just not as well known as others in the surrounding area). For those who do know it - it’s considered the perfect escape from the city.
Brew Pairing: This hike is a go-to for the folks at the Uinta Brewery. Don’t forget to swing by their Salt Lake City location and grab a brew to enjoy post hike. (Their Golden Ale or 801 Pilsner are crisp classics that come in cans so are easy to throw in any pack).
Inner Basin Trail, Flagstaff, AZ
On this 3.2 mile moderate hike, you’ll pass through a striking forest of aspen trees with an assortment of wild flower and bird sightings along the way - it’s our kind of walk in the woods. Best times to visit are spring to fall but our ambassador Dani strongly suggests visiting in autumn to catch some of the amber fall foliage.
Brew Pairing: Head to Macy’s Coffeehouse before embarking on the hike. This ‘european coffeehouse and bakery’ is a local staple. Give the owner’s favorite drink a try - it won’t disappoint. The Espressito (short espresso that is rich & sweet in flavor) is just the right amount of caffeine to prepare you for the hike ahead.
Mount Tallac, South Lake Tahoe, CA
This 9 mile hike is the perfect way to get back into the outdoors this season. Our friends at The Outbound call it, “one of the more scenic and challenging hikes in the South Tahoe area with incredible views of the Desolation Wilderness and Lake Tahoe itself.”
Brew Pairing: We recommend getting an early start to the day and one way to do that is bringing along your own coffee beans. Kuju Coffee’s pour over pouches are designed for trails just like this. After you’ve finished the hike, reward yourself with an ice cold beer at South Lake Brewing Company, just 5 miles from the trailhead. We recommend the Trail Builder Pale Ale.
Crystal Lake Trail, Whitefish, MT
This is a popular 2.2 mile day hike leads you to a beautiful lake in the Mission Mountains. Along the way you’ll pass fields of huckleberries, beargrass and a variety of tree species native to Montana. Eventually, you’ll end up at the sandy beach of Crystal Lake - perfect for a dip if you’re brave enough.
Brew Pairing: Once you’re back in town, you can’t miss Great Northern Brewing Co. - it’s the tallest building in Whitefish (coming in at three stories). Their signature Wild Huckleberry Lager is perfect for a post hike through huckleberry fields.
Deschutes River Trail Loop, Bend, OR
This 3.7 mile loop follows the Deschutes River as it winds through the town of Bend. A pleasant, urban hike that has a lot more natural beauty than one might expect for a hike that’s in the center of town. Follow it all the way to Drake Park and you’ll pass by a local brewery you can pop into.
Brew Pairing: What better way to finish a Deschutes River hike then by enjoying a brew at Deschutes Brewery just 3.3 miles from the trailhead. Their Fresh Squeezed IPA is just the right amount of hoppy and great for spring sippin’.
Mount Si, North Bend, WA
Roughly 40 minutes east of Seattle sits Mount Si. The hike up is 8 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 3150 feet. Your legs will be burning by the end of it, but the hike will make you all the more ready to enjoy a cold brew. (If you’re looking for a shorter alternative, try Little Si at about 4.7 miles round trip).
Brew Pairing: In nearby Snoqualmie you’ll find the Snoqualmie Brewery & Taproom. We’d suggest going with the Sno Falls Pale Ale or Black Frog Nitro Stout. (On your way out of town, make sure to stop by the famous Snoqualmie Falls for a great waterfall overlook or another mild hike).
Find a Hike or Brew Near You:
If you’re still looking for ways to involve beer in your time outside, might we suggest cooking with it? Here are three recipes to get you grilling with beer.