Trail Pairings: 17 Hikes Nearby Delicious Brews

March 20, 2018
Filed Under: adventure tips clinic

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 17 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).

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 the shadows of Mt. Si sits Volition Brewing. Post hike, we’d suggest going with the Activate Hyperspace Hazy IPA. This 100% Mosaic-hopped Hazy features multigrain flavors woven with lime, lemon, blueberry, and mango. If you’re in the mood for a coffee, don’t miss the iconic Twede’s Cafe (for all the Twin Peaks fans out there, this classic diner is a main stomping ground for the characters).

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 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.

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).

Mt. Sanitas, Boulder, CO

This is a short, steep, and sweet 3.2 mile loop just a stone's throw away from downtown Boulder. With sweeping views of the front range, it doesn’t disappoint. As Katie, our Customer Support Lead says, “my favorite parts of the hike are the sneak-peeks of the snow-capped Rockies to the northwest. It’s a heavier-trafficked route, but with good reason.”

Brew Pairing: Katie suggests heading to Rayback Collective, which is self-defined as "Boulder's Backyard." It’s the perfect post adventure spot, just grab a drink from one of their 30 rotating taps and sit outside by the fire. Katie highly recommends trying whatever hard kombucha is on tap.

Friends Drinking Beer around BioLite FirePit
Man drinking coffee at sunrise with BioLite Headlamp

Buffalo Mountain, Silverthorne, CO

When you start out this 10 mile out and back trail you'll pass through the burn area of the 2018 Buffalo Mountain Fire, which offers up an impressive contrast of blackened trees and vibrant regrowth. Our friend Heidi gave us the hot tip about this epic hike and shared just why she loves it so much, “the trail climbs through the trees and just when you're wondering if it'll be worth it the trees open up to a massive boulder field. Spin yourself around -- Lake Dillon is spread out below you! From here keep an eye out for trail cairns as they'll guide you across the expansive boulder field and up to the summit, where you'll have a 360 view of the Ten Mile Range and Gore Range.”

Brew Pairing: As you pass through Silverthorne on your way to the trail head, stop by Red Buffalo Coffee, a favorite of Heidi’s. She recommends grabbing an iced lavender honey latte if it’s warm out. For colder days the brown sugar honey latte is a great way to warm up.

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.

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.

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).

 

Lakeshore Path to Picnic Point, Madison, WI

This trail sits on the 300-acre UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve, with ~5 miles of beautiful lakefront views. It’s a favorite of BioLite’s Visual Designer Ev who also suggests biking along the path, or renting a kayak from the union and following the trail from the lake-side.

Brew pairing: Lakeshore path leads right up to Memorial Union Terrace. Grab a glass (or a pitcher) of New Glarus' Spotted Cow, sit on the docks, and watch the sunset over Lake Mendota. Spotted Cow can only be found in Wisconsin and pairs well with some Wisconsin cheese curds or a beer brat.

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.

Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, Atlanta, GA

Our friend Adriana from Latinxhikers recommends heading out Cascade Springs, “It’s the perfect getaway away from city life and it's only 10 minutes from downtown. The reserve has over 120 acres of trails and a beautiful waterfall that’s calming and relaxing. It’s also a good place to meet others in the community!”

Brew Pairing: A short 10-15 minute drive from the preserve sits Monday Night Brewing’s Garage Adriana recommends heading there for a post hike refreshment. Her favorite is Dr. Robot, a blackberry lemon sour. 

Rough Ridge, Boone, NC

You’ll find this hike a short 20 minute drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway outside of Boone/Blowing Rock. BioLite’s Test Engineer Austin says, “It’s a relatively short but intense steep hike that puts you on a really cool lookout where you can see the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Linn Cove Viaduct. There's a spot where you can get a pic on the edge of a rock that looks like you're hundreds of feet in the air although you're only really 20 feet up.” Keep in mind, this hike is tough for a dog, but not impossible.

Brew Pairing: Austin says Appalachian Mountain Brewery is one of his favorite places in the world. With plenty of outdoor seating, live music, wood fired pizzas, and tons of beers & ciders on tap, what’s not to like? He recommends grabbing the Long Leaf Pine if you’re looking for a standard IPA. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try the Margarita Gose - a sour is brewed with sea salt and fresh lemons and limes to create a refreshingly tart beer. As AMB says, “one sip and you'll be hearing Jimmy Buffet music!”

Blue Mountain Twin Summits, Hudson Valley, NY

For city-dwellers looking for escape, head north to Peekskill for a day spent in the Hudson Valley. This 2.5 mile loop is a great day hike that’s accessible year round. The trail winds through a forest and ends with a nice summit view over the Hudson River.

Brew Pairing: You’ll find Peekskill Brewery just a ½ hour walk from the trailhead and only a 3 minute walk from the Peekskill Railroad Station making it an easy stop if you’re heading back into the city. Try the Peekskill Eastern Standard IPA. It’s a classic IPA that holds nothing back featuring Simcoe & Citra hops from Washington State.

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?

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.

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.
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